which DVD to buy?

EJ’s Rolling and Bracing, or The Kayak Roll?

I have heard good things about both but frugality dictates I only buy one.

First Roll
My personal fav is Jay Babina’s ‘First Roll.’


Just To Balance Things…

– Last Updated: Feb-05-06 5:44 AM EST –

I have never seen "The Kayak Roll" but EJ's DVD did wonders for me. If you can brace the way he teaches, you should never need a roll... but you'll have one.

SPea< i have only EJs, and not other

– Last Updated: Feb-05-06 8:14 AM EST –

And I have considered getting the Kayak Roll but must say, like Kudzu, that EJs seesm to be enougj. I will know more this spring when I learn to roll usinsg EJs only, but it is about 40 minutes long, and it shows him and his kids (his 10 year old son and 14 year old dtr) rolling again and again, but gives superb commentary, has underwater footage, and great audio and video quality. In addition, EJ is a pretty engaging fellow with an easy demeanor and sometimes witty and, yeah I'm man enough to say it -- for ladies out there, he's not too bad on the eyes. He shows every single step of the roll, from lean, to hip snap, to poaddle placement. He says that, in his pool sessions, regardles of boat, he can have anyone rolling in 15 minutes! And some is filmed with he and his kids in the pool, and some is filmed in his class, watching newbies flubdub around, and he gets them rolling. Of note, he does the rolling in the whitewater yaks, but never mentions that this is a WW video (outdoors footage is of white water rolling, a bonus). I think this is mainly though because he is ain a pool and a bunch of sea kayaks would be too big. I have Nigel's video series, which gives about ten minutes to the roll (does not seem quite enough) and I can see the techniques are similar, it's just thaty EJs is so much more detailed as it is about this one topic. So, the teachings do translate to sea yaks, like we have. Finally, for about ten minutes on an additional chapter DVD, he gives tips to teachers, telling them how he teaches, such as, "the student usually gets stuck here, so (do this) to help them..." etc., very helpful even for us. I bought EJs on eBay used. I'd send it to you, but have to use it to learn. (remember, once you have a bomproof roll, you can --even if you bought it new--sell the DDV on eBay and almost for sure get at least half your cost back :) You may have seen my earlier January post about learning to roll from a video alone, and several pnetters chimed in and said they did indeed learn on theri own from books and DVDs (did not say specifically which one) without a class! That is my goal, and sounds like yours too. So, without seeing the Kayak Rolling DVD, and before I have tried it this springtime, here is a vote for EJs based on itscontent and -- by the end of my viewing--it has indeed given me the feeling tha I can do it. Paddle on, SPeabody (if you lived a little closer, I'd learn with you). :) (PS thanks for the Erie Paddle info..I'm checking that zip :)

I have both
EJ’s method is much easier and teaches you a better strategy for kayaking … how to come up when you tip over, either by rolling or bracing. The Kayak Roll is dogmatic. You can teach your self to roll with EJ’s method. See if you can find The Kayak ROll used from amazon.com it’s still worth the trouble shooting section. Lot’s of paddling clubs have loaner copies floating around.

I have both and they are both great.
That doesn’t help you much if you can only buy one for now. Here is my take. I first bought the Kayak Roll and used this with some pool instruction to learn the sweep/screw roll. I would watch this before and after class - many times. I also had a friend take digital camera movie clips so I could view my technique and progress and compare it to the Kayak Roll video. I saw very quickly what I was doing well and what areas needed work. For instance I learned that I was not finishing my roll (e.g. getting to the finish position) as explained in the video.

Later on, after I developed a decent onside roll, I purchased EJs Rolling and Bracing video on the advice of one of my instructors and have been using this to help me bombproof my roll. There are some great practice skills in this video, especially for bracing.

One thing that may make a difference to you - EJs video demonstrates these techniques only in whitewater boats while the Kayak Roll uses both sea kayaks and whitewater boats, although the focus is more on whitewater boats.

IMO, The Kayak Roll would be better if you are trying to learn on you own, or if your instructors do not teach/are not familiar with EJs method. Most of my instructors do a C to C roll, but also knew how to teach the sweep/screw roll. I don’t think any of them teach via EJs method.

If you were an instructor and were going to teach someone how to roll I think EJs method might be easier to teach. The steps are broken down into a simple progression that do not require the student to be thinking about multiple things at once. However, I think this teaching method requires an instructor familiar with the method to teach it. Probably not something you can easily learn on your own.

Good luck!


I Have Both
I just bought EJ’s roll a couple of weeks ago. I have had the Kayak roll for almost a year. I think I must have almost worn out my copy of the Kayak roll and with some help from others it got me to my first roll. I am still working on getting a better roll and recently purchased EJ’s roll as it came highly recommended.

I think both are good. I would give the nod to the Kayak Roll due to breaking each step down a little better and mapping out individual body movements. Than may just be me, (Im an engineer and can’t help it).

Happy Paddling,


all three are good
If you want to learn the extended paddle roll (easiest starting point), get Jay’s video, especially if you paddle greenland. If you paddle with a Euro paddle and want to learn the screw roll ending up vertical looking down the paddle (good if your back isn’t flexible or you have a higer back deck boat)then the Kayak Roll is a great starting place. If you want to begin with a high brace and end up on the back deck looking up, as with the greenland rolls but with a Euro paddle, get EJ’s video. I have all three, and have benefited from all of them–if you can only get one video and you plan to teach yourself to roll and you want the easiest method with the highest chance of success, get Jay’s video.

I took a kayak rolling course and out of eight participants no one learned to roll. I eventually learned the C to C but was inconsistant. I then bought EJ’s Rolling and Bracing and after studying it for a week I was rolling a WW boat in about twenty minutes. I thought it might be more difficult to roll a sea kayak but it turned out to be actually easier, at least in my boat which is a Tempest 170 Pro.

Hit the nail on the head …
I think you have hit the nail on the head. Although I have not seen Jay’s video, your comments about the others are right on. I learned on a somewhat wide, high rear deck boat and I also don’t have a lot of flexibility. The Kayak Roll is perfect for this. Now I am working on greenland rolls with a GP on a low rear deck easy to roll kayak and I find EJ demonstrates some great practice exercises, especially for bracing.


Funny no one mentioned…
that The Kayak Roll video teaches a sweep roll while EJ’s movie teaches a lay-back roll.

A lot of boats have high rear decks or the paddlers have limited flexibility, both which make it harder to do lay-back rolls. In this case, the sweep would probably be a better choice.

One the other hand, EJ’s bracing lessons are great.

I have both
I had the kayak roll first but could not teach myself using it. After I watched ej’s I was rolling in 20 mins. After I learned to roll with ej’s meathod I was able to teach myself using the kayak roll, which I find is less stressful on my body.


Thanks to all
especially a couple of generous p-netters who e-mailed me, offering to let me borrow their DVD’s. What a great group of people we have here! Seems like more people have the Kayak Roll, so I think for now I will order EJ’s DVD for myself and borrow the Kayak Roll. Then if I like the Kayak Roll, I can always pick it up later or keep an eye out for a deal on e-bay.

Somebody said the Kayak Roll helps with long boats more than EJ’s, and I do want to eventually learn to roll my long boat, too. But for right now my focus is on the ww boat. All things in time…

Thanks again,


I have “First Roll” for sale @ $15
Includes postage. Wheels78@yahoo.com