SSTIKS 2017 Mentors

Dan Segal

Dan Segal

Dan Segal a longtime member of the Walden Qajaq Society (aka “Pond Scum”), was strongly influenced by Bart Hauthaway, an Olympic whitewater coach and one of the leading designers and builders of kayaks in the late 60’s and 70’s.

“Bart was dragged into Greenland kayaking kicking and screaming. He had long correspondence with John Heath, and had seen several demos from Greenland kayakers. But he knew that water didn’t like to travel around edges, and so that kayaks shouldn’t have chines. Paddles shouldn’t “slip” through the water. And he figured that all the rolling stuff was pretty clever and impressive, but took a long time to learn and were really party tricks. Once you had a good C-C roll, what else do you need?”

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“That was until someone talked him into building a replica of a Greenland hull. It became Bart’s favorite kayak. And he admitted to himself (and to others) that he thought he had been designing boats wrong for over 30 years. He had not put a Greenland deck on his kayak, and never got used to the paddle he made. But he began to recognize the power and grace of the technique. He suspected that by double guessing the people he began to refer to as the ‘real experts’ — seal catchers — he was actually going backwards, as he had with his kayaks.”

 

“Bart was my mentor. He charged me with learning what I could about Greenland technique and helping him understand it. That kayak and that assignment led to the Walden Qajaq Society, at Walden Pond where Bart had taught rolling free of charge for decades. Members of the Society often would demonstrate for Bart before he died. Bart never let up on us during these sessions; no matter how good we thought we were, he knew better and made us better. In Bart’s honor, mentoring remains a tradition at Walden. Information flows free.” “I didn’t know much, and I still wish I could learn much more. Others – Greg Stamer, Harvey Golden, Vernon Doucette — were willing to share. I tried to take what information I could from them, and with the help of other like-minded folks, we help each other learn.”Dan rolling -- photo by Paul Lalonde. I try to help others get as much pleasure out of this game as I do. Some members of Qajaq USA have worked with me at various events around the country and have helped me get more pleasure still. It’s give and take.

“That seems to be what Qajaq USA is about: learning what can be learned about kayaks and how they have been used; building on that knowledge so that our own technique can improve; helping others do the same.”

Dan was elected to the Qajaq USA board in late 2004.

Dubside

Dubside

“Dubside is known internationally as an authority on Greenland rolling and rope gymnastics. He has appeared in Justine Curgenven’s “This is the Sea Four”, Bryan Smith’s “Pacific Horizons”, and magazine articles in “Sea Kayaker”, “Canoe and Kayak”, “Paddler”, and “Adventure Kayak”. He has his own series of instructional DVD’s. Dubside does presentations, demonstrations, and instructional classes for symposiums, clubs, and outfitters throughout North America and Europe. He is also an enthusiastic advocate of using folding kayaks to go kayaking via public transportation, which he calls “commando kayaking”. Watching, listening to, and learning from Dubside will get you excited about kayaking in general and using Greenland style paddles in particular.”

 

Tim Gallaway

Tim Gallaway

Tim began his kayaking career as a guide and ACA instructor at Woods & Water Ecotours in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when he was in college. He cut his rough water teeth on the rocky shores of Lake Superior and Lake Huron and quickly took to Greenland style paddling. After teaching himself a majority of the traditional rolling list he was bitten by the Greenland Rope Gymnastics bug and is now one of Qajaq USA‘s ropes gurus.  Tim’s crowning paddling achievement to date is an 860 mile solo and self-supported expedition along the old voyageur route from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to the edge of the Atlantic just east of Quebec City (you can hear his TEDx talk about the trip here).  Now he travels to teach traditional paddling skills and rope gymnastics at symposia around the Great Lakes and East Coast.

 

Dave Sides

Dave Sides

Dave Sides originally thought that Greenland Kayaking was all about bearded guys in odd clothing carrying wooden sticks.  As it turns out, Qajaq USA is all about “Pay it forward,” the practice of doing good deeds for others, always being open in volunteering information and passing along what you learn.

“My Greenlandic experience started a few years ago with meeting a big bearded guy on the Hudson River who extolled the virtues of a strange skinny wooden paddle he was using, while leaving me in his wake.  When I finally caught up with him at the dock he invited me to join him at the Hudson River Greenland Festival.  At HRGF I saw a bearded guy in a neoprene suite doing the most elegant rolls I had ever seen.  I met another bearded guy who invited me out for a paddle on the Hudson River with a skinny stick.  Finally, I met another rather unusual bearded character with dreads and dressed in all black.  He had Greenland Ropes strung in the trees and encouraged me to try.  As they say, the rest is history”!

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As a former gymnast, Dave was drawn to the ropes as they are quite similar to exercises on parallel bars and the high bar.   Seeking venues to gain more experience, Dave started attended the Michigan Training Camp and the Delmarva Retreat in Delaware.  As a former coach and teacher Dave found a new avenue for his passion of helping others learn and improve.  Although the ropes were actually his entry and forte, Dave is now improving his roll due to helpful coaching by Qajaq USA mentors.  “Yes, finally Dave does water!”

Although many others have helped me learn and improve, I would like to recognize and thank a few key mentors (most, but not all with beards!):  Ed Lamon, for showing me the skinny stick and taking me to HRGF; Jack Gilman, for inviting me paddling on the river and introducing me to Training Camp and Delmarva; Dubside, for being my ropes mentor and for constantly pushing me to use the Greenlandic language; Freya Hoffmeister, for getting me in a tuilik and teaching me my first roll; Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson, for being patient with me in overcoming my underwater demons; and finally Dan Segal, for always getting me to get back to the basics and the mantra:  “Now, do it slower.”

Thank you.  I am forever in your debt.  Pay it forward.” Dave is a past-board member of Qajaq USA.