Greenland Paddles, Euro Blades, Qajaqs and Kayaks

Question: I wondered if you knew of any resources for good rolling, videos/techniques with standard paddles and non-greenland boats? Most of the rolling videos I see are with Greenland boats and sticks, or little whitewater boats. What about the everyday kayaker with, say, a Brit boat or recreational tourer? Would be really useful I think to see some more widely applicable videos using standard craft and paddles.
Answer: Thanks for your message. I really enjoy discussing this topic. The techniques that are described in my rolling DVD are suitable for any type of paddle and any type of kayak. In fact, most of our students don’t have Greenland paddles or Greenland style kayaks. Of the kayaks that we own three are Greenland style (a west Greenland skin-on-frame, a Tahe Marine Greenland and a Valley Anas Acuta) and three are not (a P&H Cetus MV, a P&H Delphin and a Tiderace). The maneuvers on the DVD can be performed in any of them.

Last year I wrote an article for Ocean Paddler magazine demonstrating this and sampled lots of kayaks. I’ve also covered the subject in Sea Kayaker magazine, and they posted this video to go along with my article: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiAIPYRWHEo . The kayak shown here is a very common Brit Boat (a Romany), and I’m wearing standard touring gear. As far as the type of paddle, rolling has to do with the body and not the paddle, so with good technique, the roll should work whether you’re using a Euro blade, a GP or an Invisible paddle (see the top video on this page: http://www.greenlandorbust.org/stuff/ ). That said, for many of us that get hooked on rolling, we find that some kayaks are more comfortable to do very advanced rolls in (such as the Elbow Roll or Straightjacket Roll) because of the low back deck. The rolls also look very sleek when performed in a low volume kayak. However, most of the rolls on the competition rolling list can be done just as comfortably in any type of sea kayak. I learned all of my rolls in a plastic Tempest 170.

It seems gear specific when you call a Standard Greenland Roll that name, but the same roll can also be described as a Sweep Roll or a Standard Roll. The Storm Roll is similar to a C to C Roll, so really the difference is in the language not in the gear itself.

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