I finally met famed Greenland National Kayaking Champion Maligiaq Padilla! He’s really a nice guy. In the days before he arrived there was some concern over whether we could communicate with him and someone initiated a search for a Danish interpreter but he actually speaks English pretty well.
Years ago when I was first learning Greenland Style I ordered the videotape Rolling With Maligiaq and watched it over and over. At the time the video was made, Maligiaq had won the 1988 Greenland National Kayaking Championship. At age 16 he was the youngest kayaker ever to win that honor. Kayak historian John Heath had brought him to the United States and they traveled together speaking and giving rolling and rope gymnastics demonstrations at a number of small kayaking events all over the country including the Pacific Northwest. In the video he performs the competition rolls with incredible grace using one of Harvey Golden’s Greenland kayak replicas. Rolling with Maligiaq was the definitive Greenland rolling video up until Dubside’s DVD came out. Although it wasn’t an instructional video, for many self−taught fans of Greenland style like myself it was one of the few sources of instruction available at the time outside of kayak symposiums. The movie is a classic and I recommend it to anyone interested in Greenland Style.
When I first met Maligiaq and told him how inspired I was by John Heath’s video he laughed and said he didn’t really like that video. It guess it didn’t turn out to be what he had expected.
Maligiaq then brought his sealskin tuilik and laid it out on the grass. The craftsmanship is impressive. The seams are sewn with a fine waterproof stitch that doesn’t leave holes in the skin. A woman in his town had sewn it. It is frozen for storage. For use it needs to be soaked in water for a while then rubbed with oil to soften it. He says that it is quite comfortable and completely waterproof when the wrists and face are cinched up tight. It is possible to wear sweaters underneath it, although some people will wear a dry suit. Maligiaq wore a Brooks neoprene tuilik for the Kayak Academy event, which I think was officially called, Greenland Instruction with the Masters. When it is made from neoprene the Greenlanders have a different name for it, that sounds something like “tuiliosaq”.
Rolling With Maligiaq: Greenland Kayaking Technique (1999).