When I first learned to hand roll it was a marginal affair. If the wind was blowing from the west. If the stars aligned. And if I remembered all of my move then maybe, just maybe, the roll would work. I used momentum and a lot of arm muscle to force the kayak to roll...read more
The Greenlandic name for this roll "Paatip Kallua Tuermillugu Illuinnarmik" literally means "using only one arm, with the paddle touching the shoulder". This far more accurately describes the roll than the modern English name. This roll has nothing to do with your...read more
Siukkut tunusummillugu means forward, touching one's neck. The forward refers to the fact you roll face first into the water. Its quite committing when you do it the first time. The paddle hooked over the hull really locks you into doing a full face plant. This roll...read more
The forward finishing clenched fist roll is perhaps one of the hardest forward finishing roll to execute. A good progression to get to this roll is the Storm roll, the forward finish norsaq rolls, and then the forward finishing hand roll. I was delighted when I got...read more
Yesterday sucked. It is undeniably the worse day of every year. Well at least the past 6 years. It is the end of Emma’s summer visitation with us. I took her to the airport and put her on her flight out east. I had decided prior to yesterday that going rolling would...read more
The Aariammillugu or spine roll has little to do with your spine. In fact the more literal translation of the original name is "touching the area between the shoulder blades". This more accurately reflects the position the paddle is in. When I started learning this...read more
Qajaq Rolls is dedicated to passing on the traditional art of Greenland kayaking. Greenland kayak rolling can be a relaxing, yoga-like exercise. Rolling is also a tremendously valuable self-rescue technique, and should be the go-to recovery for any serious kayaker. Greenland kayak rolls are steeped in the history of the Inuit people, whose very survival depended upon their ability to roll up and recover while hunting. But Greenland kayaking encompasses much more than just rolling, qajaq building, paddle carving, throwing the harpoon and rope gymnastics are just some of the many skills that make up this ancient subsistence culture. If you are interested in learning more about all aspects of Greenland kayaking consider supporting Qajaq USA and Qaannat Katuffiat:
Qajaq USA is a nonprofit membership organization that is officially recognized by Qaannat Kattuffiat (The Greenland Kayaking Association). Qajaq USA is committed to supporting Qaannat Kattuffiat and their efforts to preserve, study and promote the traditions and techniques of Greenland kayaking while seeking to further the appreciation and development of Greenland-style kayaking in the United States.
Please consider joining Qajaq USA and supporting the organizations efforts.
If you are looking to prepare yourself your equipment and then learn your first roll please follow this link to a series of articles put together to help people get started: Getting your first roll. Nothing beats in person training, especially one-on-one training. If you are looking for mentoring check out the Qajaq USA Events where you can become immersed in the culture of traditional paddling.
Rolling with Sticks® started as a project to document the progress I was making as I learned the different Greenland style kayak rolls. This work evolved into the water proof guidebook and DVD. The project has paid for the costs of production so I decided to make them freely available for download in English, español – Spanish and 中文 – Chinese. Please download and share them with your paddling friends, and help to promote the art of Greenland rolling.