The Shotgun Roll

Question: When attempting the Shotgun Roll I go over and am able to keep the paddle on my chest and wait for the tip of the  paddle to surface. I then turn my hand palm up and sweep, thus rotating the boat on its side whereby I am able to breath. However that is it. Because the paddle is straight out from my hand and not perpendicular (like in a Balance Brace), I am not feeling any support, and I can’t slide up on my back deck. The paddle sweeps as far  as the center of my boat, and then if I can’t work my hand to the center so I can do a Balance Brace and slide up, the boat flops over on me and I need to do a layback recovery roll. What am I missing here?

Answer: It sounds like you have the concept right. There could be a couple of things that are preventing you from recovering. Make sure that you are flat on your back and sweeping the paddle so that it finishes perpendicular to your kayak. If recovering on the right side of your kayak, try pushing your left shoulder toward the ground during the sweep to square off your shoulders. Engage your knee at the start of the sweep, and right the kayak as early as possible. You should feel an arch in your lower back if the kayak is righted enough during the recovery. This is a very slow roll, and when done correctly the paddle will provide a lot of lift, more so than the Butterfly Roll.

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