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Teaching the roll in 5 minutes or less

Posted by on January 21, 2013

One of our paddling club’s members avows he can teach anyone to roll within five minutes. Over the years, I have witnessed his instruction and cannot dispute the claim.

teach kayak roll

 His step-by-step approach is shown in this captioned photo album: Step-by-Step Roll Instruction . The initial result (within the five minutes) is an extended paddle roll. From there, he takes people to semi-extended and, eventually, a roll with a “normal” centered grip. A nuance is that he insists upon a diving mask to remove any distractions created by head immersion and maintain orientation with the boat and water surface.

The argument for his technique is that it quickly conquers the psychological barriers to rolling and quickly instills the confidence to move on and fine tune. Those opposed to it contend that it imprints the student with a crutch, obviating the need to develop good hip roll mechanics.


-Captain Hank

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