Saturday, November 21, 2009

Eskimo Roll a Packraft: No previous roll necessary!

First you need thigh straps.

Second you need to be able to get upside down in friendly water, a heated pool without chlorine seems ideal. Next while upside down reach your paddle up to the surface with blade flat and strong arm forward. Then pry yourself up with a sweep, keeping head and shoulders low until the boat's pretty much up (bow will be up more of course) and finally thrust that strong side hip toward the weak side, pulling against the thigh strap to get the final umph over, which is when you'll finally sit up.

I am no expert at this! I am just relaying what worked for us and what you can see is exactly what Tim Johnson is doing in the video.


  1. I have just bought a Packraft. And I am so excited! Thanks for the encouragement...

  2. Cool! If you let it, it will transform your life making you more amphibious.

  3. Hey Roman. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the possibility of foot entrapment in the thigh straps if you're unable to role your packraft. I'm psyched to get the straps in my boat and give it a try, but also wary of this hazard.

  4. Nate,

    Foot entrapment is evil -- but not a necessary one with the big fat straps we have put in. First, your knees go in the straps, not your feet, so you just have to get those out. Second, the strap are very tight, so probably less likely that a foot would get in there, because they are pressed up against the tubes. Third, when you're upside down and want out, just straighten your legs and these fat, "curve-cut" straps slip off slick as banana peels. Finally, they have a quick release buckle at the end nearest yo and you can unclip yourself if you are stuck.

    Inflatable kayaks have been using thigh straps for years, although I am not sure what the danger there might be compared to packrafts.

    I am "getting old" as they say, and much more conservative and safety conscious that I was in my 20s and I think these are safe enough to use regularly -- by these I mean the big stock, "Aire" brand, "Deluxe Thigh Strap" model.


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