Watching a video of a paddler practicing rolling in the clear waters off the Australia coast inspired me to try a few of the things he was doing.
The first “new” trick I noticed was a forward finishing butter fly roll. Having now tried this myself I think it maybe the easiest forward finishing roll I have tried. The paddle being use as a float as opposed to a sweep removes several variables from classic forward finishing rolls. It also is an easy roll to recover from into a layback butterfly roll should you fail the finish.
The second roll is more of a trick than a roll. Think chest scull combined with a butterfly roll. Roll in face forward with the paddle held in the butterfly position away from you. You end up face down, kayak upside down with the paddle at arms length parallel to the kayak. You can now wave at the camera, or enjoy the view. The recovery is classic forward finishing recovery, rotate the kayak under you then swing forward and low. This roll is unimpressive for spectators unless they are underwater, when it has a certain coolness to it…

I also worked on a roll Alex Pax taught me a couple of years ago, the back deck roll. This roll starts as if you are pinned onto the back deck by a wave, you have the paddle across your chest and the trick is to get into the right position to roll up and finish much like a reverse sweep roll.
I used my Brooks tuilik as I was interested to see if it’s additional buoyancy and surface area was an aid or not. I was able to get my forward forward rolls so I am guessing it was….

Making Avataq Jr
Prize winning picture

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