Q700 Ikkuma Rolling

I took my new Q700x down to the Condo’s heated pool for rolling practice. My first was sloppy, then, to my shock, I missed the second. Then I spent an hour trying to get my roll back with 50% success.

So I went back and took my Ikkuma down to the pool and rolled successfully on both sides with no failure and no problem. Then I got back into the Q700 and again missed half of the rolls.

What could be going on? I have no idea. My confidence is shaken.

Hi gjf12
I don’t have a perfect roll either, but again, I only practice a couple of times a year. I know, no reason to lecture me.

On a sadder note. Last year I paddled with a guide from the Maine area. He was very slow. At the end of the paddle, he asked if he could paddle my 700. I happily said yes. He then asked me to hold his paddle. Again I agreed. He then used his hands to paddle backwards to deeper water AND HE HAND ROLLED MY 700 TWICE, ONCE ON EITHER TIME. I was crushed. That being said, I’m not sure it’s the boat. Didn’t make me happy either!

Good luck!


I’m not sure it’s the boat.
A good roll can bring up any sea kayak with which you have decent contact and is not over 2 feet wide.

That being said, some boats are easier to roll than others. Different boats roll somewhat differently. When my roll has gotten sketchy I go back to my ‘easiest’ boat (Romany) and once I again feel confident in that boat I move back to my other boats.

Rear Deck Height Maybe?
Is the Q700 rear deck higher? Maybe you’re used to leaning back further?

Rolling is a bit different in each boat
Unless your technique is quite good (much better than mine), what works for you rolling an easy boat might not work in a more challenging boat. The most important variation is in the fit of the connections for your thighs, hips and feet. In a more forgiving boat, your roll flaws will not be fatal, but you have to do more right to roll a more challenging boat. Keep practicing.

Timing maybe?
I haven’t paddled let alone rolled either of those boats, but I wonder if it is timing. That is, some boats just snap up and I don’t even recall anything after the start of the hip snap or whatever you want to call it, and some others seem to require that I continue to pay attention and finish the roll correctly for a few milliseconds longer. I find that kind of difference can result in failed rolls because my body is thinking I should be past the “up” point before the boat has arrived there. So I start disengaging from the rotation or paddle support too early and perform a da-whup rather than a roll.

The boat does make a difference

– Last Updated: Nov-06-08 11:13 PM EST –

I was humbled when I switched from a Boreal Ellesmere to a P&H Sirius. The former I could roll just thinking about it, the latter I'm still developing a consistent combat roll.

I think the difference is the hull design. The Sirius has very flat sides, which give it awesome secondary stability, but when it's rolled, it tends to want to stay on its side instead of coming up all the way. I have to time my hip snap to give an extra push at the very end to get that damn boat off its side and upright. And if I raise my head just a moment too soon, it's kiss-of-death time.

This is just an example; other responders suggested some other things to look for. Put some effort into really comparing and analyzing the differences between your boats; also try to be aware of when it is that your roll fails in the new boat and think about what might be contributing to it.

And count your blessings to have a nice warm pool to practice in!!

The 700s tend to stall at about 90 deg
I never noticed it much till a friend and I swapped boats. He pointed it out and he Tsunami rolled enough easier I got my first off-side in it.

For the700 try slowing your roll down as much as possible. That seems to help me.



Boreal Ellesmere to a P&H Sirius?
Curious why you switched from an Ellesmere to a Sirius. The Ellesmere has always been on my shortlist of favorite boats. I found the Sirius sexy but not desirable to own.

another session
Another much more successful heated pool session with the Q700. Thank you to Kudzu for the comment on seat back height. I had not been leaning back far enough. The Q700 is still more difficult to roll than either my Ikkuma or my Solstice GTS.

Also thanks for the comment on slowing down. This really helped also.

Longer, higher volume boat
Longer, higher volume boat = higher center of gravity when upright = a bigger hill to climb to get back to upright position.

Congratulations on the Improvement!

– Last Updated: Nov-07-08 5:23 PM EST –

You want a never-fail roll?

Use an extended Greenland Paddle. You feel like you're cheating. No hip snap necessary.

This guy's doing it:


Re: Rolling
Hi, Without seeing your roll my guess is that you are using your arms too paddle sweep. instead of using your body to sweep the paddle. You can get away with it on very easy too roll boats, but not on the harder ones, especially those with higher backs. If you truly use your body, you will find that you can’t lift your head up early. Hope this helps.


body sweep
phanku, can you elaborate on this since it is a new concept to me. Are you saying that from the forward tuck position the arms and body stay in a fixed orientation all the way to the layback position? I am not aware what I do in this respect.


Kind of roll?
Coming up with the rotation focused in the torso seems like it’d be most amenable to a roll that had the paddler coming up when their torso was to the side approx’ly 90 degrees to the boat. In other words, an ending similar to the traditional C-to-C roll.

As in the above post (and could be guessed from the diff between the boats) the OPer has a layback roll.

Is it also necessary to move beyond a layback roll to make this advice work? Serious question - too long out of a boat since music season came on for me to get a good kinesthetic hit here.

Re: body sweep
I’ll try too explain as best I can. Imagine that you are doing a sweep in the same manner that you use too turn the boat if you were upright. You would extend the paddle out to your side, and using your body you would both pull the paddle and push with your inboard hand. All the while looking at your outboard hand. I problaly use 60 percent pushing and 40 pulling.

Now use the same technique in the water when you are laying on your side looking up. You can do this slow or fast dosen’t matter. If you need to come up quick increase the pressure on the inboard hand. Like your trying to roll from you back to your stomach. There is no real hip snap, it feels like your turning over in bed.

Your arms don’t need to be fixed or rigid but you do want them to hold their shape. You can come up on the side or if you want on the rear deck. Both work, I prefer closer to the side because you come up pretty well braced, and is easier to do if you have a high rear deck.

Here is a short video clip mjanja aka Mark took of me last month. Unfortuatly the water around here is too muddy to see what I’m doing exactly, but will give you some idea what I’m talking about. http://www.picasaweb.google.com/mjamja1/RollingHeron

Style of roll?

– Last Updated: Nov-09-08 9:43 AM EST –

Obviously one boat agrees with you more than the other with the roll you are using. Are you doing a strict C to C style hip snap roll or a lay back style? If you're doing a strict hip snap style, it's very dependent on strong hip and torso movement where as the lay back style can get a bit sloppy and still work. It's also dependent on good thigh contact and fit. Are you locked into both boats with the same feeling? What you experienced is quite common. As your rolling technique just gets better, the boat won't matter too much. Right now you have it down enough to pull it off with one boat but not enough reserve to roll the other. If you could get someone to watch you in the tougher boat, they may see the problem, but my wild guess is that it's your fit in the boat / thigh bracing as well as some hull shape differences.

A good friend of mine from the UK
who paddles a Valley and was never in a QCC, got in my 700 and rolled it as if he had been in it all his life.

Could you have been trying to make it harder than it should be ?



I first learned…
…to roll in a longer, narrower boat. I got it up on my third try by deliberately following through/extending my range of motion with something like a layback at the end of the roll. I was just cutting it too short without it; had to lay back on that paddle a bit to finish it up. Now it even kinda pushes me forward a bit as well, instead of continuing to go back over on the other side again! I need to think about incorporating this into a roll while paddling forward; I have seen a fellow P.net member do it without making a sound…so effortless!

I was lucky enough to take private instruction this summer with Mary DeRiemer, who is featured in the video The Kayak Roll.

She explained that one of the biggest problems she sees is that when people are placed in any unfamiliar situation, that they focus on “getting up” rather than on performing and completing the motion. Often they are unaware that they are attempting to short circuit the motion.

This was proved to me. With my wife watching, Mary had me just focus on completing the proper motion. She said to totally forget about getting up, because she would handle that. I thought she was overdoing the help because time after time I just rocketed out of the water without any effort on my part at all. I hoped that one day in the future I would be able to come up so easily without help. I was a bit miffed that Mary wasn’t giving me a chance to see if I could do it without her help.

Mary later told me, and my wife confirmed, that she never touched my kayak. It was hard to believe. But apparently, when we have some subconscious worry about the ability to get up, it is common to think about that rather than completing the motion. That way, one failed attempt leads to another.

A new boat, and a failed first attempt, are just the kind of things that could plant that seed of doubt. Make sure you are only thinking about the proper positions and motion, and not trying to get your head or body out of the water quickly.