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Kayaking Fundamentals: Execute the Extended Paddle Roll

If you’re having trouble rolling your kayak with the c-to-c roll or the sweep roll, try the extended paddle roll, otherwise known as the pawlata. For the pawlata roll, you’ll move your hands to one end of the paddle, giving you more leverage.

Kayak instructor Ken Whiting shows you how to execute the extended paddle kayak roll so it’s there when you need it. It’s a great tool to add to your arsenal of kayaking skills to help keep you safe in challenging conditions, whether sea kayaking, kayak touring, or whitewater kayaking.

This roll is named after Hans “Edi” Pawlata, an Austrian pioneer in the sport of kayaking. In 1927 he claimed to be the first European to perform a kayak roll, a skill developed by the Eskimo people. Actually, other non-Eskimos had already learned the skill of the roll, but Edi was one of the early ones and he wrote a detailed account of how to roll up a flipped kayak.

The extended paddle roll will be done like the c-to-c roll or sweep roll. The one difference is you will move your hands to one end of the paddle. That way, the further extension of the paddle will give you more leverage to complete the roll.

You still need a strong hip snap, but this technique gives you a little more room for error. The setup for the extended paddle roll is the same as the other rolls, except you’ll slide your hands down the paddle shaft until you’re grasping the back blade with your back hand and holding the paddle shaft comfortably with your front, control hand.

If you’re using the sweep roll technique with the extended paddle, be careful not to rush the hip snap; it will take longer for the blade to sweep out 90-degrees from the kayak.