Rolling: Paddle & Skirt question

Well, it hit 80 degrees here today, so lunch was spent on the river seeing if I might possibly remember how to roll (been a long time since I’ve done it).

Good news is I only missed it once, and was able to essentially brace off the bottom then. I’ve got two questions though as a result of my endeavors:

First of all, I’m using a borrowed Epic Wing till my Superior Greenland paddle arrives. The wing really seems to dive when I roll (I’m doing the roll I learned years ago in my white water days - believe it is usually referred to as a C to C - I’m forward on the boat, I sweep the paddle on the surface, hip snap, and I’m up). Anyway, the paddle kept going really deep on the sweep - even hitting the bottom as I was coming up. Is this somewhat normal with the wing or is my technique all buggered up?

Secondly, when I recently bought my new (used) Arctic Hawk, the good folks at our local outfitter recommended I go with a waterproof breathable skirt. Made good sense to me, figured it wouldn’t be quite as hot, etc. So, I bought the “deluxe” model (can’t recall the brand) - but it was close to $100, and seems to be really well made. Trouble is, they might have gotten the “breathable” part of the skirt right, but it sure as heck isn’t waterproof. After three rolls I had a couple of inches of water in the cockpit. Do I need to buy a different skirt for winter time / rough water / rolling practice? Could this skirt possibly be defective? I got the tunnel (which is neoprene at the top) nice and snug, I don’t need to use the suspenders to keep it in place. Any thoughts?


re: Rolling: Paddle & Skirt question

– Last Updated: Apr-20-04 1:39 PM EST –

I wouldn't worry too much about how deep your paddle is going for now. As you get more practice your hip snap will get more efficient and you will rely less on you upper body. Just make sure you continue to work on it every time you go out and it will feel more fluid.

Right on! Keep you paddle in the water

I have this skirt ( ) and it leaks too.

In the good season (winter as I’m in South Florida) I use a combo nylon/neoprene skirt with great results, no leakage at all.

I use the nylon skirt in the summer and the neo in the winter or while practicing

Good luck with your roll

Never seen a nylon skirt
that was dry for rolling. That’s it from me.

Wing + bottom = bad! L
Just looking out for the owner of that EPIC wing you’re borrowing. :wink: Thin carbon blades aren’t really made for contact with anything but water!

I like a neoprene skirt deck. Nylon tunnel for heat (and I only paddle in relative heat so can’t comment on neo tunnels other than to think they must make a lot of sense for comfort and warmth up North).

Wing paddle will work better with sweep
roll than with c2c. With c2c roll, the wing can easily slide forward or back and then down. With a sweep roll, the wing paddle is your friend, and will actively “fly” near the surface of the water. With otherwise excellent roll mechanics, you can roll with a 200 cm broom handle, but as long as you have blades, you will find it easier with blades which suit the style of roll you prefer.

Sweep vs. C to C
I agree that the sweep is the way to go. Rolling with my wing is easier than my standard paddle as when your sweep comes around to about a 90 degree angle, there’s a whole lot of purchase on the water-rarely have to even finish it off by tracing the blade with the eyes. Just be sure that your power face is flat to the surface when setting up. You can even roll with the back of the blade, but the wing wants to dive if moved from its predisposed purchase on the water. Also, I’d echo don’t even go close to the bottom! The blades can be fragile, especially the curved lip section-I wince when even gingerly using mine to brace upon when climbing it. Carbon splinters fairly suddenly, and is prone to ‘notch fatigue’ failure if nicked or gouged. As a mountain biker, ask me about this, and I’ll tell you stories…