01690 720214

Rolling Clinic

Course Overview

Using our pool, lake and river, our expert coaches will help you develop a strong, dependable roll in a variety of conditions.

Experience Required

able to perform a confident capsize.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Kayak or canoe hire
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Personal paddling clothing

  • Footwear to cope with bank and boat

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Warm clothes for when you get off the water

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Towel

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Bouyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • High factor sun screen

  • Midge repellant

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Notebook and pen

  • Dry bag

  • Boat (it must be very clean both inside and out if you wish to use it in our pool)

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck

  • Throwline

  • Goggles

  • Noseclip/ear plugs if you use them

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.

  • Wetsuit

  • Paddling cag

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Dry bag

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck

Our equipment stores stock wetsuits socks, noseclips and ear plugs which you can purchase if you find you need them during your course

Customer Reviews For This Course

Superb course

Mark Rogers

This was a great course. The coaching from Chris was supportive, insightful and effective. He paced the weekend just right ensuring that the content was tailored to each participant. The use of video analysis was especially useful. I now have a basic roll that I can build on over the coming months.

Cannot recommend highly enough!

Rowan Austin

Being far too lazy, I very rarely bother to leave reviews, but in this case I feel compelled to.

This is a brilliant course.

I had a kayaking holiday booked to the White Nile in Uganda, the destination for BIG white water, three weeks after taking this course. Ambitious for a novice/intermediate kayaker. However, to get the best from Uganda, I really needed to be able to roll - or face a huge number of very long swims.

Before this course, I had tried various hour-long sessions here and there, with various outfits and different club coaches, and some efforts on my own in the pool.

So I knew what I was trying to do, and I could just about roll on my onside, but with relatively little confidence and about a 50% success rate - and no offside roll at all.

In fact before I started the Rolling Clinic, I told the PYB instructor I very much doubted I would be able to roll on the offside, whatever his efforts.

So, I invested the time, effort and money in a PYB course, not really knowing much about it.

It was absolutely fantastic. Good food and accommodation, but more importantly an excellent instructor, who was supportive and hugely perceptive picking up on even the tiny minor things that can affect the success of a roll. The video analysis was extremely helpful, and the balance between pool work and analysis was just right.

By the end, I had reached the stage where I was rolling 100% of the time on the onside, using different types of roll, in a variety of different kayaks. Incredibly, because I never though I would be able to, I also got to 80% effectiveness on the offside too.

How did this work in terms of transferring this to Uganda, and combat?

I explained to my instructor out there that I had done a rolling clinic but never rolled in combat, in moving water. Fast forward a couple of days, and he was amazed at how well I could roll (especially as I was capsizing a fair bit)! When we discussed the PYB course he mentioned that he would recommend it to others to enable them to get the best from their holiday. I did swim a handful of times in those two weeks, but generally only in pretty impossible situations. So the roll I learned at PYB got me up an unbelievable number of times...and I even managed an offside roll in the middle of a raging class IV rapid!

If this sounds boastful it is not meant to be, I am trying to paint a "before and after" picture as the credit really goes to PYB, not me...

So it goes without saying that I would hugely recommend the Rolling Clinic. If you want to learn how to roll, this is the way to do it - in my opinion, much better than a brief session here or there. I got WAY more out of it than I expected, and this was proved by my experience on the Nile.

Thanks very much to PYB - this helped make my experience in Uganda absolutely amazing.

Awsome course

Bill Johnson

The course covers the basic steps required to roll a kayak. however the attention to detail and continuous tweaks to adapt these steps to individual flexibility and body shape made the whole learning process both great fun and gave me a real insight into the mechanics of the roll. All the myths dispelled and the video reviews each day were a brilliant learning tool.
The course I was on had 100% of the students rolling successfully by the end. The instruction was absolutely first class with very personable and knowledgeable Guy who was so tuned in to what was going on at all times it was as good as having a one to one trainer.
What I found great was the lack of pressure which made it fun and my progress was then a natural progression as I learned each step finally being quite surprised when I did my first roll.
The rooms, food and facilities at Plas y brenin are all brilliant someone is listening to feedback because everything is really smooth in operation. Reception are very friendly and helpful and everyone made my stay a real pleasure. I will most definitely be back. My greatest respect to Chris the instructor, thanks again.


Kev Homewood

Highly recommended course, had tried for along time to roll, with little success. Chris's input was the final piece of the puzzle, rolling just before lunch on the second day.
Goggles and nose clip are a must, if you have your own kayaking gear, take it along (pool can be a little cold).
Food, accommodation and staff all excellent, will be using PYB again.
Thank you.

Great course, great instruction.

Lisa E

I took this course with my boyfriend as a means to enable us to do more kayaking/canoeing activities such as sea kayaking and open water kayaking in the future. Having done our one and two star canoeing and kayaking awards at a local tarn near home, I had lost confidence while struggling with a type of rescue. This rolling course at Plas Y Brenin did so much to restore and build on my confidence. Chris, the instructor, could not have been more patient and understanding. The group was small enough that there was plenty of time for close tutoring and we also got to see recordings of our rolling in order to learn our strengths and weaknesses, to better understand what we needed to work on in the next water session.

Having goggles and a nose clip really helps to remove the distraction of getting a head full of water, and helps you focus on what you're doing, so I'd definitely recommend having those with you. You can buy them on site.

The accommodation and food was also great, all the staff we spoke with were really friendly and enthusiastic. We had a really enjoyable time, and though we were completely frazzled by the end, we could not have been more carefully looked after.

We will definitely be back!

Awesome course

Martin Jackson

I am not a natural in a kayak and have had two coaching sessions before this course and still could not roll. If I could not roll after this I was going to give up on the three star. I needed to roll so that I could get the three star for the centre I work at towards my UKCC Level two. Chris was a great coach, very calm and supportive with lots of positive feedback. I went from no roll, to rolling different boats and from going under in different ways and sides. Really good course, worth every penny. Thanks Chris.

A fab weekend away!


The rolling course was great fun. There were 5 of us on the course, which was about the right amount for the size of the pool. Chris (the instructor) worked with us all individually, and also went through video clips of us so we could troubleshoot on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

I had the impression that it wouldn't be that much fun, but my husband and I both really enjoyed it. it was hard work, but it was definitely worth it.

Three of the five of us managed a roll before the end of the course, and the other two of us (me included) managed a roll with minimal float help on the paddle. The instructor said to me that I was probably a bit tired after the intensive two days, but I had the right skills and next time I tried it I would manage it no problem. He was right - I tried it three days later and it worked.
I can really recommend this course, the instruction was great, and the facilities at PYB are second to none. It is expensive, but it is worth the money.

Conquer your roll

Hernan Morillo

Excellent course. You could take your time and learn to roll your kayak over several days/ weeks or you could just get on with it, commit a weekend and learn to roll properly in a structured, thoughtful and progressive manner.
The course is entirely based in the excellent, heated pool. Working in pairs we took it in turns to roll /assist. Chris , our instructor managed to break down the day so we could maximise our practice time without becoming worn out. He used video analysis as an aid for self-progression and feedback.
Equipment you might find useful:
All the equipment you need is available from pyb at no additional cost. I did bring my own wetsuit (3mm long sleeved) and this was more comfortable than the long johns and better than a shortie. The pool is heated but you do spend an extended period in the water. You'll need a nose clip (as a minimum) and some goggles. Even better, use a snorkelling mask. It really helps with orientation when you are trying to swing your paddle upside down.
Two days is long enough to give you a chance to get to grips with your roll. You probably will need more practice to completely consolidate your newly acquired skill but you will make significant, rapid progress.
As usual for Plas y Brenin, the standard of instruction was the best available. Other good points include: Course buddies, meals, accommodation, views/location

An excellent course

Sophie Clark

I had no previous rolling experience, in fact very little kayaking experience at all, and got a great deal out of the weekend. The coaching was top notch: Pete did a terrific job of building confidence, making something completely alien and slightly intimidating feel possible. All in all a very rewarding experience, and as close to enjoyable as an introduction to spending time upside down under water could possibly be.

Great course

Philip cousins

Great instruction and great facilities, this course really worked for me. Chris Evans worked with us all individually pinpointing what we needed to work on to achieve our roll.

Really enjoyed it

Paul Ritson

Excellent course, really enjoyed it.
Excellent for novice rollers to really understand the technique and to get to grips with rolling when you've never really had to do it 'for real'.
The instructors were really good, very patient and made the course fun, they were also good at recognising when people needed to take a break.
Should recommend participants bring wetsuit & face mask (or goggles & nose clip)!
Should advise participants to be prepared for aching muscles, no matter how good their paddling is!




Exhausting course but well worth it


Five or six hours a day for two days in the rolling pool is incredibly hard work, but well worth it if, like me, you need some expert help with your roll.
Can't fault the coaching, which was superb. We all left knowing exactly where we were and what we needed to do next to get better.

Great course

Andy D

Went on the two-day rolling course last weekend – excellent.! Chris, the coach, got it just right: great manner, letting people go at their own pace, individual advice according to ability/progress. Good comments on the videos of our efforts too. I did manage to roll with a paddle float but not without, but I was very pleased with this progress for me – I got far further than on other rolling courses I’d done. Make no mistake, this course is difficult not just in terms of the skill to be acquired but also the energy and stamina needed, as well as the wear and tear on your muscles etc. Luckily the other five on the course were really nice people. One out of six of us managed a roll without paddle floats (though a couple of others came very close), but he went on to roll both sides and could do it even after being thrown in randomly. Great coach, good people and facilities. I was lucky to get a single room but I think they need to provide more of these – there are a lot of us poor sleepers about. Course to be recommended – you’ll make progress, but don’t underestimate what it will take out of you!

Fantastic course.

Ben Redhouse

Fantastic course. Excellent coaching. Got me rolling on both sides. Delivered everything I had hoped for. Thanks. Ben

Great course

Simon Hayes

I always have a great time at PYB and this course was no exception.
I can't say i learned to roll by the end of the course but in just 2 days that's not always possible. I did make good progress to getting a roll though and it gave me a good foundation.
The course can teach you all you need to know but perfecting it takes time. Now I need to remember what I've been taught and practice.
The instructors and facilities were excellent as usual.
And thanks to all the staff behind the scenes as well for all the great food.

Great course with some fantastic instruction

Crayston Renner

Overall, it was a brilliant course from start to finish... the instructor to pupil ratio was ideal (3:5) as it allowed everyone to be active with an instructor all of the time.

The quality of equipment is super, except the kayaks (mine had a very small crack in the side so kept on getting water in it). The rolling pool is ideal for its purpose, though could perhaps have been warmer, but we were on the move all the time, so kept warm.

The food was great and there was plenty of it!

Excellent tuition, rubbish student

Nick Pearson

I'm not sure how the coaching could have been any better. Carl was patient, informative, knowledgeable and understood how novices like me learn. The course was well structured and broken down into bite-sized pieces that really helped me understand what I was supposed to be doing. The fact that I came away without being able to roll was entirely down to my incompetence!

The only negative I'd have would be that the pool was slightly too small (for 3 boats), especially when one was a sea kayak! and it was slightly too deep at the deep-end for a short person to keep turning their partner's boat over.

Rolling clinic 23rd-24th April 2011

Miles Bradshaw

Extremely happy with the course. I attended a rolling clinic a few years ago, but Carl had a different approach and teaching style which has enabled me to make the next step forward. I now have some degree of confidence in orientating myself and positioning the paddles underwater. Its just a case of further practice in different situations.

Carl was a very good tutor, who inspired confidence in me, was friendly, enthusiastic and approachable. He encouraged further development throughout the clinic, but did not push me to do anything I was not ready for. He allowed enough practice time for me to reinforce what I had just learned and did not progress ahead too quickly for me.

I wish to express my thanks to Carl for a very worthwhile and enjoyable two days.

Does what it says on the tin!

John Evans

Great paced course where the Instructor (Carl) took us through a range of exercises that on the surface appeared unrelated, which culminated in coming up without even realising it.

From then on bits were added to refine individuals problems. With only 3 on the course there was no hiding place and we were all physically knocked out by the end of the second day. Carl's relaxed style and insistance to concentrate on the basics resulted in a worthwhile experience and a solid foundation to work from for the future.

Would recommend it to anyone - Thanks

Great Course

David Robson

Really well put together and successful weekend under the expert tutelage of Chris Evans. As is often the case there was a mix of previous experience, and I have generally found people aim low when bidding for courses at the Brenin. My course selection has always been driven as much by my availability as to the course pre-requisites! Consequently 2 of us had a hit and miss roll and I had none, but Chris managed the whole learning experience really well, pacing it so that we gained the maximum from the sessions, using video and so on.

Net effect - I went from no roll to one that is reliable roll on both sides!

All you have to do is sweep!

Bob Walker

It's as simple as that. If only! After being a club paddler for a number of years and still not being able to get my roll right, even after much 'helpful' advice, I decided to stop putting it off and sign up. My emotions for the weekend went through the complete range, optimism, frustration, despondent, hope and last of happiness. Chris the instructor must of been scratching his head trying to come up with ways of getting my brain to do as it was being told and not what it wanted to. He never let it show though, he just kept on smiling and encouraging me and everyone else on the course. The end result was that I can now say with complete honesty 'I can roll!' it may not be bomb proof yet but I know how things should be and what I need to do. There were 3 on the course with 3 different styles, abilities and personalities, but all 3 can roll with some proficiency, well done to Glyn and Dave. Especially Dave who ended up rolling left and right and pretty bomb proof. So if your reading this and wondering whether to sign up or not, all I can say is do it, I'm pretty sure you won't regret it. As well as goggles and nose clip I'd recommend a log sleeved rash vest.
Thanks to Chris and all at PYB.

Bomb Proof Roll

Frank Harradence

I joined the course on 12th December, with no experience of or ability to roll a kayak. I had the usual pre course nerves and was wondering if I had made a mistake in enrolling on such a course!  However, the instructor Pete soon put us at ease his 'light touch' knowledge and humour soon easing the first day nerves.  He explained the need for establishing a sound foundation as the key to obtaining a bomb proof roll.  Very soon we were equipped with wet suits etc and straight into the pool; undertaking a range of drills and different ways of getting water in the nose and ears!  I found that I was allowed to learn at a rate that I was able to dictate together with Pete's guidance, demonstrations and encouragement, and working with the other students I began to build up an understanding and a foundation of the roll that began to feel more natural.  Even my pre course nerves had disappeared! Day two and Pete said it was time for me to put it all together, including the use of the paddle.  My first attempts with this were entertaining for those watching but not what I was trying for! Further advice from Pete got me to rethink my 'hip flick' and hey presto my first ever roll was achieved, to say I was pleased is an understatement. As the day  progressed I was able to establish a more reliable roll which has provided a solid base in the process of building a 'Bomb Proof Roll'.
There were six of us on the course, each with varying abilities but Pete used this to assist the group and individual learning without being rushed or held back.
Four days after my return home from Plas Y Brenin  I attended my local kayak clubs pool session and achieved a 100% hit rate on a succession of rolls.....brilliant feeling that has yet to stop me smiling.
In conclusion Plas Y Brenin is an excellent venue, wonderful location with first class facilities & equipment, all the staff were excellent but a special thanks must go to Pete Catterall.

Expectation Management and Disappointment

Ann Gales

Having eagerly looked forward to this weekend (my first at PYB) for weeks it was sad that I came away disappointed. As someone who has never rolled before and come late to kayaking in my forties I wasn't expecting a total transformation and consistent roll in just two days. I was not even expecting to "enjoy" the course - as Chris our Instructor said, People go on a Rolling Clinic as a means to an end. I was prepared for hard work, frustration, aching limbs and a lot of hanging upside down in a kayak.
However my main two complaints. We had 7 people on the course which was one more than promised. Not only did this make the instructors job hard managing so many but the odd number meant pairing up was difficult and I felt out on a limb as the unpaired person. Also - I had looked at the pre-requisites for the course. A confident capsize is all that is required. My expectations were therefore that we would start from scratch learning to do eskimo rescues and the like before moving onto paddle work. In reality all others on the course had at least tried rolling but could not roll consistently or get the hang of it. I felt a big disconnect in level of experience which when combined with the odd numbers made it all a rather disheartening experience for me. The Instructor Chris was excellent - quality of instruction was not an issue. He just couldn't give enough to each of us and the pool got crowded at times. He was very encouraging and I did get something out of the course. I came away more relaxed about capsizing. I have suggested that they need to hold this course when they have 4 people to one instructor and whilst it's impossible to get everyone at the same level there should be a difference between clinics for complete novices and those who have had some rolling experience before. So having come to PYB to what I thought was the best in the UK I came away dissatisfied with the service received. The overbooking on the course ( an administrative mistake admitted to by PYB) should have been addressed or another instructor added to help Chris. Despite this my determination to learn to roll before I hit 50 remains!
If you go on the course just make sure you can do a VERY confident capsize and eskimo rescue before you get there.

Make it easy on yourself

Clive Nutton

Rolling boats is so very hard to do. In the spirit (if not the precise words) of the Walker Brothers' popular single, try not to be too tough on your progress through the two days as you'll doubtless have your downs as well as ups.

This is where the pace of the instruction and expertise of the coach really shone through as Chris managed energy and motivation levels very well indeed. Learning to roll is a very single-minded pursuit and frequent "time-outs" helped me to progress with less gnashing of teeth (and damage to self-esteem) than might otherwise have been the case. Chris seemed to know just when to intervene, either with morale boosting chat, technical tweaks or just a grin and a nod, or whether to allow the personal headgame to continue uninterupted. Examining video of my many unsuccessful attempts at the end of the first day was really helpful.

At the end of the two days I'd improved my roll from sporadic to much better than 50/50 and, even better, I now have know how to go about getting better. The clinic may not provide you with a bombproof roll (it doesn't promise to) but at worst you'll have a degree of "conscious competence" that'll help you get there.

Read the report here


Sophie Fankhauser

The course was absolutely brilliant! The instructors had incredible subject knowledge and took us step by step through the aspects of rolling. This 2 day course has given me a lot to think about and I know feel confident to carry on practising my roll. I`d recommend it to everyone who wants to learn to roll properly. Thanks PYB for an amazing weekend.

Does what it says on the tin!

Cara Chapman

By that comment, I mean that no promises are made about giving you a bombproof roll in just 2 days. However, what the course did provide was an excellent base and set of tools to go away and work with. It's given me the confidence I needed when capsizing and my roll is so nearly there!!

This is well worth doing to equip yourself with the right direction to go in, excellent facilities and opportunity to practice. I would totally recommend it.

Sucess !!

Tracey Jones

What an exhausting 2 days, our instructor new exactly how far to push us, she was understanding and encouraging all the time, Good tip take goggles, and nose clip, earplugs if you wish, or even better a snorkling mask. Be prepared to be more tired than you expect, take snacks and drink with you for an energy boost mid morning and afternoon, Brilliant 2 days and I did ROLL successfully

Very well structured

Chris Golby

The course was very well structured and broke down the roll into small stages so that we could understand how to roll from the first basics. The video was really useful as enabled us to see the roll in slow motion and also look at the mistakes we were making. Adam and Lou were fantastic instructors helping and supporting us along the way. Eventually did manage to roll just about at the end of the second day.! I would ensure that before students came, they were reasonably fit and quite flexible as the course is quite demanding on the core muscles, so the fitter and more flexible the more you will get out of the course. Goggles and noseclips are essential. Now from here I can practice more as I know what I need to do and what it feels like

Knackering chlorine-fest, but superb anyway!

Rob Wymer

This was an excellent course - thanks mainly to Pete Catterall's superb tuition. Yes it was constant chlorine, yes it was flippin' hard work but that's what we came for. We were all successful to differing levels but we all made tremendous progress, and those didn't quite achieve a bomb-proof roll at the end were very close and will no doubt be there soon with a bit more practise. Pete was brilliant - great fun, very patient, and with some really useful tips and tricks to get us where we wanted to be. Thanks a lot Pete. Overall, highly recommended but expect to be almost too tired for a beer in the bar....

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

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Contact our team on 01690 720214 or email - they will be happy to help you find something perfect.

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