So, you think you’re pretty good at rolling? Try swapping your paddle for a brick.
In this video by filmmaker Andrew Elizaga, internationally renowned paddling instructor James Manke shares some tips for mastering the most difficult traditional Greenlandic kayak rolls. Among the hardest is a roll called the Ujaqqamik tigumisserlunii, or “holding a stone in one’s hand” roll, that involves using a 17-pound brick instead of a paddle. Manke won the 2014 National Greenland Kayaking Championship, in which there are 35 types of competitive rolls.
Greenlandic Inuit peoples depended on the kayak (spelled ‘qajaq’) for hunting seals and fish. Rolling was a crucial self rescue skill when hunting in rough sea conditions, and the Inuit developed a vast number of complex and challenging methods of rolling.