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Reverse Sweep Roll

Published on 5/20/2019

QAJAQ USA Technique Forum Archive Messages 1 - 9,999

Re: Reverse sweep roll

Posted By:Greg Stamer<>
Date: Tuesday, 6 November 2001, at 3:42 p.m.

In Response To:Reverse sweep roll(Don Beale)

The Greenland "reverse sweep roll" is different than a "Euro" Steyr roll. The Greenland reverse roll is done in a low brace (your palms are down during the sweep from stern to bow), while the Steyr is a high-brace roll.

The setup for the reverse roll can be confusing. To recover on the left side of your kayak, extend your paddle to the left, rotate your torso counter-clockwise and hook the blade over the far gunwale. You then fall backward (capsize on your right). Once capsized, you sweep forward and recover with a forward leaning hipsnap.

There is an important "trick" that makes this much easier. Rather than sweeping with the paddle horizontal, sweep with the outboard blade higher than the inboard blade (the outboard paddle tip can actually be out of the water). To recover, you can simply "level-out" the blade (bring the upper blade down, so that the paddle is horizontal), at the time that you perform a forward hipsnap. Timing is important.

Some of these techniques are easier if you work at them backward. In this case you should be able to extend the paddle, and capsize on the left, get into an approximation of the recovery position (in this case similar to a chest scull), and then use the technique mentioned above to "snap-up". Or try it with a float on the paddle blade first.

Words are difficult for conveying some of these techniques. I do recommend getting a copy of John Heath's "Rolling with Maligiaq", at the link below. I often sketch the start and finish positions of rolls that I work on, and place them in a zip-lock while on the water. This avoids a lot of confusion.

John Heath has mentioned that the "reverse roll" is very popular in Greenland because it admits less water into the cockpit, if you are forced to capsize with an open skirt. This roll is one that is performed in the rolling contest at the Greenland Championship.

Greg Stamer

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