Rolling on one’s off side

I’ve been practicing my rolling, and it is much more difficult for me on my off side. Do most people have the experience where it’s twice as hard on one side as the other? And any advice aside from just… practicing?

Yes I found one side easier then the other, but on back deck rolls I do best on one side and on forward finishing rolls I do better on the other.

I can fail rolls equally well on either side however.

For me, offside rolls did not come naturally, suspect like many folks. Developing reliable offside rolls, particularly forward-finishing, required slowing the roll and concentrating on which thigh was driving the kayak - with my right thigh being the ‘default,’ an offside roll can be sabotaged if I unthinkingly apply the right thigh.
Practice, like you said, was required to learn to unconsciously put the correct leg in drive. Practice, instructional videos, and great coaches. Delmarva cometh.

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I’m a bit odd with the whole thing. I throw a baseball with my right, and to throw with my left feels quite awkward comparitively. I hit a baseball left handed, and to swing a bat right handed feels equally as awkward comparitively. I don’t think I’m as strictlly right or left handed as most people are, but I really don’t know for sure.
If I really want to name my offside, I’m honestly not sure which one to pick. But I will have days when a roll on one side or the other might feel a little off. And I’ll usually roll that side several times to diagnose and fix it. I think about what each leg is doing and what each arm is doing mostly. It’s the knowing what each individual body part should be doing that allows me to correct. The most typical issues for me are the non-sweeping hand and the leg that’s supposed to be relaxed.


Try using a long Greenland which helps and you can switch back once you have the muscle memory established.

I’m only using a Greenland paddle now, my Euro paddle has been benched. Probably should sell it…. :smile:

I guess everyone’s body is different and I just need more practice on my off side. It’s just so much less intuitive that it’s frustrating.

Thanks for the advice.

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you got it.
Partly, it’s just a ‘mind’ thing.
When you’re rolling on your ‘off-side’, you know it’s your ‘weak’ side, so you think you should fail.
Just practice a lot on that off-side.

It still happens to me a bit when ‘practicing’ on the off-side (thinking gets in the way).
However, in real conditions (not practice) - surf, rough water, etc., if I get knocked over, I don’t know what side I’m on - I just to a ‘by instinct’ roll, no ‘thinking’ involved.

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Practice where you need to roll up, not just where you have a session where you tip over with anxiety that you will flub it. Try good sized wind waves close to shore, mild whitewater; pool practice and calm water are fine but don’t really produce the instincts you need. Having a bag of tricks of forward/backdeck, normal, extended paddle etc gives you more confidence.

Good advice but you’re getting ahead of me. :grin: