shallow water roll

How does one roll in 6", 1ft and 2 ft of water? All too shallow to set up.


Roll without setting up
Eric Jensen’s video talks about this.

2’ And Over, You Have Room

– Last Updated: Dec-10-06 1:30 PM EST –

to roll as you would normally, unless you're exceptionally tall. Otherwise, push off with whichever hand is free and "snap" up as with a paddle roll.

Hope you got a helmet on if you in stuff that flips in such shallow water. If you on a white water reef, let the boat get past you on downstream side before trying (to get up on upstream side) or you risk damaging your shoulder.


This is a good question.
I had had to roll my sea kayak twice from shallow water, once from a ledge at a waterfall with my shoulder on the bottom. There was no romm to sweep, so I put the paddle out at 90 degrees and hip snapped up. This is now something that I regularly practice on shallow, sandy lake bottoms.


Roll in 6 inches of water?
I don’t thing it’s even possible to capsize in 6 inches of water…is it? Wouldn’t you just kind of fall over and land with 6 inches of your shoulder in the water and the rest of you out of the water? If that happened to me, I would just push myself back up.

I did flip in about 18" of rushing water once and had to let go of my paddle so I could push up off a rock.

Sand Roll
I don’t think the Greenland paddle sites include this because it can’t be done in a swimming pool.

This is a roll where you window shade right as the wave starts sucking back out, you use the angular of the momentum of the wave to help spin you upright as you use your paddle or hand to brace off the beach and pop upright.

You have to be very cool to execute this roll, you also need to take a bow for anyone watching as you sit high and dry on the beach when you are done.

No Mystery…
you can only be capsized in six inches of water, if you were in stuff that flipped you in deeper water and pushed you onto much shallower water. It’s actually kind of a dicey situation, assuming there is water forces still acting on you. Attempting a paddle roll, without awareness, can lead to an injury.

One of the scariest things was watching a “student” in NHAMC ww school try to roll up as she got pushed into a reef, over which a foot of fast flowing water, was rushing. She tried to roll on the downstream side and I winced as I can almost feel the pain shooting through her shoulder as the paddle jammed into the rocks and then her boat slammed into the shaft. Anyway, she lucked out and ended with only a strained shoulder and was out for the rest of the weekend.


shallow water rolling
doing a shollow water roll:

keep your body forward and tucked to your set up side, and rotate your body. a common mistake is extending the body down which will put you in contact with the bottom, and is part of a poor executed roll.

common in the surf zone is a sand roll. this is done by keeping the body low and pushing off the sand with your hands (not paddle!)

when surfing i usually end up doing a
back deck roll…easier for me…faster over the stern of the surf boat (not much there)…plus i can do it in shallower waters and nto have to worry as much about tucking as hard as i can then being dropped onthe back of my head…

too the back
yes, this is the position i tend to fall. i find the back deck the most used roll in shallow water, next to a hand roll.

good form on these rolls prevents injury!

Harder To Do A Backdeck Roll
in less than 2’ of water than just pushing off with your hand. Better have a hand in front of your face too if you are in 1’ of water. Beach rash on the face is an unpleasant thing.


One of the benifits
of learning many of the greenland rolls is that they teach you roll up from many different positions. When I find myself getting flipped in shallow water my paddle tells me pretty quick that the water is shallow and I will use the bottom to brace off of to roll up.

happens at the beach
I asked this question because I practice braces by sitting parallel to the break in small waves, less than 2 or 3 ft. Generally I can avoid capsize indefinitely, but not always. I hate to capsize deliberately in the waves in shallow water, although the southern california beach where and when I do this is sandy and mellow. But with my shoulder on the sand, it is too turbulent to figure out where my paddle is and too deep to roll up with my hand. Plus my brain does not seem to be able to appraise the situation. Not sure how to overcome this nor how to practice.


Marine Room?
Where you paddling?

Capsize Deliberately A Lot
in the same water. Don’t try to stay up. What you want is to practice orienting yourself to the bottom, the movement of the water, and where and when to roll up, whether with paddle or hand. Just keep in mind, you’re are in a relatively safe situation. You’re playing. It’s no big deal to come out of the boat and try again.

The more you play this stuff the more you roll becomes natural in conditions, much more so than just practicing a pool roll.

Kudos for effort! Oh, wear a helmet.


push off the bottom.

– Last Updated: Dec-12-06 6:15 AM EST –

Try this?

– Last Updated: Dec-12-06 6:43 AM EST –

This may only work if you capsize on the side away from the beach, boat between you and the beach. Not sure how it'd go on the beach side. But yeah, I get the part about being over in that stuff and not being able to figure out what is going on. While I am OK on both and only the bit of time it'll take to concentrate on it from a hand roll on one side, moving water confounds.

Instead of going for a full roll, how about you work on sculling so that you can get yourself halfway up? Then worry about the rest of the trip up once you are stable there. It'll teach you patience and really good feel for letting the paddle find its power face in the water, which is probably where any fatal failures are happening more than your body position.

In anything moving around like the stuff close to the beach, putting your paddle down to pole vault off the bottom isn't a great solution anyway. The water moving in and out is likely to suck the paddle over or move the boat so that it challenges getting up. Your best shot is going to be to get your body tucked to front or back deck (have a brim on your helmet?), the paddle close to the surface even if not parked in setup, then think about getting clear. (Now if I could remember that myself...)

not going to harm my looks…
blends in with the red beard