Launching the Shrike Kayak

In November I had finished building the Qajaqpak and so had idle hands. My father and I had been working on a concept of an adaptable stitch and glue kayak design that would allow people to build a great sea kayak with limited funds and experience. Adaptability was...

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Kayak cockpit ergonomics for rolling

Independent of the style of kayak rolling you partake in it is very helpful to have a kayak that fits you. Kayaks roll because we apply force to the kayak through the connection between our body and the hull and deck, and this force is resisted by the opposite force...

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Greenland kayak rolling, fad or functional?

Greenland rolling is like yoga, you can go through life without doing it, but if you do it your life will improve. That sentence alone should have been enough for some to stop reading further. Many people that I speak with have dismissed Greenland rolling for a...

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Getting your first roll.

Over the past couple of years I have written many articles and blog posts about different aspects of learning your first Greenland kayak or qajaq roll. Many of these have been published in leading sea kayak magazines around the globe. Rather than regurgitate this...

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Maiden voyage of the Qajapak

Truth be told it was a while ago that she took to the waters of Prior Lake. The launch is a moment of truth for the builder. A time filled with apprehension, relief and excitement. Perhaps it was a desire to covert these feelings that delayed me sharing the...

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Hilleberg Tarra, my ultimate kayak camping tent?

How many times have you bought lower cost, lower quality gear and ended up replacing it with higher cost higher quality gear? The history of my kayak camping gear comprises a litany of examples of this behavior. Recently I swore I wouldn’t buy cheap gear again, I...

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Plan B

Plan A was to visit Devil’s Island in the Apostles. A progressively worsening forecast put the kybosh on that idea. With a forecast predicting five to seven feet waves with the wind on our nose, temperatures in the low teens for a high and the potential for...

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Skinning the Qajapak

Qajapak is an Inuit word which loosely translated means fat kayak. This seems a very appropriate name for the Recovery Qajaq. With the frame completed I spent a couple of days learning how to sew the skin onto the Qajaq. I used 9oz ballistic nylon which I purchased...

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Recovery qajaq frame completed

Next I start the process of skinning the qajaq. I am using a nylon fabric from the Skin Boat Store. The sewing technique I am planning on using was demonstrated by Maligiaq Johnsen Padilla at the Michigan Training camp. He used a stitch that is hidden, so in theory I...

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A Qajaq journey of discovery

It is hard to suppress the excitement that building the recovery Qajaq has evoked within me. Yesterday as my bobbin was weaving in and out of ribs and stringers, lashing together the fish bone like skeleton of my vessel, I imagined the ancient Inuit doing the same...

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Custom Tuilik by Comfort Paddling

Paulo Ouellet is a man on a mission to create traditional paddling gear that is comfortable to wear. He has created a unique take on the Inuit tuilik. This week I received a custom made tuilik based upon the multitude of measurement I filled out on the Comfort...

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