Angel Roll

There is a type of kayak roll, aka Eskimo roll, called an “Angel Roll.” With this roll, the paddle is held in the very center with one hand. In the picture above, the paddler is half way into the upright position. He will leave the paddle and the hand with the paddle in the water and rotate the boat upright followed by his body.

He’s not actually doing the full roll here, as far as I can tell. He’s really sitting in the half-way-up position. The roll still looks like this and this is the best picture I could find of someone in the right position and visible above the water.

A video of the roll being done.

A link to a full selection of kayak roll videos.

I had called this an “Angle” roll in some earlier comments here and elsewhere. I was also reading someone else’s comments on YouTube about this being called a butterfly roll and a crucifix roll.

I’ve been doing this roll for the last few weeks. It’s hard for me because I’m not proficient at rolling in general. I can always get the boat upright but I don’t look nearly as smooth as the guy in the videos. It takes a big snap for me to get the boat upright. I also can’t do this with my left arm due to an old injury that prevents the proper arm extension during part of the movement. I can move like that but it hurts a little and I don’t want to dislocate my shoulder playing in my kayak.

Practice will make perfect. I think that this Angel roll will help me to get smoother and overall better at other rolls too.