I’m really looking forward to these courses and having Rowland Woollven working alongside me on them. Although there are many people offering ‘Greenland Rolling’ classes, our aim is to fill the apparent technique gap in the UK.
Rowland is the only person to have paddled around mainland UK with a Greenland paddle and since I’ve known him (1995) this has been his preferred connection between himself and the water. If you haven’t already read his book “Sticking With It“, I would thoroughly recommend it. It is a great read, and makes the paddling real.
Image courtesy of Kevin Mansell, Jersey
My interest in Greenland style paddling was initially when a very good friend, Duncan Winning OBE received a storm paddle from a German friend of his. I set about making one within the week and still have it. This was somewhere around 1990 and since then I have made many paddles, although have given most of them to other people. I then wrote an article for Sea Paddler Magazine, which was published by Kevin Mansell in Jersey, entitled LOLLYSTICKS AND SHAVINGS. This was an attempt to allow others to follow and make their own paddles. I delivered Greenland style paddling and rolling sessions at every symposium in Britiain for several years until somewhere around 2000 when I got busy with other projects including setting up Skyak Adventures. The image above shows me demonstrating a one armed roll, the Greenlandic name of which I can’t remember. Previously to this I had hosted John D Heath for several weeks and had learned so, so much from him. I was demonstrating the various rolls whilst John was providing the commentary. Derek C Hutchinson was also standing poolside and was in the process of writing his Eskimo Rolling for Survival book, so several of the drills and rolls were included thereafter.