The inconsistent roll

Question: Should I push the recovery knee all the way throughout the roll? I kind of stop head down, and use lots of time to set up for the roll. Also, watching you roll in the video, it seems that you lean with your arms fixed and your hands on the side of the kayak in the set-up position from the start. It also seems that you bend your back elbow and already have your recovery arm up high when starting the roll. Is that right? The water kind of stops my upper body going around. What exercises can I do for flexibility? I am 56 years old and not at my strongest right now.

Answer: It is common for the roll to be inconsistent at first, but with practice, it will become consistent. The recovery knee is engaged from the underwater set-up through to the recovery onto the back deck. Essentially, the roll starts from the underwater set-up position. If you are finding that you are stopping head down, bend forward so that your face is just below the surface. Make sure that your shoulders are square to the ground and push your right hand above the surface (if rolling up on the right side). This is the position that you are referring to on the video where the arms and hands are on the side of the kayak.

Here’s a link that might help with the problems that you’re having capsizing:

As far as exercises to increase flexibility, please check out our new DVD, Yoga for Outdoor People, which will be available in August.

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