Whitewater Kayaking Back Deck Roll Videos

So a word of caution before I get started here – I tweaked my shoulder trying a back deck roll the wrong way at the pool the other week, so there’s definitely a point to learning correct technique before you start plunging around.  I should also mention that I still don’t know how to do one. :)

But a back deck roll seems pretty handy, and even though I know it leaves your face more exposed I think Ken Whiting makes a lot of sense when he says you’re in the water for far less time so overall you can be better off.  Dave Bowman sent me a few good video links, and Samson was nice enough to try to do one in slow motion at the pool.

Here’s the homegrown version:


And here’s a really nice instructional video by Ken Whiting of Paddling.net:


And here’s another really good video, helpful because it shows how you can guide someone through it without a paddle so they get the feel for the move (which is totally strange if you’ve only done regular rolls – I couldn’t even get close to what I was supposed to be doing.)


Paddling.net also has this nice article on the back deck roll.  Let me just say again (as I sit here with a sore shoulder) that Ken Whiting makes a good point about how most kayakers hurt themselves with forward arm movements because paddling tends to build up strength in the back of the arms, not the front – so practicing paddling backwards to offset that is a really good idea.