Has anyone learned to roll in a cd squall? I like everything about mine but want to learn to roll this year. I know it’s not a romany but I think it should be ok to learn with. someone please tell me that when I initially miss rolls that it is my own fault and not the size or shape of the boat. I know the back deck is high, but the boat fits me well so I am hoping it will be suitable.

Celia did
Celia learned to roll using her CD Squall.

Not the shape or size of the boat
If it fits you and is outfitted properly you can learn to roll it. Proper instruction helps a great deal. You don’t have to do a lay back roll although I advocate them for most people (i.e., don’t worry about a high rear deck). A sweep roll is just as easy to learn and is very reliable. Don’t blame the boat. Blame the instructor if you aren’t getting it or yourself if you are not getting instruction.

not your fault
When you initially miss rolls it is the instructor’s fault. If they can’t teach you how to roll it means they lack the skills to teach you, NOT you lack the ability to learn.

agree 100%
If I have trouble teaching someone to roll (happens on occasion), I apologize to them for not being able to communicate to them effectively and then offer to try again next session or refer them to another instructor. The pressure is on me each time I teach someone to roll and never on the student.

That’s very impressive. Really, I mean that.

I did
Aside from some fit issues, it was not hard to learn to roll in the Squall. I had been paddling about a year at that point.

The fit issues I’m talking about are that I had to add more padding to the already-thick padding added to the stock thigh braces. Plus I slid around in the big seat, though it didn’t stop me from being able to roll. Probably made it harder to learn, though.

I had already swapped out the crappy hard backrest for a WW backband (SnapDragon).

Because the boat was tall and wide on me, I had to consciously jam up my knees to get good contact. Again, it may have hindered progress some, but this could be very different for you if the boat fits you better. I am 5’2".

(To give you an idea of how big the kayak was on me, I could paddle with both legs in the middle, knees bent up, and feet flat on the floor, without touching the thigh braces. Also, if I capsized and simply let up on my foot pressure, I would literally fall out, taking the sprayskirt with me.)

I like “The Kayak Roll” DVD. While I bought it after learning to roll, it was helpful in improving that roll.

Go for it. It’s not the boat–you might need to tweak the outfitting, though. Or get a good instructor.

Learning in a Squall

– Last Updated: Apr-02-07 8:36 AM EST –

As above it was the boat I started a roll in. My percentages were pretty low for a good bit, but it wasn't the boat. It was my super high level of anxiety. I am 5'4" and was able to jam my knees in there pretty good without padding, though with what I know now I'd have padded them down a bit as suggested by pikabike.

The boat does want a hip snap that'll get you well up, but it'll come up a lot easier from a good start than most north american boats of its design era. And when you are learning more is more re the hip snap. It's worth starting out with a really strong habit there. That will make your life much easier when you try and move the roll out of the pool.

The only technical piece that may be dicatated by the boat is what Dr Disco said above - a sweep roll that has you come up in the middle of the boat is likely to be a better idea than a layback. Or a CtoC if it seems to come easily to you, but for most the sweep is more accessible. Extended paddle or not on the sweep - whatever works for you and reduces the tendency to dive the blade.

The Squall remains a well-respected boat for starting someone out in sea paddling - there is a reason that CD redid the mold on the Squall a few years ago. Unless you want to launch right into Greenland stuff, the boat will get you started into more serious skills work just fine.

Oh - and drop the seat back all the way back for rolling work. But you probably already did that.

Don’t Worry About The Boat…

– Last Updated: Apr-02-07 8:28 AM EST –

the squall will roll (I had one) as most touring kayaks that fit you. Just focus on working with whoever is coaching you, especially on driving knee up on the "hip snap" and keeping your head down.

Focusing on the boat (whether it's "good" or "not") is just negative thinking, as if the roll is dependent on the boat rather than on technique. I remember coaching this rather small woman to roll her 24" wide Carolina in less than 15 minutes with an extended paddle. She was new to kayaking and had no clue that she had a boat that is supposed to be "hard to roll."


thank you
thank you to all of you for the input. now I will not have it in the back of my head that the boat is making things more challenging. I expected exactly what everyone said.I will be looking forward to warm water now!