Two approaches to learning to roll?

brace versus sweep rolls
There is a very nice compilation of brace rolls (c-c is paradigm, emphasis on hipsnap) and sweep rolls (Green layback is paradigm, emphasis is on gradually rolling kayak under you by twisting torso from the rolling knee) at: Most folks who paddle Euro as their standard roll end up with a mix that emphasizes one or the other, often differently for onside and offside. For example, even with a GP, my offside roll has more a brace feel to it than my onside. However, with a GP the distinction between brace and layback (sweep) rolls really comes to the fore as the forward finishing rolls require a strong hipsnap. Also, the unassisted (hand) and norsaq rolls require a stronger truncal/hip motion than a sweep with the full paddle even when finished in the layback position. For someone (as Kudzu, who by the way has a lovely sweep roll, points out) with more capacity for finesse than strength moves, I find the forward finishing rolls harder to master. They also require different muscle memory, and the transition from learning layback to brace rolls can be difficult as a result. Put simply, I tend to default to finishing on the backdeck even when I know that I need to crunch my knee to my chin. Those of you who aren’t sure about this compare the storm (Greenland version of a C-C) and standard Greenland rolls: . The best rollers whether GP or Euro can do a wide variety of rolls that blend into eachother (as Sing points out) in much the same graceful way that boat control strokes blend into eachother. What’s cool about the GP is that the GP roll progression facilitates this sort of learning, or at least that’s been my experience. Most paddlers, including me, will never experience the subtleties of this discussion. However, almost anyone with a little bit of dedication can master an onside standard Greenland roll. One of the best paddlers I know has a couple of variations on the high brace/standard GP roll, and that’s it. He never comes out of his boat. Better to have something than can get you up reliably than to be lost in the complexities of all these different roll variations. They are fun and instructive, but the key is to get a reliable onside and offside combat roll. The rest is cake.