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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

The Gathering

I could tell within fifteen minutes that I was going to have a good time at the 2013 gathering. At times I am dense, but over the years I have learned a hard won lesson, that many times one's attitude and mood are a decision. On the drive to Alexandria I had decided...

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.

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.