Quest for the Golden Harpoon Head!
Out the Gate: Fort Baker to Point Diablo

Highlights from Kayak Academy’s Greenland Rolling Competition

Kayak Academy's Greenland Rolling Competition: Interview with Dubside from Baby Seal Films on Vimeo.

Dash Point Pirate TV caught up with Dubside for a brief interview in the middle of Kayak Academy’s Greenland Rolling Competition at Lake Sammamish on August 23, 2009. Dubside discussed the importance of maintaining tradition by learning the Greenlandic names of the rolls, given the explosive popularity of Greenland Style and its adoption by “mainstream” sea kayaking in the United States.

Dubside also outlined plans for a much bigger competition on Lake Sammamish, based on the National Greenland Kayaking Championship, that will include rope gymnastics, races, rolling, and harpoon throwing. No other country other than Greenland holds a serious traditional kayaking competition, so hopefully Kayak Academy will be able to pull off this very ambitious project. The challenge of traveling and shipping kayaks and gear to Greenland discourages a lot of highly skilled American kayakers from competing in the Greenland games. I’m betting that these people will be crawling out of the woodwork to attend an event like this. When it happens, remember that you read it here first!


Kayaking legend Maligiaq Padilla also judged the event. In addition to teaching skin−on−frame building classes he has been building kayak models during his stay in the Pacific Northwest. Tom Sharp displayed one during the event −− an exquisitely crafted frame carved from yellow cedar, based on Maligiaq’s own racing kayak. It takes Maligiaq about the same amount of time to make one of these models as it does to make a full-size frame. They will sell for just as much, probably even more. Expect to see this work of art featured at the Inuit Gallery in Vancouver, BC. 


Oh, by the way, I guess I should mention that I won the highly coveted Golden Harpoon Head with a score of 165! Competition was stiff, and I was very lucky Warren Williamson didn’t show up (he was busy surfing his Illusion at the tidal race at Skooks). I had practiced norsamik masikkut, kingup apummaatigut, and ikusaannarmik niaqoq/pukusuk patillugu all month, but when the time came I didn’t score with these at all. Having to wear a bulky PFD (for insurance purposes) really hurt me. I think it’s time to get one of those small inflatables! Many thanks to George Gronseth and Barb Sherrill of Kayak Academy, Dubside, Maligiaq, John, KayakGrrl and all the other volunteers who put together such great event!


Bob Baltazar

Congratulations Andrew! Wish I was there. Too bad the event coincided with the LoCo Roundup.


Awesome. Congrats!!! I was hoping to go and I'm sorry I missed it.

Ignacio-Wenley Palacios

Who is the tall smiling Eskimo between Dubside and Maligiaq? He does look the part.

keith wikle

Hey Andrew:

funny you mentioned the lifejacket. I had the same issue with a rolling contest for our club. After I bombed a few of my rolls I could do easily in a tuiliq, I decided to stop practicing in the tuiliq! Being able to do all of your rolls in a drysuit with a lifejacket on is a skill in and of itself.



That does beg the question, is it better to be safer in your kayak or out of the kayak? Given the choice of a tuilik allows you to comfortably recover from capsize easily and provides a fair bit of flotation or a PFD which inhibits rolling but stores safety gear and provides better floatation, what would you pick? A drysuit is a no brainer for me in either situation as I'm a Minnesota/Lake Superior paddler.


Yeah, Keith, I really admire people who can do all those hand rolls in the bigger fiberglass boats that I can only pull off in my low volume skin on frame. I'll have to work up to that, eventually.

As far as actual paddling goes, Alex, I feel much more comfortable playing in the rough stuff, where I'm likely to be underwater a lot, wearing just my tuilik, because of the freedom of movement and the feeling of being completely sealed in a thick layer of neoprene. I do miss having pockets and a knife though.

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