CKS Hot Take: Rolling Ease Depends on Skill, Not Just the Kayak Brand

When it comes to kayaking, the debate around which kayak brand is the easiest to roll is a common one. Many paddlers swear by Jackson Kayaks for their reputed ease of rolling. This should stir up some controversy, let's take a step back and challenge this notion. Is it really about the kayak brand, or is rolling ease more about the paddler's skill? In this hot take, we'll explore the idea that one whitewater kayak rolls the same as another – it all comes down to the development of the rolling skill. 

Skill Over Brand

The ability to roll a kayak is a skill that transcends the brand of the boat. Whether you're in a Dagger, a Jackson, a Pyranha or any other reputable brand, the key factor is your skill level. If you've mastered the art of rolling, chances are you can execute it seamlessly in various kayaks. It's about understanding the mechanics, having a solid hip snap, and maintaining balance. Boat fitment and the outfitting being catered to you will influence ease of rolling, allowing proper knee and thigh hook engagement. 

The Hip Snap

To illustrate this point, consider the hip snap – a crucial element of a successful roll. Regardless of the kayak brand, the effectiveness of your hip snap is what determines your ability to right the boat. Separation of the boat from upper body and utilizing the core to right the boat. 

Variety in Rolling Techniques

Different kayaks may require slight adjustments in technique due to variations in design and hull shape. However, a skilled paddler can adapt and refine their rolling technique accordingly. This adaptability highlights the fact that the ease of rolling is not exclusive to a particular brand but is, in fact, a testament to the paddler's proficiency of the skill. 

Championing the Skill Development Process

Celebrate the diversity of kayaks available in the market. Each boat has its unique features, and what works for one paddler might not be the best fit for another. Instead of fixating on a specific brand, encourage paddlers to explore different kayaks, refine their skills, and enjoy the versatility that comes with paddling different crafts on different venues. 
C to C - Credit Grace Under Pressure

 

In the world of kayaking, the debate over the ease of rolling in different boats is ongoing. While Jackson Kayaks have earned a reputation for being easy to roll, it's essential to recognize that rolling proficiency is primarily a reflection of the paddler's skill. So, next time you hit the water, focus on refining your technique rather than fixating on the brand of your kayak – you might find that any boat can be easy to roll with the right skills.

4 comments

CKS Customer Service

CKS Customer Service

Great Point Tom! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You’re right; we could have gotten a lot deeper into the science of rolling each boat type. Maybe we’ll do that in a future blog! We wanted to use this blog to encourage our paddlers to build the skills to allow them to play in many boats. 🤙 🙏 😊 🤩 🌊

Paul Bjork

Paul Bjork

If you only own 1 boat and that’s all you paddle then, you get l”lazy muscle memory “ especially if you have too many dry head runs, or not enough beatering. I cracked my 9r and switched to an old school German boat . Can’t roll for my life . But haven’t trained in quite awhile. So back to the flat water for practice, practice, practice.

Tom

Tom

I don’t see an engineering study included in this article. How can you say the boats all roll the same without knowing how boat design impacts rolling. Maybe EJ/Dane include the inappropriately low deck height (I’m 6’4”) on the Jackson’s to assist rolling and maybe pyranha includes high sidewalls because they care more about performance than rolling.

Patrick Mcnalley

Patrick Mcnalley

Do ya think it has more to do with skill rather than boat design??? If it was just the boat, anyone could do it.

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