Kayak roll

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The Kayak Roll (often referred to as an "Eskimo roll") is the act of righting a capsized kayak by use of body motion and/or a paddle. Typically this is done by lifting the torso towards the surface, flicking the hips to right the kayak halfway up and applying a righting force by means of the paddle while tucking close to the front or back deck.


Several styles of Kayak roll are in use including the Eskimo, C-to-C, Sweep, Screw, Extended Paddle (Pawlata), various hybrids, and hand roll. The roll styles in use vary both regionally and by type of kayak. In the USA, the C-to-C has traditionally been taught in the eastern half of the country while either the older screw or more modern sweep roll have been used in the western half.

Mastering the roll usually requires both instruction and practice. A reliable roll is key to improving both the fun and safety level of both whitewater and sea kayaking.

It is possible to perform a roll in certain kinds of canoes, provided the canoeist is strapped in and provided that the canoe is of a rollable hull profile and uses floatation bags and/or a spraydeck. Rolling a canoe is considerably harder than a kayak, especially in a tandem canoe where the upright motion requires precise coordination between the canoeists.

Failed rolls often allow the paddler enough time to grab a breath, so if they stay calm and don't panic, multiple attempts can be performed.

Types of roll

There are two general classifications of rolls - brace rolls...
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