Rolling is indisputably the most effective self recovery. With a roll, the capsized paddler never comes out of the boat and is up and paddling within seconds. We have seen well-practiced paddlers perform rolls in which the rhythm of the forward stroke was barely interrupted! A paddler who has developed a reliable roll is often able to relax and respond flexibly to conditions and, paradoxically, is apt to capsize less often than the paddler who is paddling defensively to avoid a wet exit.
Learning To Roll
In the early stages, the most important component to achieve in roll training is comfort while you are upside down under water. That environment is initially very confusing, and a person without air tends to react hastily (and inefficiently). With a trusted friend to assist, capsize. Now count to ten, slowly. Look around you while inverted, become familiar with the sensation and sights of the situation. When you feel the beginnings of discomfort, use your friend to hip snap upright. Do this so many times that it becomes routine. Now you're ready to begin the process of learning to roll.
Types Of Roll
Modern paddlers who use "Euro" blades focus on two major types of roll. They are the "C-to-C" and sweep (screw) rolls. Traditional Greenland style paddlers may learn more than 30 ways to roll. Many whitewater paddlers claim that the C-to-C is safest for the river (and surf) environment because of its protected body position, however we can cite whitewater champions who prefer the sweep roll. We believe that it's ideal for a paddler to develop two or three types of roll on both sides in order to be ready for any condition, however the most important thing is to develop at least one reliable roll. We will provide more information, as well as links to related internet sites, soon.