rolling a recreational boat

Hi everyone,

I am new to this community, but have already used this site for valuable information. I am a relatively new kayaker, but I found that my skills are growing rapidly, along with my interest in the sport. I took a couple of classes with one of the local providers, and I now actually have a relatively reliable roll in narrow sea/touring kayaks.

I have rushed a bit to buy a boat, and purchased a recreational boat - Perception Sport Swiftwater 12. It is 26’ wide with a 38/21 cockpit. There is a rim I can get my knees under, but no real thigh/knee brace. I have not yet tried to roll it, but I wonder: is that even possible in this boat? Does anyone have any experience rolling this type of boat? I would very much prefer to be able to roll if something happens, rather than wet exit and struggle to cowboy in every time (which I can, but am not necessarily keen to do…)

Thank you very much!

other thread…

Thank you! I tried lots of searches and just could not find anything on the forum, thank you for that! It pretty much gives me most of the answers I need. If anyone has any experience with this boat specifically, do chime in. Now that I see people rolling 28+ boats, I’m going to feel wimpy if I can’t roll my 26 incher :slight_smile:

Not quite getting this one
The other thread explains the rolling part.

What I am a little confused by is that you took lessons in sea kayaks, apparently enjoyed those lessons, but got a recreational boat with none of the same features. (By the way, try a cowboy in the Perception boat before assuming you can do it - you’ll find it is a very different kettle of fish than in a sea kayak.)

The likely suggestion from here would have been to look around for a used sea kayak or a very capable transition one, a beater if necessary to get you going, but something that resembled the boats you had already enjoyed and had success with managing. Going out to get a rec boat doesn’t seem like the likely first choice given what you enjoyed doing with the other boats.

Can you put together some funds over the winter to get a used boat closer to what you liked? If you are that new, it is unlikely you have the full cold weather paddling clothing anyway, so you likely have time to do this.

fun to try, but…
if you may actually NEED to roll then you should add an air bag inside the bow. If you fall out and take on water it will be a pain to deal with. With such a rec boat normally you just drag to shore then dump which assumes you are close to shore.

Ideally if you were on a tight budget you’d have bought used rather than bought a rec boat (at least given your ability and desire to roll).

valid points
You are right, except that I had actually bought the rec boat at a discount BEFORE I took the classes. I know, backwards, kind of an impulse buy. I would not have bought this after the classes. Over the winter I am indeed likely to upgrade to something like a light touring boat - there are also some storage and transportation limitations, but those are for a different thread…

Thigh Braces
The Swiftwater looks just like the discontinued Dagger Blackwater to me. It even looks like the stock photo of the Swiftwater on the Perception Sport page is just a photoshopped version of the below picture.

The Dagger Axis is the replacement for the Blackwater. The cockpit dimensions are pretty much identical as are the placements of the thigh pads. I am guessing it would be the same for the Swiftwater.

They make these for the Axis:

You remove the existing thigh pads and use the holes to add the thigh brace. I don’t see why this wouldn’t work on a Blackwater/Swiftwater. I have both a Blackwater and Axis as well as the pads. I can take a better look a them in the next day or so, when there isn’t a monsoon outside, to see how it would fit the Blackwater.

I am curious does the Swiftwater have a skeg or at least a skeg box in the stern?

Use of your winter time
As explained in the other thread, even if you do get to where you can roll this Perception boat it will be a struggle compared to a narrower one. And if you have to start muscling it, you can come up with some bad habits that are hard to break.

If the wet work skills are something you highly value, it might be a better use of your off-season time to find some pool sessions and perfect your rolling and bracing in more apt boats for the purpose. You will have to keep rolling for a while to keep it anyway.

In the meantime, the boat you bought is a good guest boat for people to paddle in quiet waters with. I would suggest that take it into a pool session to practice assisted rescues, see if there is outfitting like float bags that you would want to add to save your back and shoulders in the real thing.

pool time and guest boat
Thanks for all the good advice. Yes, it is very possible that this will become a guest boat, and I, in turn, a great host for my boating friends :slight_smile: I had bought it when kayaking was thrilling but scary and I had no idea what I was doing. As for the pool, I do plan to be there over the winter and perfect my skills as much as I can. The local kayaking school has a great one.

great stuff!
Guess what: I just ordered those thigh braces from Amazon! The dagger picture does look very similar to the Swiftwater, and I think those will fit in nicely. Amazon was selling them with free shipping, so I figured I would try them. Even if this will remain a secondary boat in the future, those things are likely to make it a lot better. Thank you for the great tip!

There is always a way to use a boat
You always end up finding a use for a given boat. I have taken my ancient Piedra, an old school WW boat, out on shallow water creek crawls because it is easy to haul over trees and around beaver dams and I can scratch it to death without worrying about doing something new and different to it. I got the boat used and it showed evidence of having many runs down the a major WW training run without its paddler.

The Inazone has gone out to pool sessions on cold winter days because I can throw it into the back of the wagon rather than having to fuss with buckles and straps on the roof rack and single digit temperatures.

My husband’s Romany was my boat this year in Maine, where we brought only one each. It is not an ideal boat for me, but it is the best guest sea kayak around and was adequate for our paddling goals this year. And it has bigger than the small to extra small cockpits of my own boats, that no one else can fit thru.

The only boat that we have found to be harder to use is the plastic drop skeg Elaho, not because it isn’t fun but it is plastic and so darned heavy that most times we decide to take it out another day.

Boat fit
Since you can now roll a regular kayak, you must realize why you can’t roll the rec boat. It’s all about being attached to the boat with your thighs and hips. Eventually you will also learn how to control the boat with that attachment as well. Two different animals. Yes you can roll a recreational boat if you have some kind on hip and thigh attachment.

Use it for what it is. “You can’t turn a sows ear into gold”.

Rec boat rolling
Enjoy it. Paddle it. Skirt it up and roll it. It can be done. I’ve rolled wider rec boats without a skirt. It isn’t pretty, but not all real life situations where you need to roll are ideal and planned. Take it to the pool or to protected waters with a spotter and work on technique.

It does roll!
I just got back from a fun paddling session with friends. I did a controlled roll, and it feels little different from a narrow sea boat PROVIDED I am constantly conscious of bracing my knees under the edges. Actually, after I rolled it up I got a little too excited celebrating, and went over towards the other side. Since this was not as planned as the controlled roll, I lost the knee grip and fell right out of it. Had to get a T rescue from a friend, and that worked out OK (that is a fun experience, with both the rescuer and the rescued boat having no perimeter lines or anything else to hold on to…)

Thanks again for all the advice. I definitely agree this is not the boat you want to roll in. The good thing about it though is that it’s short and relatively light, so easy to carry on top of my ill-prepared VW GTI. Maybe with the Axis thigh braces it will get more natural and I won’t have to make a point of pressing my knees under the rim all the time

Yup re the lack of lines

– Last Updated: Sep-23-12 8:21 AM EST –

You managed to find out why I suggested that you test out rescues with this boat in a pool before assuming what you could do with a friend in it, or assume you could cowboy into it.

Lower decks and perimeter lines make a huge difference. And the slipperiness plus water in the forward area is no friend to your back in an assisted situation either.

One thing that may work with a boat like this - though it would still be most advantageous to perfect a roll in a boat that is more likely top go where you'll need to roll - is to scull it up rather than go for that big single motion roll. It's good for your stick skills to learn this, and it reduces that moment of big stress on body parts.

thoughts on upgrade
Hey everyone,

A somewhat related follow-up here. Obviously, I would like to upgrade to something more versatile, BUT I have significant transportation and storage limitations regarding the size of the upgrade boat. A regional store is having a great sale on Necky Manitou 13 -

Is anyone familiar with this? Is it an actual upgrade, or just inching up in the same general category?

Thanks again!

Rec Boats
I have rolled a 31 inch wide Torrent – once you have a good roll you can roll almost anything.

But, most paddlers go through stages:

  1. Get first roll in pool or on a calm lake
  2. Reliable roll in calm water
  3. First roll in current/waves
  4. Reliable roll in “conditions”
  5. Bombproof roll

    Number 4 is where it matters (where you actually need the roll).

    And the real issue with most rec boats is that you need such a large skirt. Large skirts are bad to implode and they might be a liability in some conditions when you end up in the water.

    $0.02 Jim

Dagger Axis Thigh Braces Installation
Looking for help installing Harmony Thigh Braces for Dagger Axis. Instructions that came with them aren’t very clear. Has anyone installed these?