I first want to thank every one who responded to my post. I agree that a kayaker needs to know their limits and I having been sailing most of my life I also know that sometimes things happen on the water that you can not control even with the best NOAA marine weather forcasting.
I was taught the so called Pawlata roll and it is what I have practiced. It has real limitations in higher seas I think. Derek Hutchinson's book on Eskimo rolling has a roll that in some ways is not really a roll, he calls it the Headstand. This is really some kind of a roll that comes right off a failed support stroke. Since in high seas one is doing a lot of support or bracing it makes some sense to attempt to utilize it. I am going to experiment with it.
Here is what has happened to me repeatedly using the Pawlata roll in high seas. When I am underwater first the kayak feels like it is moving abeam of the waves and I have trouble controling the direction of my paddle when I am getting it out to the side before the downward pull. I find this not to be a problem when I am not in high seas by the way. I tried several different paddles to see if it would make a difference. The shorter the paddle the better it seemed to work for me, but to be honest I don't really feel solid about pulling off a roll in high seas.
Do any of you use other varations of rolls under high seas? By the way my failure to roll when practicing in 4ft plus seas has really made me adept at getting back in my Kayak, swiming it back in the surf was not fun. The blige pump I have been using has been very effective. Generally I get swamped whether or not I use a paddle float, if I use the waves effectively I swim right on top of the cockpit.
But as I have said I have not practiced that much in higher seas. You know it is usally cold and raining on those days and it is a lot easier not to go out. I always wear a wet suit.
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- Thanks for your responses