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Old 12-11-2015   #1
canon city, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 46
Offside back deck roll

I recently have been working on my backdeck roll. Smooth as glass on left side. A lot more difficult on right. The feathered paddle means you have to choose a flat blade on the left hand, which makes the right hand dive, or if you flatten the right blade, the left is perpendicular to the water. I've been pulling it off, but not very smooth. I think the best approach is flat blade on left and just keep the right high as you can. Is this what most people do?

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Old 12-11-2015   #2
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Sounds right. You've got to brace off that left blade. Feather definitely makes the offside a bit more difficult. I think the trick to making it smooth is to be more active with the wrist movement so that you brace off the left blade in a roughly orthogonal position when you hip snap and then quickly feather to allow the paddle to glide smoothly out without getting caught by resistance from the right blade.

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Old 12-11-2015   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
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For those playing along at home, orthogonal is the word of the day. "of or involving right angles; at right angles"
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Old 12-13-2015   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
I was thinking about this a little more (for some reason). Another thing you can do is pull your paddle into you to get some additional purchase on it (esp. on the last half of the roll i.e. after you've crossed 90 degrees along the long axis - if you think of going to 0-180 degrees underwater).

So instead of just pushing down on your power face when you're rolling like you would on the normal side, on your offside, you keep the feather such that your right blade is free to rise to the surface. This means your left blade will dive a bit and not provide good purchase to brace on if you push directly down on it. However, you can still pull the blade towards your body (kind of like you would in a sweep roll) for additional purchase.

Not sure if that's a sanctioned technique, but it's something I find myself doing at times that's helpful. This is useful on your normal side as well if you're already deep in the water or just discombobulated in turbulent water.
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Old 12-13-2015   #5
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 232
I was watching a video by Stephen Wright, showing how to do the back deck roll. I noticed something that made me realize just how simple it is to do the back deck roll. In some of the examples, he stops at 90 degrees, before he does a snap. If you look at the roll, at that 90 degrees and after, it looks identical to a C to C roll after you hit the 90 degree mark. This showed me that the back deck roll is simply an alternate method to put yourself at 90 degrees before snapping your hips. Once I realized that, I went from struggling to easily hitting my back deck roll.

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Old 12-14-2015   #6
canon city, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 46
Thanks for the comments. I have found if the right blade is parallel to the water, it works pretty well and doesn't dive. The left ends up at 90 degrees but I can still swing it around and roll up.

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