Pool Session Prerequisites

 Some prerequisites before your first pool roll session


 If you have or are buying a boat, get fitted properly for it


Not only get a boat to fit your height and weight, but make sure you get the outfitter, or an instructor to get the foot brace, knee braces, hip pads, and back band fitting correctly.  The wrong sized boat or an improper fit will hamper learning the roll.  Make sure you get a spray skirt that fits you and the boat correctly.

If you haven't bought a boat yet, boats are usually available for borrowing at the roll session.  Spray skirts are sometimes at a premium, so if you buy anything, get one of these first.  Size?  Get a size that will most likely fit the first boat you buy.  XL is a good bet.  Some boats still take L.  Get the tunnel size that fits you best.

If your paddle has a perfectly round shaft (most "expensive" paddles have a cam-like cross section), sometimes it is helpful to glue something on the shaft to help "index" it - so you can tell if your dominant hand is in the forward stroke position without you having to look.


 Get a pair of tight fitting nose clips with lanyard and bring them to each roll session

 No sense getting water up your nose.  Nose plugs.jpg


 Optional:  get a pair of goggles or a mask and bring them to the sessions

 Goggles.jpg It is useful to see what your body and paddle position are under water.  If you have problems with opening your eyes in pool water, get a pair of goggles or a mask.

 Get comfortable under water (not in your boat) for 15-20 seconds

Being relaxed and comfortable under water is one of the keys to getting a roll.  When you get a rock solid roll, you rarely spend more than 5 seconds under water.  While learning the roll, it will take a little longer, and you want to have time to attempt at least 2 rolls.  If you are not comfortable under water out of your boat, you surely aren't going to be when you are in it.  Hold Breath.jpg

 View these videos

Watching these videos, you'll get a sense of what the rolls looks like, why they work, and the terminology involved.  Generally, with your instructor, you'll choose to learn the Sweep Roll or C-to-C Roll (or a close modification of one of these) as your first roll.  Don't expect to learn how to roll just watching these.


  Here is an overview.
 Common threads to all kayak rolls.  
   The C-to-C kayak roll
 The backdeck sweep roll  

Roll Troubleshooting-Hip Snap from Chris Wing on Vimeo.

The hip snap is so important, here is another video that describes some problems and solutions and shows the C-to-C and sweep roll side-by-side.

 Check the BWA calendar for the available roll sessions. 

Click here to go to the BWA Calendar.  Register and make the commitment to come.  Or come out and just watch what is going on for free.  


 If you want more information, here are some suggested DVDs

^^ Up: The Kayak Roll: A BWA Roadmap Next:  Learning Your First Roll >> 

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