Reverse Sweep roll

Kingumut Naatillugu – (holding the paddle) pointed/touching aft

Reverse Sweep Roll

Not only does this roll look really impressive, it also is very powerful. It is a sweep roll starting from behind and finishing forward. It was also the first roll I learned where you roll in backwards rather than face forward.

A: To set up hold the paddle extended out to the right at chest level, left hand close to the end of the blade with the blade across your palm and the right hand the same way grasping the loom. Rotate your body clockwise (a long way) and hook the end of the paddle on the left side of the kayak (this is the right side of the kayak when looking backwards!) lean your body towards the back of the kayak to dig the paddle in deeper into the water. It is critical at this kayak to have your right knee in good strong contact with the masik or thigh brace. You are now ready to take a leap of faith and roll in backwards.

B: At this point when you begin learning the roll you are going to feel really disorientated, wait until you feel the kayak fully upside down and then if you are still in position you should feel that the paddle blade is out of the water, this is your sign to engage the sweep and drive! If you don’t feel the blade out of the water then reach up waggle the paddle around until you find the right place, remember you should now be face down in the water with your back arched backwards.

C: The next movement is a combination of swinging the paddle towards the front of the kayak while keeping you left hand on your chest at the same time as bending your back straight and then doing a crunch, this arch to crunch motion combined with lifting your knee towards your head will cause the kayak to rotate and will make your head to remain low and in the water.

D: By the time your paddle is perpendicular to the kayak you should be in the crunch position and ready to sweep the paddle across the foredeck in the low brace finish. When learning the roll I found it useful to scull up at the end, until I had confidence that I was able to do the low brace recovery.

When learning this roll it is especially important to be in good contact with your cockpit, it is all too easy to lose your feeling of being at one with the kayak when bent over backwards and trying to find the kayak with your knee while doing the arch to crunch move is a real challenge. I found it useful to consciously jam my right knee hard against the masik just prior to rolling in, this strong feeling of connection helped me instinctively do the right knee raise when upside down and back to front!

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