The Gathering 2015

This year the Traditional Paddlers Gathering in western Minnesota was perhaps the most enjoyable it has ever been in the four years I have been attending. Perhaps I just arrived with the right attitude, perhaps it was the people that were there, or perhaps it was the return to a more traditional focus that the event had.

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Training Camp 2015 – A prodigy rises

I knew something was up when Tammy yelled across the water “This is above my pay grade, we need your help”. Training camp had started as it always does with a furious paddle across Lower Herring Lake to arrive in time to hear the dinner bell on Thursday.... read more

The forward crunch stroke

If I had a dollar for every time a traditional paddler has come stick in hand asking for help after being show the “right way” to paddle by a club instructor, I could buy a decent bottle of single malt at least once a season for sure. Now don’t get me wrong, these... read more

Qajaq Q&A

For the past three weeks I have started a new project called Qajaq Q&A. It was inspired by a marketing “guru” whom I follow on Twitter who has for the past year been answering questions everyday on camera about marketing. I thought it would be a fun... read more

A dichotomy of paddles – East meets West

Many people only think of the skinny Greenland “stick” when they think of traditional kayak paddles. Reducing Traditional Paddling to just the Greenland qajaq and paddle is doing a disservice to the vast array of other cultures that developed their own versions of... read more

$350 and a ball of string

I completed the Shrike-Skin qajaq project in time for my wife and my annual spring trip to the North Shore. The North Shore is the local’s term for the Minnesota Western shore of Lake Superior, and is home to a large number of State Parks and National Forest land.... read more

Qajaq Camp 2015

Like the Renaissance of the 12th century, this year’s Qajaq Camp was about cultural and attitudinal change. Minnesota and the surrounding states are home to many passionate people willing to share their enthusiasm for traditional paddling. By coordinating their energy... read more

Shrike-Skin Qajaq

  As a card carrying member of the traditional paddling community it seemed that it was about time I took an important step and construct my own skin-on-frame qajaq. During the past few years I have built five kayaks. Two were skin-on-frame designs. The first was... read more

Paddling in skinny jeans

The qajaq was developed by the Inuit to allow them to move amongst the sea mammals and hunt for their family and village’s survival. The qajaq is not a boat, it would be more accurate to describe it as a prosthesis, an extension of the hunter’s body enabling them to swiftly and silently approach, harpoon and recover their prey. Qajaqs fit the hunter just like a prosthetic limb is custom made for its owner. The width, length, height are all custom made to envelope the hunter and allow them to move the qajaq as if it was a part of their body, literally swimming with their qajaq.

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Old Problem – New Solution – Gearlabs

However hard I try I cant seem to prevent it. There is a certain inevitability or destiny about the damage that ocurs to the tips of my Greenland paddles. Whether it is scratches, bruises, chips or cracks, over time the paddles wear. Carbon fiber and wooden paddles... read more
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