The more supple you are, the easier you will find our exercises and techniques
Try to touch your toes
Whilst standing, try to touch your toes. This will help you with any type of roll. If you cannot touch them with straight legs, bend your legs. If you just touched your toes with bent legs, gently try to straighten your legs. The posture your are trying to achieve, is a lot like the setup position, but you have your feet on the floor and you are without a paddle.
Whilst in this position, imagine you are in your boat and your are capsized. Hold your breath. Pick up a paddle if you have one, and go to the setup position by pushing your paddle back behind you. When capsized this pushes the paddle up towards the surface of the water and prevents the paddle striking the boat during the sweep. How far can you push the paddle backward (to the sky if you are capsized)? The higher up in the water the paddle is, the more leverage you will have with it when you attempt the roll.
If you are a lapsed roller, now, try the roll, what happens?
Dry techniques for rolling
Let us look at rolling in detail
Whilst touching your toes, take a paddle and align it along your left leg (for right handers, right leg for lefties) as if you are in the setup position.
The Dry Sweep roll
Advantages of the sweep roll
It has only two phases, unlike the C to C which has three.
It is good for aerated water.
It is simple.
It does not require as much flexibility as a properly executed C to C roll.
If it all goes wrong, when if fails you can go straight into the C to C roll.
The obvious advantage of these dry techniques is that you can practice away from the river, and without the need for the luxury of clean water.
The Dry C to C roll
Much of the C to C roll is similar to the sweep roll
1. See fig 1 -the setup position
2. Once capsized, reach around the boat and up to the sky. The higher the better, it will give you more leverage against the water.. Ideally your paddle should be horizontal, but experienced rollers can roll with a paddle at 45 degrees to the water or even vertical, which provides very little lift.
Move the paddle so that it is at 90 degrees to the boat. This is where to C to C roll starts.
With the paddle high in the water, sweep the paddle across from left to right( for r.h.s paddlers) down into water and across the boat. Follow it with your eyes. This is key to the roll. Following the leading blade's progress through the water will ensure your head stays low and does not surface too soon.
If you have done this properly you will be staring at your paddle on the right side of the boat and you will have surfaced.