The 360 degree roll

Question: I have made great progress on layback rolls using your DVD, and can do the Side Scull, the Standard Roll and an unassisted Balance Brace on both sides of the kayak, when I go down and come up on the same side. Recently I have tried transitioning to capsizing on the opposite side, and am finding it surprisingly difficult. Your video shows you going over with extended arms holding the paddle flat to the water alongside, but I am not clear on how you get the paddle back to the chest for a proper sweep using the core and not the arms.

Answer: It’s great to hear that the Side Scull, Standard Roll and Balance Brace are working for you when you go down and come up on the same side. The following description is with a right side recovery. Modify as needed.

To help transition to the full 360 degree Standard Roll, first, when going down and coming up on the same side, make sure that the paddle is above the surface during the underwater set up. This will likely mean that you’re hanging out underwater for a couple of seconds before starting the roll. If you’re having a hard time reaching the surface, push your left shoulder to the ground. This will ensure that your shoulders are parallel to the surface of the water. If (once) you’ve got a clean set up with the paddle above the surface, then you’re ready to capsize on the opposite side.

Place the paddle flat on the surface of the water on the left side of the kayak. Make sure that the front blade is flat to the surface of the water and that the paddle is to your left, not forward (this will put your shoulders in the correct position for the recovery). Keeping the paddle touching the kayak, capsize to the left and wait until the kayak has fully capsized and your hands are on the surface (palms up). Then push your right hand straight up (to the sky) while keeping your left shoulder down (so that your back is parallel to the surface of the water). You should feel your hand break the surface. Once this has happened, you’ll find yourself in the position that you’re used to, and you can recover the same way.

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