I live in Minnesota, USA. Married, with two girls. All four of us paddle, but none is as obsessed as me. I paddle my skinny black kayak with a skinny black stick wearing a black tuilik. Sometimes I wear black sun-glasses, but I have learned they frost up on cold days after a roll. I have bigger kayaks like the NDK Explorer but I prefer to spend time in my Tahe Greenland and skin on frame replica Greenland kayak. Learning the Inuit paddle strokes, rolls and rescues is my passion. I am equally passionate about passing on those skills to others, especially my girls.
I was fortunate to grow up in England in a family which was afloat at every opportunity. My youth was spent sailing. That meant sailing our family yacht in the Solent, crossing the North Sea in the Tall Ships Race, and competing in national and international sailing dinghy races. I discovered my passion for kayaking later on. My parents bought me a P&H Capella which I paddled in the Chesapeake Bay for many years before moving to Minnesota. Home to 10,000+ lakes, Minnesota has provided me with a wealth of experiences. Paddling in all kinds of temperatures from -20F to 110F. I have also been able to travel around the World extensively and have paddled in four continents.
My favorite place to paddle is unquestionably the Na Pali coast on the Western side of Kauai. I was able to enjoy paddling and surfing with spinner dolphins and cruising along with huge sea turtles and rays. My most memorable paddle was also in Kauai. Paddling a tandem up the Hanalei River, and for the first time my wife Jacquelyn getting the real feeling of the forward stroke. To celebrate we rode the current out into the ocean and surfed back in on her first ever wave over the bar. She was squealing with delight! Every paddle is a learning moment for me. The best has to be launching in Lake Superior one summer and ending up going over headfirst into 38F water without my butt even making it into the seat. My girls laughed so hard I thought they were going to fall in too.
I have my father’s patience and guidance to thank for teaching me my first roll in the warm salt waters off the shore of Bahia Honda Key in Florida. Since then I have gone on to learn many Greenland style rolls. I have been assisted by many local, national and international paddlers who have followed the tradition of the Inuit and passed on their skills to me. I am extremely grateful to them all..
In 2010 I was let go from corporate America, this gave me the freedom to develop my passion for kayak rolling into a cottage business. Since then I have created the first ever water proof guidebook to Greenland rolling, Rolling with Sticks. This taught me a great deal about illustration, writing and editing. As well as introducing me to the joys of self publishing and distribution. The book was a great success, sales exceeded anything I had planned on. I was able to make a sizable financial contribution to Qajaq USA with the proceeds. Based on feedback from customers and friends I proceeded to create a DVD to complement the book. This was new territory for me, requiring me to learn to write, produce, direct, film, edit and of course star in it! Then I went about having it manufactured and subsequently distributed. You can purchase the Book and DVD here. Sales of the DVD have exceeded the book and have helped me to fund the establishment of a series of hands on rolling clinics. The clinics have been running since Spring 2012, offering free tuition to anyone who wants to learn the Art of Greenland style rolling. You can find out more information about the clinics here
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“Do or do not… there is no try” Yoda.