Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of watching Justine Curgenven’s latest production, This is the Roll.

Short Review: Learning to Roll? Pick this one up, it’s great.

Longer Review: The is the Roll features Greenland rolling and instruction masters, Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson so you know right from the start that the quality of the instruction will be top notch.

This is the Roll is filmed mainly from the perspective of Greenland-style rolling but don’t let that skinny wooden stick on the cover confuse you. Any student wanting to learn can apply the core techniques clearly outlined in the video and apply it to their paddle style. Tapping into the best of both worlds, everything first taught using a skinny stick then they go back over it again using a Euroblade highlighting the subtle differences between the two.

What I really enjoyed about this video is the high quality of instruction. Listening to Cheri and Turner narrate the video, it’s clear that they have taught at least three million rolling clinics and applied all their knowledge here. They take a fairly complex skill like the Standard Greenland Roll and break it down into small bite-sized chunks emphasising the fundamental skills to make it successful. I appreciated the fact that they kept going back to the foundations and used them as a theme woven throughout tying all the skills together.

The visual learner in me also appreciated that there are lots of repeating shots of the same roll from multiple angles, multiple boats and different types of people. This worked really well and allows the narrator to emphasise the key element without feeling that the video was rushed.

One of the little hidden gems I discovered was the extensive troubleshoot sections throughout. At nearly 30 minutes throughout, this is no mini troubleshooting section added on at the end as an afterthought. It’s filled with solid tips and ideas to help battle against the most common problems new rollers encounter including how to keep from pulling down on the paddle, torso rotation problems or the dreaded diving paddle in the sweep.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who watched the video and his only negative feedback of the film was that watching it from end-to-end, its a massive pile of information to retain when heading over to the pool to practice. Thought I would agree with him that yes, this is pretty much the equivalent of a kayak rolling encyclopedia, my suggestion is to focus on one roll at a time and master it before focusing on the next one on the DVD. While watching, take some notes of the key points so you remember later.

Though nothing replaces one-on-one instruction at the hands of a good teacher, I think that This is the Roll is for sure one of the better rolling instructional DVD’s out there on the market. Pick this one up. It's great.


Rolls/skills covered:

  • Standard Greenland Roll (Both Greenland and Euroblade)
  • Balance Brace and Sculling for Support
  • Reverse Sweep Roll (Both Greenland and Euroblade)
  • Storm Roll (Both Greenland and Euroblade)
  • Kayak and Equipment Primer
  • Stretches for Rolling

Running Time: 2.5 Hours

More info: cackletv.com

Published in DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:55

Hi-N-Dry Rolling Aid

After writing and scrapping a piece about this, I decided you can make your own conclusions if this is worth the $87.50 they are asking or if it would be better spend putting it into a rolling pool clinic. You can find more info about the Hi-N-Dry here.

Thanks to the Bloyd-Peshkin’s at Have Kayaks, Will Travel for the awesome heads-up.

Photo credits: Hi-N-Dry

Published in Gear

Appleton Academy Kayaking Rolling World Record Attempt

Want to be a world record holder? Get yourself out to Denholme, Bradford in the United Kingdom this Saturday, July 9 and participate in the world record attempt to beat the “most number of canoes/kayaks performing eskimo rolls at a single venue”. The current record number is 100 people which in my head shouldn’t be to hard to beat.

The £5 registration fee includes the shot at group glory, activities and boat demonstrations throughout the day and a complimentary hog roast at the end of the event.

It’s being organized by Appleton Academy and you can find more info including the registration form on their website.

Published in Events

Alan D. teaching rolling. Photo Credit: Kamil Bialous

I love this photo of Instructor Alan D. working with Roger B. to get his roll at the MEC Toronto Paddlefest last year. It’s a great example of how it feels to work with student when they finally make the breakthrough.

Photo Credit: Kamil Bialous

Published in Photography
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 20:39

Video: Hand Rolling Made Easy

Ken Whiting demonstrates a sea kayak hand roll.

Ken Whiting makes hand rolling a sea kayak look way too easy.

Published in Teaching
Saturday, 27 September 2008 15:59

Rolling Instruction. We can do much better.

Not the best kayak rolling lesson...Last week Derrick wrote a small piece on his blog about why he feels that instructors don’t do a great job teaching rolling. A couple of days went by and yesterday a follow-up article was posted with some great suggestions on how we can make both learning and teaching rolling more fun.

Since, I was the one to trigger the follow-up article through a comment on the first, I thought I would weigh in on the issue and talk about it from my perspective.
Published in Teaching
Thursday, 28 August 2008 22:47

Back Deck Sweep Roll

The back deck roll sweep roll. A variation that de-emphasizes the set up is called the ej roll.



Thursday, 28 August 2008 22:43

Twist and Slice Kayak Roll Identifier

The Twist and Slice roll is an interesting way to describe the sweep or screw roll. This must see video emphasizes the principles that make this roll effortless.



The Virginia Sea Kayak Center is now the North American importer and distributor of books by UK publisher Pesda Press. Pesda is the force behind a number of technical and guide books for kayakers and canoeists, including Sea Kayak by Gordon Brown the BCU Canoe and Kayak Handbook, and Kayak Rolling, the Black Art Demystified.
Published in Press Releases
Saturday, 02 December 2006 19:00

Long Distance Instruction

Vedharajan BalajiWe recently got an email from Vedharajan; a new paddler living in India. He is training for a large expedition to raise awareness about coastal conservation in that area. We posted info about the campaign a couple weeks ago in our news section.
Published in Coaching
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