Progression from Butterfly Roll to Hand Roll

Question: I am doing fine on my onside standard roll, but my easiest roll is always the butterfly roll. I have been looking at some Greenland roll videos online and the hand rolls look very similar to me to the butterfly rolls. Do they feel very similar? Any advice before I try one?

Answer: A hand roll is very similar to a butterfly roll. To progress to this really fine tune your butterfly roll. Make sure that your shoulders are square to the surface before righting your kayak and that your body is out to the side as far as possible, while keeping your shoulders flat. Also, as with any roll, make sure that you’re putting as little pressure as possible on the paddle (any roll has way more to do with body mechanics than what’s in the paddler’s hand). When you feel that you are ready to move on, work on a layback norsaq roll. To start, hold the norsaq in the center, just as you would when doing a butterfly roll. It’s the exact same roll, so all the same rules apply (flat shoulders, arched back, etc.). When this is easy for you, try doing the same roll while holding the smaller end of the norsaq. The Greenlandic name for this roll is Norsamik Nerfalallugu (Throwing Stick, Front to Back). Once this feels natural to you and you’re ready to progress, remove the norsaq and do the same roll. That’s your hand roll (Assammik Nerfallallugu).


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