Rolling with Half a Euro Paddle?

Spare euros typically seem to be stored under the deck bungies in two pieces. I can imagine a scenario in which I capsize and lose my primary paddle in one fell swoop.

Assuming one doesn’t have a hand roll, is there a known or recommended technique for rolling with half a euro paddle? I’m thinking of experimenting with it regardless. Thoughts?

open boat roll
Low brace roll like is done in open canoes. Don’t know if it works with half a K paddle, but it works with a canoe paddle.

In some ways it’s easier than using a full paddle – no inboard end to get in the way. I saw someone win a speed rolling contest(most in 30 seconds) using half a euro paddle. I’ve never tried using a canoe paddle, so the closest thing I can compare it to is doing a sweep roll with a storm paddle.

Easy to do and why I carry my splits up
front. Look at the roll list on the great lakes kayaker site:

I’ve done them in the C1 and the norsaq roll variation./


same as with a full paddle!
Hold the half paddle and roll the same way you would with a full paddle. Don’t over think it. Your hands will probably be closer together though. At first do a few with the paddle half already in your hands. Then practice retrieving it from under the deck rigging. It is easier to get to the spare paddle if it is stowed on the front deck. (hint: remove the drip rings).

I have also grabbed the end of the half paddle like it was a canoe paddle (obviously minus the the t-grip). It works just was well, if not easier.

I don’t think I would have the needed leverage for my boat.

Actually may be easier
than with a “complete” paddle. Certainly easier to “skull” to the surface with half a paddle. Obviously, boat characteristics will determine how effective you will be but I’d say that if you can roll with a two-bladed paddle, you’d most likely be successful skulling up with half a paddle. Give it a try - and practice as often as you can. And yes, storing at least half a paddle forward makes it easier…

To you for the answer (“hold it as you would a regular paddle”) and to the OP for asking the question. It’s one I’ve wondered about.

Someone I know said he had to perform an exercise in large swells, in which students were told to ditch their paddles, capsize, and then figure out some way of rolling back upright again. My first reaction when he described this exercise was, “Try to assemble the two halves while you’re still capsized. Yeah, RIGHT. Or maybe a hand roll, ummmmmmm.” He told me the instructor did in fact assemble the two halves while upside down and then roll up. But he, the student, grabbed one half and rolled up with just that.

Ohhhhh, that’s yet another thing to practice. Gotta try it next time out!

Holy cripes that’s a lot of rolls! I found a video link off that page; I’ll post a link further down.


I guess it’s called a “Splits Roll”. See second video on the left:

Thanks to all responders. With luck I’ll get a chance to try it this weekend.

Done it as others have described.

– Last Updated: Sep-14-07 8:58 AM EST –

Look here under "splits roll":

First time, I tried sculling up which worked, but I had a crescent shaped cut in my thumb from the detent hole. Because of this, I'd prefer doing something more like a norsaq angel roll with a euro if I couldn't hand roll up. Last resort would be sculling and risking a hole in my thumb again.


rolling is not about leverage
I am not trying to be harsh, but if you are relying on leverage (even during a C-C roll) you aren’t using good technique.

Don’t limit yourself by thinking you need leverage. Instead modify your rolling technique and expand your rolling ability.

Use the Correct Half

– Last Updated: Sep-13-07 9:44 PM EST –

I just went out and failed. Dayumn! Why did that feel so weird? Because I had tried to roll right using the left half. When I used the right half I came right up!

I think a storm paddle would be a better thing to grab in an emergency.

When you lose or break your main blade
would a storm paddle be the paddle you want to have all day, all trip (whatever the length)? Can a fellow paddler in your group, whose broken or lost their main blade be accomodated with your storm paddle? When you store your splits, perhaps you might want to consider which one to go for. The split with the button is usually harder to yank out of bungies. Just some thoughts.

Augustus Dogmaticus


does it really make a difference?
if you are using half a paddle then there is no feathering - if that messes you up. It also shouldn’t which half of the paddle you have in your hands. The shape of the blade in this situation would be almost negligible. It also shouldn’t really matter if you have the paddle power face up or down.

Unless you are using the old Hee Haw joke of right-handed and left-handed nails… then I get the joke.

May not matter
Kudzu, when I do a re-enter and roll I go from underneath the capsized kayak and get in via a reverse somersault. It’s not hard to do but due to the messing with orientation, I end up rolling up with the paddle blades “wrong.” It has not mattered. Maybe I was just lucky, though.

practice both ways
A few years back I THOUGHT I heard that during a 5* they went over in conditions, assembled their splitpaddles and then rolled up. I had already practiced the half paddle rolling up and had that down but then I needed to learn how to put them together and roll up.

Try it, it really isn’t bad. I practiced it a few times and it was quick and easy. Don’t need to see things to be able to do them. I do have my eyes open but it is really assemble by feel.

BTW, it turned out I heard wrong and they weren’t actually practicing putting the splits together. No matter, the more you practice doing under water, the better you are at remaining cool when you do go over inadvertently.

Reassembling your paddle would go under the same category as putting on your skirt when re-entering and rolling. Great to practice but I probably won’t actually do it if I went over in a tidal race.


Easiest roll of all…
no long paddle shaft and other-unused blade to get in the way. If you do laybacks as I do anyway!

If you ever did a norsaq roll or angel roll its pretty much the same except that with a Euro spoon blade its like a norsaq roll on crack! You get lots (really, too much) leverage on that big blade and when you do your sweep with it one handed you layback and move your other arm/shoulder/then back across your rear deck. Easier than a regular roll - which is why I now consider the Angel roll to be my main one instead of a standard roll. Just my opinion as everyone is different!


Well FWIW, extended paddle positions are effective because they increase leverage, whether you feel it or not.

Another Day…
Ok, I just rolled both directions with one half, then both directions with the other half. I don’t like it but I can do it. I think my problem yesterday was the #2 large combo from Wendy’s right before getting in the boat. Mmm… 42 ounce chocolate frosty. Very bloaty and sinky.

Pika, I hope you can get some time with a good Greenland paddle if you haven’t already. I don’t think I’m ever going back to euro.