32 Elbow Roll

The elbow roll is quite a bit more difficult than the previous lay back rolls. Not as hard as the forward finishing clenched fist and brick rolls but still. 

Have a look at the preparations working up to the Brick roll Layback - they are the same as to the elbow roll and then some. 

When I started trying the elbow roll I was amazed at how much lift I do get using my hand or fist. Not only is that lift gone in the elbow roll but there is a another more subtle difficulty. As I put my hand on the back of my head it is much harder for me to arch back. This is mostly a mental thing but also a bit of flexibility of the shoulder. When I try arching my head back in this position my elbow like to come forward. This means that I need to actively push my elbow out and down during the little sweep I get. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to push the elbow down for support like I can get from a paddle, just push it out so it lays parallel to the surface and don't point to the sky. If you push it down for support it will sink and our shoulders will knife. 

My arching is more pronounced and I use both my legs to turn the qajaq. I've mentioned it several times before and I have a different feeling when using both legs in lay back versus forward finishing rolls. In lay back rolls I try to push my non-water leg out, like out to the gunwhale, in forward finishing rolls I push it down, like to the bottom of the qajaq. I've found it easier to push the non-water leg out in lay back rolls as I can arch my back more, or at least it feels easier. In forward finishing i crunch my abs in this position and pushing the non-water leg down is ok. I find more momentum with my legs pushing down if the timing is right. 

As in all rolls, don't raise your head out of the water until last. I have good momentum in the roll in the video so I get away with it. 

Strangely enough I set up very differently in the elbow roll than in all the other lay back rolls. I twist my torso so I face sideways, point the elbow forward and capsize. It feels like doing a face-plant into the water. Most people try to lean forward close to the fore deck and I guess that's fine but it doesn't work for me. 

Lastly, hold your position - facing sideways or forward until your nose get very close to the surface before you un-tuck and sweep your torso. 

Judges note: The hand shall stay on the back of your head throughout the whole roll. It is ok to use the other arm as counterweight. 

This article was updated on 24/04/04

David Täng

<p>David is a Rolling Lunatic! That is; he is a member of the Kayak club called "The Rolling Lunatics" or "Rolltokarna". David builds qajaqs and greenland paddles for himself and for some close friends. In 2022 he finished third in the Danish Greenland Rolling Championships (336p). In 2023 he won both the Danish (348p) and Swedish Greenland Rolling Championships (370p).  Favourite quote: "A wet David is a happy David!" He lives on the west coast of Sweden, in Onsala south of Gothenburg. He is a dedicated Judo player (Nidan) as well as a Windfoil surfer. I'd love to hear from you. You can reach me on: david.o.tang@gmail.com</p>