Of course being able to roll on one side (only) is much better than not being able to roll at all, and in that sense is competent rolling for a kayaker. However, that's not the question I'm asking.
The question is if you want to consider yourself a competent roller in all reasonable circumstances, a highly skilled roller, an advanced intermediate roller -- I'm not sure what words to use -- do you really have to have a roll on both sides?
To ask the question a different way: If you have a solid roll on your strong side, should you be content with that? Or should you continue continue your practice onto your weak side as a natural progression of kayaking competence?
If your answers would be different in ocean vs. whitewater vs. lake paddling, I think that would be of interest to the discussion.
(My question arises out of another paddling symmetry issue. I argue that a really competent single blader should be close to ambidextrous with all strokes under all circumstances, but I think that is a minority view.)
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Discussion question, no? |
Posted by: g2d on Jun-13-13 3:06 PM (EST)
Could be. Also advice. |
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jun-13-13 3:09 PM (EST)
Do you have a view on the issue independent of the venue?
I'm sorry, my only advice would be to |
Posted by: g2d on Jun-13-13 3:14 PM (EST)
subject the matter to discussion.
At least for a kayak|
Posted by: Celia on Jun-13-13 3:21 PM (EST)
Need a roll on both sides if you are going to be truly competent in moving water or surf. In both cases one side will often work and the other one will be at best a shaky bet since the water will be working hard against you.
In kayak, if you fail rolling on one |
Posted by: g2d on Jun-13-13 3:36 PM (EST)
side, the paddle is likely to be oriented for a try on the other side.
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Jun-13-13 3:42 PM (EST)
One side proficiency is enough if you are not planning to roll in surf/tidal current conditions as it might put you to work against wave/current and it is almost impossible to come up then. My roll is much stronger on my left side - still learning though. I tried rolling in moderate waves and away from the shore it does not really matter which side I come up on - away or into a wave. Close to shore, when waves grow and begin to break - I can't come up on the "wrong side" - I have to roll with the wave or not roll at all. So I would never say I'm proficient enough without solid roll on both sides. Did read about very experienced white-water kayakers who preferred to come up almost exclusively on one side. In the end it is not so much the skill as your ability and willingness to use it in a tight spot. 90% of people (me included) who train to roll will have difficulties applying the skill in a real-world situation when they are exhausted and paddling a loaded boat.
Posted by: t.george on Jun-14-13 8:24 AM (EST)
...if rock gardening is on the menu it's both sides for a combat roll. The added benifit to both sides in surf is that often in the process of getting rolled you have the muscle memory to be in the right position for the wave to bring you up from either side.
Posted by: gstamer on Jun-13-13 3:48 PM (EST)
When I was taking a WW class at the NOC, years ago, the instructor simply said, "if you know how to roll, and you are failing to come up for some reason, then try coming up on the other side, because something is probably hindering you on that side". Sounds overly simple but is good advice.
both is good|
Posted by: angstrom on Jun-13-13 4:29 PM (EST)
In moving water, switching sides can make a big difference.
Posted by: jimyaker on Jun-13-13 5:33 PM (EST)
Both would be ideal|
Posted by: Kocho on Jun-13-13 5:31 PM (EST)
I can roll fairly reliably on my weak side, still I overwhelmingly favor my strong side. That said, once I developed a fairly effective high brace on both sides, which I consider pretty much mandatory, I see no reason why one side should fail to roll me - a high brace (with my head in the water) is e last part of the roll, sort of, so if I can come down, brace, and get up, I should be able to do the full roll on that side, if I need to.
Sure both sides is nice|
Posted by: pblanc on Jun-13-13 5:39 PM (EST)
Comfort and context matter|
Posted by: NACcharlie on Jun-13-13 6:10 PM (EST)
The weakside roll is important- obstructions, big hydraulics, injury can force you weakside. What are the consequences of not hitting your roll is the question.
Posted by: NACcharlie on Jun-13-13 6:36 PM (EST)
Glenn, I am with you on paddling symmetry.
Not so sure it matters in surf |
Posted by: seadart on Jun-13-13 9:12 PM (EST)
It can seem impossible to roll up in one direction if being pushed by a wave, but what becomes more instinctive is sticking the paddle up into the vortexing frenzy, getting some purchase, moving with the wave and letting the wave roll you up. This is speaking from small surf dedicated kayaks and waveskis.
Posted by: Celia on Jun-14-13 6:18 AM (EST)
I would say yes, both sides|
Posted by: CapeFear on Jun-13-13 9:35 PM (EST)
"if you want to consider yourself a competent roller in all reasonable circumstances, a highly skilled roller, an advanced intermediate roller"
The psychological aspect alone...|
Posted by: pikabike on Jun-14-13 12:26 AM (EST)
...meant that only being able to roll on one side was not enough for me.
That's Been My Goal|
Posted by: Kudzu on Jun-14-13 4:17 AM (EST)
It helps both sides|
Posted by: pikabike on Jun-14-13 5:48 PM (EST)
Learning to roll (or brace, or maneuver) on the "weak side" helps to make the good side better, too.
I agree with g2d|
Posted by: exorxist on Jun-14-13 8:01 AM (EST)
At first I was very hesitant on my weak side. My instructor kept pushing me to try the weak side, And since I was having problems with it, in my head it seemed so much harder. Then after I blew a weak side c-c, I realized I was set up perfectly to do my strong side roll. That changed everything. I knew that if I blew it I needed an extra second to come up on the other side, and my weak roll immediately worked. It was all in my head. Once I took the pressure off of having to nail the weak side, my body relaxed and allowed me to get it. I wound up having a smoother weak side roll than my strong side. Since I can't muscle my way up as easily, I end up spending more time during the roll slowly arching through the motion.
one side is good|
Posted by: jonsprag1 on Jun-14-13 7:32 PM (EST)
two sides are better
The label doesn't matter, |
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-14-13 7:56 PM (EST)
safety does. I've heard self-claimed "experts" at rolling say they have a bomb-proof roll, but it is only on one side. Due to a variety of injuries and surgeries, I am definitely better on one side than the other, but knowing how to roll doesn't mean that knowledge translates to execution :).
one is sometimes enough in whitewater,|
Posted by: tdaniel on Jun-15-13 8:46 AM (EST)
c1ers and open boaters typically have one sided rolls. The ability to reset and try again is critical in that situation. I say that because there was a period where I paddled the New and Gauley Rivers extensively (videoing 400+ trips in a c1) with very few swims. I had a bomber roll on one side only. So it can be done. That bein' said, two sides is better. get pushed up against a rock, stuck in a hole, or in a real swirly current than two sides would help. But there are plenty of other things to focus on as well. You should practice setting up your paddle under the water, bracing drills, getting your roll down effortlessly etc. I switched to kayak a few years ago after a big layoff, so I'm relearning how to roll. My focus is on getting a one sided bomber roll and then sometime in the future I'll work on that offside. Some folks are ambidexterous, I'm not. That was one of the reasons c1 was so appealing. So for me it will be a struggle to get that offside. I need a ton of confidence before I'm even willing to work on it. For others it may not be such a big deal.
From one one-sided type to another....|
Posted by: Celia on Jun-15-13 8:56 AM (EST)
I suggest that you at least practice hip snaps and the setup position on the off side while you are learning to roll on the other, so that when you move over it does not feel like your body is no longer your own. Also learn to scull equally comfortably on both sides. That will leave you better set up for the other side roll.
Posted by: tdaniel on Jun-15-13 10:52 AM (EST)
good tips, I've been bracin' on the off side, and I can get my head wet but the idea of hip snappin' on my offside is a good one. I need to practice that just so I'm more comfortable under the water on my offside.
Posted by: sandmarks on Jun-15-13 4:06 PM (EST)
The best kayaker I paddle with is a rock garden and river expert with no offside roll. Even he's a bit embarrassed by the fact!
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-16-13 11:35 AM (EST)
What I really don't understand is why the offside roll is so much less comfortable, though it clearly is. The first time I tried one, it was like learning to throw left handed (water polo - it's a basic requirement). Everything just felt wrong, even though the motions were not that difficult to reproduce. What helped me was the following:
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Jun-16-13 2:37 PM (EST)
of keeping balance can be achieved by a kayaker without a solid roll when the water is cold. My roll is so-so, but I can combat roll. Went surfing one day on container ships wakes and saw a guy with a girl frantically paddling among waves - both were amazing at keeping balance (not surfing though). I was sure they'd capsize at least 4 times - but no. Back on the sure turned out it was their first time...
off side roll|
Posted by: Jaybabina on Jun-16-13 8:14 AM (EST)
I don't know anyone who's offside is as good as the onside. Actually I have one woman friend who has both sides really great. But practicing it allows you to learn what it feels like being suspended under water on the less favorable side of the boat. That's really important.
Posted by: bowler1 on Jun-16-13 10:42 AM (EST)
It is good to have an offside roll in situations where coming up on your strong side is working against the current. In these situations it can be hard to get your paddle up to the surface of the water to set up.
labeling ones skill level|
Posted by: rockmouse on Jun-16-13 6:44 PM (EST)
rolling both sides is a dream for me because of my spinal injury but I have found that sculling in WW when I cant roll on my good side is often highly efective I do paddle a boat that is hard to flip a wavesport D65 and Im only 55kg. sculling with the flow will normally alow you to take regular bteaths and often frees the boat I paddle up to grade 3 happly I have done some grade 4 but I have a highly skilld set of paddle mates who will lead my down any bits where I might flip or chase me over stuf as getting out and walking is not an opption for me I have developed a fast roll that needs no hip snap and stong deep water self rescue. I consider my self a copetant inermediate paddler but I would never do any WW without a chase mate who I could count on. labling your own skills is allways tricky Its better just to know your limets and that of your mates rather than trying to stick a labe on it. My Instructor/examiner cant roll a kayak as she has no feet but hse can roll a loaded open in grade 2 clearly she is highly experinced and skilled but has no roll in K1 so how do you label that?
Posted by: pikabike on Jun-16-13 11:05 PM (EST)
Sometimes my "other side" is the better mode that day; other days, it's my dominant side. Goes back and forth. Some days they are both very close but I don't think they've ever been equally good, if I'm nitpicking.