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Kayak Reverse Sweep Roll

Step by Step

A: Hold the paddle extended out to the right at chest level, left hand close to the end of the blade, with the blade across your palm, and right hand the same way grasping the loom.
Rotate your body clockwise. Hook the end of the paddle on the left side of the back of the boat. Lean your body towards the back of the boat to dig the paddle deeper into the water.
It is critical to have your right knee in good contact with the masik or thigh brace.
Roll in backwards.


B: When the boat is fully upside down, you should feel the paddle blade is out of the water. If you don't feel the blade is out of the water, reach up and waggle the paddle around until you find the surface. You should be now facedown in the water with your back arched backwards.

C: While swinging the paddle towards the front of the boat, keeping your left hand at your chest, arch your back, then do a crunch. This arch to crunch motion, combined with lifting your knee towards your head, will cause the boat to rotate and will keep your head low and in the water.

D: By the time your paddle is perpendicular to the boat, you should be in the crunch position. Sweep the paddle across the foredeck in the low brace finish.

Not only does this roll look really impressive, it also is very powerful. It is a sweep roll starting from behind and finishing forward. It was also the first roll I learned where you roll in backwards rather than face forward.

When learning this roll it is especially important to be in good contact with your cockpit, it is all too easy to lose your feeling of being at one with the kayak when bent over backwards and trying to find the kayak with your knee while doing the arch to crunch move is a real challenge. I found it useful to consciously jam my right knee hard against the masik just prior to rolling in, this strong feeling of connection helped me instinctively do the right knee raise when upside down and back to front!

Additional help is available here:

If you find this video useful please consider purchasing the entire collection on the Rolling with Sticks DVD

Christopher Crowhurst (kayaker)   |  Boat: Tahe Marine Greenland kayak   |  Blade: Novorca

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