Eskimo roll

A kayak roll (often referred to as an Eskimo roll) is the act of righting a capsized kayak by use of body motion and/or a paddle. Typically this is done by lifting the torso towards the surface, flicking the hips to right the kayak halfway up and applying a righting force by means of the paddle while tucking close to the front or back deck.

Types of roll

There are many types of roll, that involve different techniques. Different rolls are more or less useful in different situations.[1]

Screw roll

This is the main roll that is usually taught to beginners first and is often what is referred to as "the roll".[1] It is good on open or flat water but requires a reasonably large area to perform well so can be less useful in tight spaces or on whitewater.[1]

C-to-C roll

The C-to-C roll is another common roll that tends to be used more on whitewater, it gets its name from the shape the paddle draws on the water when the roll is performed.[1]

Reverse Screw roll

As the name suggests this is similar to the screw roll but performed in reverse, it is often used in playboating or in general when the paddler goes over whilst on the back deck. In this scenario it is far quicker to perform this roll than to move the paddle into a set-up position for a more standard roll.[1]

Hand roll

This roll is a bit of a 'party trick' but can also be useful if the paddler has lost their paddle and is also useful in the game of canoe polo. It relies heavily on the hip-flick.[1]


  • Hutchinson, Derek (1999). Eskimo Rolling, 3rd Edition. Globe Pequot. ISBN 0-7627-0451-9.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.