Home Kayaks Learn to Roll Your Kayak Quickly with our Guide

Learn to Roll Your Kayak Quickly with our Guide

Kayak How to Roll
So, you got yourself a kayak and want to learn how to use it properly. One of the most useful things you need to learn is how to roll a kayak. Why is it an important technique? We will answer this question and more. Let’s get going!

Why Is It Important to Know This Technique?

Knowing how to roll a kayak is essential because it can get you out of trouble. If your kayak is capsized (or it is about to), then you will need to return it to an optimal form. The best way you can do this is by rolling it.

Things to Know Before You Start Rolling

When it comes to rolling a kayak, you should know that there are many different styles and techniques. However, you only need to know two or three of them. We recommend that you do this with an expert monitoring you.

We also recommend that you are well aware of the basics of kayaking before trying this technique. We also suggest that you learn the rolling technique from an instructor rather than by yourself.

You can practice the rolling technique in your swimming pool, at the beach or somewhere where the water won’t endanger you if you fail to do a proper roll. Remember that safety should always be your number one concern.

The Different Ways to Roll a Kayak

The C2C Rolling Technique

This is the most common roll method taught in kayaking. There are just three main things to memorize, and from there, all you need to do is practice with a friend or expert. Here is what you have to do:

  • Set yourself in the “homebase” position, lean and tuck forward. Then place your paddle parallel alongside with the boat with the front face blade facing upward. One hand should be behind your back while the other should be up.
  • Flip over and sweep the paddle into the “set up” position. Your paddle will be set at a ninety-degree angle to the boat. One hand will be in the water and the other up, out of the water.
  • This will help you get your paddle blade to stay flat on the water so you can use it as a leverage point from which you can snap out of the water with the boat back upright.
  • Once the paddle is at a ninety-degree angle to the boat, it is time to pull down and perform a hip snap. Keep your head down and pull it down towards your paddle blade. By doing all of these, you will get your boat upright. That’s how to roll a kayak C2C style.

You can also check this video to see how to perform a C2C kayak rolling method properly.

Long Lever Roll (Pawlata)

This technique is for beginners. It is a reliable and powerful method and is used by many kayak lovers. Here are a couple of steps that can help you to perform it. As usual, always have a friend or instructor near you when performing the roll.

  • Practice your hip snap with a friend that will hold a paddle at water level.
  • When you are ready, hold your paddle in the basic paddling position.
  • Slide your right hand along the paddle to the left and grasp it just beside your left hand.
  • After that, slide your left hand along the paddle to the left. Grasp the furthest corner of the left blade.
  • Lean forward from the waist and twist your entire upper body to the left until the paddle is parallel to the kayak. Keep the paddle near the side of the kayak.
  • Bend your arms slightly at the elbow. The hands should be in the water, and the blade of the paddle must be on the surface, touching the side of the kayak.
  • Roll and capsize in the start position. Once you are underwater, relax a little bit.
  • When you are underwater, bend your body to the left so that your head is floating just under the surface. Always check that your paddle has the active blade resting on the surface and the other blade in the air.
  • Now it is time to roll. Push using your right arm away from your kayak. Twist your body to the left, and you will feel your body emerging above the surface. The kayak will roll onto its side.
  • The paddle must be at the right angle with the kayak and the active blade away from the kayak.
  • Pull your right arm so that the active blade goes vertically downwards in the water. Lean backward and do the hip snap. The last thing that comes out of the water should be your head. That’s how you properly roll a kayak the Pawlata style.

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