When asked, I describe myself this way; Husband, Father, Yogi, Vegan, Kayak Builder, Greenland style Roller, who also happens to be a CTO. I live in Minnesota, USA. Married, with two girls, both of whom are growing up too fast. All four of us paddle, but none is as obsessed as me. I paddle numerous kayaks, and have built over a dozen. My favorites are my Shrike-R and Shrike-Skin replica Greenland kayaks for shorter paddles and rolling, and my Vember Expedition for trips.. 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. My passion has led me to become involved in Qajaq USA I was fortunate enough to have been elected President of the organization in 2016. In 2014 along with two friends, Mike and Lynette, I started Qajaq Camp, a not for profit training camp where we share our paddling skills and passions with other paddlers. In recent years Yoga and veganism have grown in importance to me. Applying the practice of yoga to both my paddling and my mentoring I am learning to be present and choose how to react, creating greater calm and balance. Veganism is one way in which I have chosen to respond to our global environmental crises. You can read more about my thoughts on Consciousness in my other blog Conscious Strokes.I thank daily my practice of yoga, meditation, veganism and my family for helping me stay alive in this complex and beautiful world.
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 35F 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. Based on feedback from customers and friends I proceeded to create a DVD to complement the book. You can now download the the Book and DVD for free here. In 2012 I started a series of free mentoring clinics 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.
“Do or do not… there is no try” Yoda.