Crook of the Elbow Roll

Question: When I try to do a Crook of the Elbow Roll, the paddle shaft floats up out of the grip of my arm. How do I keep it in place? Grip it harder?

Answer: Unfortunately, simply gripping the paddle harder won’t help. Keeping the paddle shaft in the crook of the elbow has to do with torso rotation, and for this roll, flexibility plays a huge part. When performing the roll with a right side recovery, during the above water set-up position the paddle needs to be in the crook of the right elbow and hooked over the left side of the bow of the kayak. If this rotation feels easy, then the paddle should stay in place throughout the roll. If this rotation feels difficult, then the paddle is likely to slip up the arm toward the wrist during the roll itself. The best way to increase the necessary flexibility for this roll is to practice it. Over time flexibility will increase, and the roll will become easier. – Helen

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