Kayaking Technique Forum

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To snap or not to snap, is there a question?

In the spirit of learning through (sometimes heated) discussion:

Woody wrote:
:I have one (1) extended paddle roll that requires no hip snap at all. When I first tried it I was afraid I was still using some hip snap so I tried it with my feet off the foot pegs, and again with my feet crossed at the ankle.
(snip)
:It is essentially the "queen's salute". Paddle out at 90 degrees from the boat. Extended with one hand on a paddle blade and the other near the blade on the shaft, and just lever up. No hip snap, no lay back, but keep head in the water as long as possible.

If I understand your description correctly, while performing this roll you sort of fold your body rather than perform a well defined hip-snap. I have played with similar techniques but chose a different path because I believe this technique uses too much paddle support. My reasoning is this: Without a paddle, we only have inertia to use to pull the boat beneath us. The value of this inertia is dependent on the speed of the hip-snap. While I prefer to roll slowly, the speed of the hip-snap is dictated by the support available (paddle vs hands, clear vs aerated water) and the particular boat/paddler combination.

:This roll came out of my attempts to roll up with as little effort as possible. I was afraid that I was compensating bad technique with a forceful hip snap, so I started experimenting with getting up with as little hip snap AND paddle as possible. The idea being that once I learned how to roll with as little effort as possible, by adding back in the hip snap the roll would become nearly bombproof.

Again, not trying to tear your words apart since I agree with most of what you say. Everyone should be so dedicated as you. Your searching for incremental improvement will serve you well, if it hasn't already. My only point of contention is how you difine a hip-snap.

************* Regarding the definition of a hip-snap
Brian wrote:
:Frankly, it's a rather nebulous and often misleading term. Rolls like the C-C require a sharp, forcefull rotation of the hips. I've worked with and watched Jed enough to know that when he say's "hipsnap", that's what he's referring to.

Well, yes and no. In as much as a hip-snap is a movement of the spine flexing to one side or the other and that this movement can be performed "with purpose", I agree. This is something I would call a hip-snap. But please don't use transductive reasoning to imply that since I recognize that movement as *a* hip-snap that I believe that movement to be *the* hip-snap. Hip-snap or hip rotation or lateral spine flexation all refer to the same thing. Speed, or lack there of, does not define the movement.

:Since going over to the Greenland side of things, I've found that most rolls require nothing like this. Most of the time, you're smoothly rolling the boat away from you by arching your back (layback rolls), or smoothly pulling it under you (forward rolls). It's definitely not the same thing.

A layback roll replaces lateral spine flexation with flexation along the anterior/posterior plane. Yes, it is an easy roll. Not particulary well suited for the conditions I found myself in this last weekend, but if you like it, more power to you. I see no significant distinction between flexing the torso forward to back versus side to side.

The forward rolls *do* use a hip-snap or hip rotation if you prefer. A no-hip-snap roll would keep the spine straight and rigid throughout the manouver. For you folks that say you do a no-hip-snap roll, does your spine stay rigid throughout? Including your neck? I do perform a no-hip-snap roll to show some students that it is possible to roll using *only* the paddle with no assistance from body position. But this roll starts with a straight spine and levers the body up by way of a strong sweep. This is not a pretty roll and it's guaranteed to break weak paddles. It also requires exacting technique, but if it's what someone wnats to use . . . .

:I'll throw one more log on the fire. After building a Greenland style skin boat and spending time in several others at the Delmarva Retreat this past weekend,
I've come to the conclusion that the aggressive hipsnap is a product of modern boat designs with wide hulls and high decks, specifically high aft decks. When
you can't get you center of gravity low on the deck, you're force to use aggressive hip rotation to get the boat upright, where it's rotationaly inertia and stability will assist you in coming up. With a low volume, low-decked boat, it simply isn't necessary.

Low volume custom boats are completely different animals from the current factory made offerings. Sure they roll more easily, that's why the Greenlanders have limits with regard to their use in the kayak championships. The easiest boat to roll would be awash when upright. But this is hardly an acceptable design for the vast majority of North American paddlers. Most North American paddlers want a dry ride and/or comfort and/or room for camping supplies (including the kitchen sink). No of these things are available in any significant way in low volume boats.

************** More logs for the fire ***********

A kayaker can lever themselves up from a capsized position with a roll like the Put-Across (queen Anne Salute).

A kayaker can lever themselves up with a sweep brace as in the Layback Roll.

A kayaker can pull the boat beneath them as in a side recovery hands only roll.

A kayaker can pull the boat beneath them as in a C-C Roll.

A kayaker can combine these techniques as in a Screw Roll that uses a sweep to pry the body up and then pulls the boat underneath the paddler.

In closing I am aware of only two ways to right a boat:

Pry it up.
Normally with the use of a extended paddle, typically with significant paddle support. This is how I've heard of people being injured and seen paddles broken.

Pull the boat beneath you.
Normally by performing a hip-snap, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly, typically with minimal paddle support. This is the technique I teach advanced students and those with shoulder injuries.

Does anyone have anyother ways to right a boat that do not use either of these techniques?