Kayaking Technique Forum

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I have to ask ......
In Response To: Re: Please accept my apologies ()

: Why no eskimo roll? All of my guide friends say that it is useless.
: That is a strong statement, coming from them. A loaded sea kayak in a storm
: is hard to roll and when you get up, you are still in lousy water. So I spend
: my time on practising bracing and re-entry and assisted rescue.

Given that an Eskimo Roll is significantly faster and less strenuous than any kind of reentry, and that exposure to the water during a reentry equals exposure to hypothermia, I find myself confused over the advise you have received from your friends. It's a given that a loaded kayak is moderately more difficult to roll than an unloaded one, but certainly it's only a finesse issue. The more heavily laden boat will require a slower and more powerful technique, but it is not a significantly more difficult task.

An excercise we use to practice rolling loaded boats is to mount children, one on the foredeck and one on the aftdeck. The kids hug the boat with all of their strength and we have to roll slowly enough so as not to knock them off. We also have to be quick enough that they won't run out of air and let go.

I certainly respect that you regularly practice your self and assisted rescues, this is a very important skill to master and maintain. You are a better man than I in this respect, my hat is off to you. I just can't imagine of a condition where it would be preferable to exit and have to reenter the boat rather than just rolling back up. Certainly my experience is limited, but I am baffled by the concept. Maybe it is that I have placed such a high priority on my roll, but I refuse to swim and have not since I learned to roll. For me it's a tradition thing, the Inuit survived via a roll or died of exposure. I have tried to model my rolling ethic after theirs.

I would love to hear your thought on your friends' advise.

Jed