[kaya-ooyook] 'He who rolls up with his paddle in his kayak after a capsize
Sculling describes a continuous back and
forth movement with the paddle blade at a slight angle to create a more or less
This can be used for bracing and
maneuvering as well, e.g. to move you kayak sideways.
In the Greenland style rolling
competitions, you have to use sculling for two different braces and four rolls.
For the side scull lean backwards and slide your upper body into the water with shoulders parallel to the water surface.
At the same time extend your paddle with
blade parallel to the surface. Your are holding yourself lying in the
water next to your kayak by moving your paddle blade back and forth in a
slow continuous motion, controlling the blade angle on each interval.
Also use your knee and hips to keep your
kayak from turning on it's edge into the water. The kayak should be as
upright as possible.
For the chest scull grab you paddle in the middle and near to the end of one blade.
Now while you fall down into the water on one
side have the arm with the hand on the end of the blade straight and far
down in the water while the other arm is bent with the elbow over the
middle part of your paddle. Keep lower hand still and slide from side to
side with the upper hand to keep a steady position.
The head stays submerged during the scull.
Recover while blade slides forward towards the bow with head close to the foredeck.
The balance brace means that you lie next to your kayak without any paddle movement at all!
I was faszinated by this idea, but could not do it for a long time.
I think the best way to start is to perform a very good side
scull and make the paddle movement slower and slower until you can take
the paddle with the extended arm in the middle of the shaft, so that
your paddle floats on the water surface and supports you with both
The key to a balance brace is to arch your back and twist
your torso in a way that your shoulders lie horizontally on the water
The traditional version from Greenland is to have the paddle behind your head and under the kayaks hull while you do this.
I find it a bit harder than the first version while afloat and the recovery definately is tricky.
The Greenlanders call this maneuver 'Nalaasaarneq' 'To lie down'. For them this was a technique to relax your muscles on a long hunting day. I read that they even slept for short periods on calm conditions!
It looks quite relaxing, but in the beginning feels like
capsizing all the time until you realize that you don't. The English name was
Now that I am better, I begin to feel that it might at some point be possible to have a nap in this position!
You can make this even harder by letting go of your paddle and perform the balance brace only with your arms.
For an elbow roll it is a good idea to practice the balance
brace with only your elbow extended, then try to roll into this floating
position and recover from there. Last step is then to do this in a
Also try to lift your paddle out of the water to make it even harder.