Rolling a C17??


I've started paddling my Chesapeake 17, and been very happy with it's performance (even unladen and with no rudder, it easily paddles as fast as/faster than my friend's plastic boat!).

Now that I'm getting more adventurous, I want to do some rolling and self-rescue practice (a local club runs courses).

But I wondered about how easy it was to do an Eskimo roll in a C17?  Is it even possible? They seem to be much higher in volume than some other kayaks, so I wondered how hard they were to roll?  Seems it would be quite an effort to get it flipped back over.

Also, just theoretically - how much change in effort is it if you have a kayak laden with gear? I imagine the weight, having shifted to the deck (which is now 'down') would make it heavier and harder to right again?

Thanks in advance,

Melbourne, Australia

4 replies:

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RE: Rolling a C17??

90% of any roll is the hip snap.  So as long as your yak fits you so that you don't slide side to side in your seat, it can be rolled.  Yes, the more stuff you have on your deck, the harder it is to roll, not from weight as much as the drag it creates in the water.  Even rudders can hamper a person new to rolling.  But as you practise, whice you must do to learn to do it well, you will learn how much you can have on it.  If you have a High Volume yak, why are you carrying so much on top and not down in your hatches?  I try to keep my deck down to a pump, sponge, water bottle, and spare paddles.

Have fun learning, it is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, as well as show off.


RE: Rolling a C17??


Thanks Kev.  I don't have anything on the decks at present, and will keep items to a minimum when I put on the bungees.  I was more thinking of weight within the hull - lunch, camping gear, etc that would fall the the deck (inside it, which would then be lowest in the water).  I wondered what effect that would have on being able to right it?

Anyway, I've got to install my hip braces and get a proper/fixed seat so will aim to do that on the weekend, and then try rolling (in a pool, it's the middle of inter here).


RE: Rolling a C17??

If you have a well developed recovery roll, you can roll any kayak.  That you ask the question leads me to believe you might want to have a buddy along when you test drive the roll.   You can use his bow to get the hip snap feel.  

The CLC 17 is a bit beamy but that usually means it locks in hard on primary stability position when you finish the recovery.   Just make sure you don't fall out that is more of show stopper than slopping around inside the boat.

My SOF's have been spoiling me for rolling, but last week I jumped into a Prijon Kodiak and rolled it.  (The volume is compartive to the C17). I had forgotten how different big volume and high deck backs were.  It took several rolls to smooth out the technique for that craft, but I find that true with lower volume boats as well.

Go for it...   here is a short video  I selfshot May 1 2008, in SOF Q3

RE: Rolling a C17??

I have a high volume kayak (non CLC) which has a cockpit rim that rides a bit high and makes a layback roll quite a challenge.  If you have the same high rim, you'll have to perform the roll where you crunch forward and kiss the deck so as to keep your weight closer to the axis of the roll.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone do a hand roll nose to deck, though I'll believe it when I see it.

I enjoyed watching Jeff roll.  He has a very relaxed technique.  No signs of the frenetic paddler who thinks he has to GET UP RIGHT NOW.  Even the hands hold the paddle ever so lightly during the forward stroke.  have fun!

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