• Overview
  • Itinerary
  • FAQ
  • Gear list
  • Enquiry

Kayak Rolling Courses Auckland

Kayak Rolling Courses

Rolling your kayak upright is an essential skill all kayakers must learn through structured kayak rolling courses. But if you’ve ever tried teaching yourself rolling or with friends, you’ll know it’s a dark art… one that we’ve expertly demystified. So, Kayak Rolling Courses entail calm waters alongside one of our qualified guides, learning how to eskimo roll your kayak confidently and safely at a time that suits you on our courses.


Why would you roll a a kayak?

You will recover quicker, need not swim nor bail. Kayak rolling lets you be more adventurous and less conservative, quickly becoming more capable, competent and safer.


Learn how to Eskimo Kayak Roll

Our Kayak Rolling Courses go through the Eskimo Roll through lessons and courses by tuition with Social Nature Movement services. Our staff are up-to-date with correct kayak rolling techniques and teaching styles for optimally rolling kayaks.


How we help you roll

We help you through comfort and confidence routines, helping control the natural panic when upside down. Next comes progress through our tried-and-trusted rolling methods, ensuring you roll back upright consistently and safely. Through a series of kayak teaching points, you will learn the roll secrets of each step to gain success. Read all about the kayak roll and get on board with us!

We recommend all kayakers learn how to roll their kayak; boosting confidence, saving time and avoiding swimming among turbulent water and rocks. Maximising likelihoods of gaining the kayak roll; most people do with us in four sessions. We advise four more ‘maintenance’ Kayak Rolling Courses to review, consolidate and improve your kayak roll; making it ‘bombproof’ and reliable rather than just once on flat waters then forgetting it when it counts!


Is it easy to roll a kayak?

One of the greatest things about kayaking as a sport; it has something to offer everyone. For many, kayaking is a means of getting exercise outdoors. For others, kayaking provides excitement of continuously learning new skills, refining techniques and the satisfaction of making progress over time. For this latter group, there are some great reasons to take the time to attend Kayak Rolling Courses, learning to roll, and we can assure you that it will be worth the effort.

For whitewater kayakers, Kayak Rolling Courses are an important skill to master. Knowing how to roll doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect to swim every once in a while, because sometimes you won’t have a choice. But, swimming should be one of your last resorts. Aside from being tiring, frightening and humbling, you’re much more vulnerable to hazards when swimming in whitewater. A reliable roll is also a great confidence-builder, which means you’ll be more relaxed on the water and more inclined to try new things. Invariably, this results in a steeper learning curve.

For touring and sea kayakers, there’s no question that kayak rolling skills are a huge asset. It lets you paddle more safely, helping you be more relaxed on the water and you’ll find your increased confidence will support you in exploring new elements of the sport.

These are some pretty compelling reasons to book Kayak Rolling Courses, and the fact you’re reading this probably means you’re interested in doing so. You’ll be happy to know that any reasonably fit paddler can learn to roll, because rolling relies on good technique, not power.


What are the types of kayak rolls?

You might find this hard to believe, but there are over 100 different types of rolls being put to practice today. The vast majority of these rolls were developed by Inuit kayak hunters who relied on them for survival in the arctic waters. Of all these rolls, there are two that are considered to be the most basic and standard types of rolls we teach on our Kayak Rolling Courses. They’re called the C-to-C and sweep rolls. Both of these rolls represent a great starting ground when learning. What makes them so popular is the fact that they break the roll into a series of three defined, easy-to-understand steps.


How the kayak roll works

To attempt to fully explain how to do either of these rolls would be a futile gesture, so let us instead explain the basic idea of our Kayak Rolling Courses. To roll a kayak upright from the upside-down position, you’re going to extend your body out to the side and get yourself as close to the surface of the water as possible. From this position, your paddle will act like a brace and provide the support needed for your hips to roll the kayak upright. Once your hips have rolled your kayak upright as far as they can, your body and head will swing out of the water and over top your kayak—with your head being the last part of your body to do so. You can see more here.


Can you teach yourself to roll a kayak?

Over the years teaching Kayak Rolling Courses, people have said it is hard to teach themselves to roll a kayak after reading books or watching videos. We've had the great fortune (and occasional amusement) of watching people learn in such very different ways. Although most people require the direct help of an instructor, we’ve watched some first time paddlers flip and roll right back up unassisted, having only watched someone perform the roll beforehand. Although a few people have an uncanny ability to pick up the roll, as a general rule the best way to learn the roll is with professional instruction, which you can then put to practice in a controlled, warm-water environment (such as a beach or an indoor pool).


Want to improve your current roll or learn new rolls?

If you already have a kayak roll, want to improve it or would like to learn a new style of roll - with or without the paddle - contact us, we will help!



2 hours


Check out our booking calendar or fill an enquiry here.

Itinerary test content.


First 30mins

Time : 12:00 am

Warm up, orientation, balance, getting comfortable

Second 30-60mins

Time : 12:00 am

On water movement foundations, positioning, progressive movement into water

Third 60-90mins

Time : 12:00 am

In (not under) the water, more progressive movement, technique consolidation

Last 90-120mins

Time : 12:00 am

First attempts at a full underwater and assisted roll. Maybe you get it, maybe we draw back to where you are most needing support

Anywhere around Auckland

Our instructor can take you from novice to expert.

Yes you can teach yourself to roll a kayka but it is very difficult.

Learning to roll a kayak can take as little as 10mins (that is our record), and it can also take many sessions. The hardest part is committing yourself to trying.

You might find this hard to believe, but there are over 100 different types of rolls being put to practice today. The vast majority of these rolls were developed by Inuit kayak hunters who relied on them for survival in the arctic waters.

It is possible to roll a kayak without a skirt but it is very difficult. Master the basic roll first.

Yes you can roll a sit on top kayka but you need thigh braces or straps. It is also very difficult.

Rolling a kayak without a paddle is called hand rolling, it is a specialist skill that involves a lot of flexibility and brain power.

The C to C is named for the two arcs you trace in the water as you complete the roll: one out over your head as you align your paddle for the set up, and the second down into the water to bring you up again.

We select the best staff for the job based on their skills, knolwedge and experiences. They will be an SNM staff member or we will bring in support from equally competent contractors. Sometimes we also bring in (semi)celebrity guests!

We recommend you bring your normal kayaking clothing and equipment.


  • Swimwear (wetsuit / drysuit if cold)
  • Towel
  • Change of clothes


  • Nose plugs
  • Goggles

All of the above is available to rent / hire / buy


One staff

Activity specific items:

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Spray deck