Greenland Kayak Training Camp 2012

Qajaq TC

Qajaq TC

It was my second year being lucky enough to get in on the Qajaq USA event (Qajaq is pronounced kayak for non Greenlanders). Visit the Qajaq TC site  for more info and more photos of the event. The Training Camp long weekend is restricted by total number due to the limited facilities at Camp Lookout , click on the highlighted link to learn more about the camp.  The location is part of the charm of the Training Camp, not to mention the great food put on by Michael Gray of Uncommon Adventures.  So only about 65-67 people can attend including instructors.  I saw lots of familiar faces but there were also a good number of new attendees.



Training With Maligiaq

The purpose of the training is to improve and promote Greenland paddling skills.  There were lots of rolling practice going on, static bracing, and paddle stroke instruction, paddle making, and boat skinning.


Static Brace

Static Brace

Ready To Roll

Ready To Roll

Start Of Roll

Start of Roll

Kayak roll

Over Ready for Sweep

Paddle Sweep

Paddle Sweep

Roll On Back Deck

Roll Onto Back Deck

Roll Complete

Roll Complete

It is a very informal affair with the only real schedule being meal times and happy hour.  Kayakers it appears like their favorite beverage.

Happy Hour

Happy Hour Extra Dry Shaken Not Stirred


The Harder Stuff

The weather a bit cooler than last year and some people like me got rained on in the paddle over to the camp on Thursday.  There are no roads to the camp, only water taxi for the gear.  This is part of the charm of the 85 year old camp.  The rest of the weekend there was mostly sun and 70’s for a high temperature.  This felt cool to me after being in Southeast Michigan all summer with upper 80’s to 90’s being the norm.  Even my July trip to Grand Marais in the UP for the GLSKS was warmer.


Qajaq TC

Greenland Kayaks at Training Camp

I improved my roll at the camp and learned some things about the roll that I was missing so I’m a better paddler after the event than before.  My Greenland Qajaq that I built two winters ago was doing better for me; I have worked on making it more comfortable.  My assessment is I did not have the measurements correct at the very start of the boat build, my sit position was not measured correctly.  You do not have to have a Greenland boat for the training, but don’t leave home without your Greenland paddle.  Euro paddles will not be accepted at training camp.


There were Greenland boats auctioned off at the live auction Saturday night, it was a hoot, and tons of money (in the four figures) was raised for Qajaq USA, everyone is very supportive of the event and the organization.  Amazing fund amount raised since there were less than seventy people there.


Saturday Night Live Auction


Sunset At Camp Lookout

Saturday Night Sunset On Lake Michigan

Again World Champion Greenland Qajaq racer Maligiaq Padilla was there at camp providing some of his skills and perspective on Greendland paddling.  He showed everyone some good rope gymnastics, making some difficult moves look easy.  If interested Maligiaq and Uncommon Adventures  are planning a Greenland Paddle trip and they are looking for participants (number also limited).  Also checkout Maligiaq’s highly rated rolling video at his web page Maligiaq.



On The Water With Maligiaq

Following the craze that has hit Michigan this year, Michael Gray brought his stand up paddle board (SUP) and allowed people to try it out.  Not sure this was available in Greenland…  Is there a Greenland style SUP paddle yet?  Michael is also doing SUP trips with Uncommon Adventures, if nothing else I know the food would be good.

Michael In Front Of Kitchen

In closing it is hard to describe how wonderful the training camp weekend is, the people that attend just make it different, more comfortable and pleasant than other activities.  There is an aura about the place and the people of Qajaq TC USA.

Camp Fire

Evening Campfire on Lake Michigan Shore

Leave A Comment


  1. Eduardo A de fontcuberta

     /  October 20, 2014

    I need some help. I am just to start covering my greenland kayak with 12oz and urethane from skinboatsorg.
    I have seen your videos and was wondering why yo stitch the way yo do and also why you pin the gunwhales while to stich.

  2. Watched a video by check them out. Method I found there was easier to keep straight. Pins hold the tension so only a small portion needs to be tightened when sewing instead of the entire skin around the boat. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *