Can you roll a Sit on Top Kayak?

Not be the most important question of all time, but we had fun trying this.

Sit on top kayaks are not really designed for tricks or for rapids of more than Grade 2. Sit on tops are at their best when stability is a top priority. However this question had been asked and so we let the expert paddlers at Engage Watersports have a go at attempting a roll in our Kaafu Kayak.

Watch the video to find out how it went…

Video: Engage Watersports

Kayak: Kaafu

…So the answer is “with difficulty” I think you will agree!

What does this tell us?

This isn’t too surprising, as our sit on top kayaks have a wider hull than most closed deck kayaks, designed for maximum stability in the water. This makes rolling a sit on top kayak pretty hard, as you saw!

Secondly, in a closed deck kayak you have more connectivity with your boat because there are more points of contact. Even with leg straps (which were essential for attempting this task!), it was difficult in this Kaafu sit on top.

This video does highlight the fantastic stability of these boats. Even when the paddler was leaning right over, the boat still righted itself.

It also highlights the need for legstraps for more connectivity to the boat if you are in choppy water. They provide more points of contact as you are paddling, they make it easier to manoeuvre the kayak and lastly you simply won’t fall out so easily!

Important safety notes:

  • – Do not try this at home unless you are a very experienced kayaker!
  • Always use a lifejacket and we highly recommend a helmet too.
  • – The great thing about sit on tops is that if you fall off the kayak you are at exceedingly low risk of getting trapped underneath. However if you use leg straps, be sure you can slip out of them in an emergency if you capsize. If you do capsize, it is really easy to get back on. Check out our advice here on how to recover from a capsize.

Happy and safe kayaking,

The Fatyak Team

Related articles: Recovering from a capsizeWhy Choose a Sit on Top Kayak?Top 10 places in the UK to Kayak, Choosing the right kayak for you