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  Posted by: Celia on Oct-21-13 12:54 PM (EST)

Many WW boats are harder to roll than a well-fitting sea kayak because they are so wide and flat. A properly sized sea kayak for a paddler is well fit to their hips and volume and the hull is narrower and rounder. The part around your hips is mostly what matters - it's not like those long skinny ends aren't going to come along when you roll.

That said, I have known more than one WW paddler who got into an over-volume sea kayak because they thought that was the nature of the boats, and then of course found it hard to roll. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

My favorite story is one night at a pool session, one of the sons of the coaches was messing around in his WW boat. It was a boat from maybe the worst era of WW boats to roll - a flat pancake with a square box sticking out of the top, that came higher on him than my sea kayak did. He was skinny so he could get thru my XS cockpit (Explorer LV), and he was interested in trying the fit. Then a guy around the edge challenged him to a hand roll in it.

The young man was exhausted, but after seeing him roll that box-on-box I was sure he'd manage my boat, one of the all-time easiest sea kayaks to roll. So I didn't get in the way.

Suffice to say he nailed it and came up with a complete look of surprise on his face, shared by his primarily WW father. Neither of them could believe that a sea kayak could be that easy to roll, both had bought the old-school line that they had to be harder because they were longer. Unfortunately I still hear this from time to time from WW folks,. It seems they just can't get their heads past the boat being longer to really look at the fit and paddler match.

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