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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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.

Free Guidebook and DVD

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.