An exciting day at Qajaq Rolls

Today I started selling the Rolling with Sticks DVD.

About two years ago I was let go from my job at Thomson Reuters. I had been working there for a decade, climbing up the corporate ladder. It took me a while to recover from the abruptness of the end of that era, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As therapy, during the summer of 2010, I threw myself into kayaking, specifically rolling.

I have been blogging for over 12 years, and learning to roll for a few of those years. Combining the two seemed logical and so I immersed myself in my blog, working on a “Roll of the day” series. The blog gave me a platform for creating the content that eventually led to the development of the guidebook “Rolling with Sticks”. I spent some time discussing with my father what to do with the content, originally I had wanted to develop a film but I struggled to create a compelling story or script to base it upon. My passion for photography and videography combined with rolling had resulted in many hours of footage without any real purpose. The book seemed a natural alternative. The discovery of the waterproof paper transformed what would have been “just another book” into a unique product.

Late last year I launched the book, and its sales exceed my wildest expectations. So far I have produced three editions, each one an improvement, in my opinion. Earlier this year it dawned on me that the book was in essence a story or script that I could use to structure a film about rolling.

I have never professed to be an expert at rolling, I simply enjoy sharing my passion for rolling with others, and based upon the prolific feedback I have received, my passion has helped others develop their rolling skills. Many people learn through reading, many more learn through seeing. The idea behind my next project, the Rolling with Sticks video/DVD, was to provide those people that are visual learners, that same advice/passion that I captured in the guidebook.

For the past two months I have taken over ten hours of video footage and reduced it down to 35 minutes. The video covers all the rolls in the guidebook, filmed from as many angles as I have recorded to date. The voice over borrows extensively from the guidebook’s text.

I have completed every part of the production of the video. I performed the rolls. I filmed the rolls. I wrote the script. I recorded the voice over. I edited the video. I created the video effects. I structured the DVD and its menus. I designed the cover and the DVD artwork. And finally I built the web site to market the finished product. Why do I share this? Not to brag, instead so you know whom to blame if you don’t like the quality of what I created.

Click to view a sample from the DVD

I priced the DVD at $19.95 because I feel it important that the DVD is accessible to as many people as possible. My aim is not to get rich from the DVD, as with the book I plan on donating the proceeds to worthy causes once the business expenses have been covered. Last year I was able to make a donation to Qajaq USA using the book’s proceeds, I hope to be able to repeat this, and make others, in 2012. As this web site states on the home page – I am dedicated to ensuring the survival of the many Greenland Qajaq rolling skills. I hope you will help me with this cause by purchasing a copy of the DVD and learning a few (more) rolls. Please let me know how to improve it. As those of you that have provided feedback on the book have found out, I will be very receptive to ways to improve the video.

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