Tuesday, August 25, 2020



Today, 10 years ago was the day I started my blog. I just read trough the first entries and yes, my world has changed a bit. And also...yes, my world hasn't changed much :)

The blog was created for two reasons: 

First to fill in what my website did not offer, by giving customers and other people a peep into my world. I felt like sharing some of the projects I worked around every day. I felt it was too good to keep to myself, and the few other people who would occasionally pop by.

The other reason for the blog was the Norway circumnavigation in 2011. To be able to take time off to do this amazing trip, I needed to use it for marketing of my products also. But writing a blog about the trip was quite a gamble - what if the trip went bad and I had to quit paddling after a week :(  If the kayak would sink and the paddle would break?

Well, all in all it has all been good.

I have not been the most consistent blogger, but looking back, there has been quite a lot of good stories and beautiful pictures along the way.

Today, like most days, I offer a glimpse of my work day just as it is RIGHT NOW

Paddles and tools. My old spoke shave that I bought back in 1990. It still does the job together with me, making paddles almost every day. The new "tool" to the left is what I'm being more and more dependent upon every day. I bought 3 pairs that lie around in the shop.

The present and the future... These little miniature trees may grow to be paddles and kayaks after I'm gone.

A glimpse of different projects I'm working on today: A super light rolling kayak for a customer in the foreground. Steam bending tube for making cockpits for my next (October) kayak building class.

The kitchen - coffee is on. The sign on the wall is an old embroidery saying "pray and work" This is where the altar was when my workshop served as community church some years ago.

Paddles, paddles, paddles....

A paddle takes some time to make - all the little details. These some 10 paddles are all in different stages, and I will be working on them all today - some need shaping, some need sanding, some need oil and some need epoxy reinforcing on the tips. One is all finished and need shipping. They will only stay here a short while, and will soon be on their way to  Norway, France, the US and Denmark.

As you can see, a lot of things need to be taken care of.

I'm very happy that you read my blog and hope you like it. I'm planning on working 18 more years, So I guess there will be some future reading also :)

Last picture.... New cockpit, framing a bit of history. The Oystercatcher was painted on my 2011 circumnavigation of Norway kayak. I recently re-skinned it for a friend, but I was too sentimental to throw away this bit. Maybe I'll make a real frame for it some day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

A kayak a little over 8 kgs...

A kayak as light as a feather...

This spring I built a kayak that weighs a little over 8 kg's, 14 pounds. I never got to publish this blog entry. 
It's a rolling kayak, and hardly any strength was compromised. Jannie can carry it to the water herself, which makes me very happy :)

We did a little rolling training with Audun, and here they are together - the two ultra light Greenland kayaks intended for roll, play and little day trips.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Rolling festival 2020

This years rolling festival was very different from other years. First, we changed the dates and second corona hit us, so we had to make even more changes. Dubside wasn't able to leave USA and for a while we didn't know whether or not we could run the event at all. In the end we landed on an event where we cut out beginner and intermediate rolling sessions, added a paddle making class and strokes classes and had Bjørn Hesthamar doing a presentation on the Thule region in North of Greenland. So in the end it all turned out so well. The event was smaller so we held the classes 2 minutes from the Chapel on our local river. Instructors this year was Jon David Jensen, Jannie Heegaard and Anders Thygesen. 

Bjørn and Jakob. The Chapel in the background.

Jon David doing land drills for rolling.

Jannie going through fundamentals

Morning yoga with Charlotte

Advanced rolling class with Jon David.

Jon David in his beautiful skin-om-frame kayak built with Anders.

Randi rolling / Static bracing

Strokes class

The paddle making class

Bjørn Hesthamar, lives in Tromsø - loves the arctic. 

A big thank you to all the participants you give so much back to us with all your good spirits and positive energy. We hope to see you all again :). And Dubside - we missed you especially!

Yes... it's a NWP Dubpaddle :)!

Somewhere north a long the road.

Thank you from Anders and Jannie :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Back again..

4 months have gone since the Covid19 outbreak started affecting our lives here in Norway. It has been very challenging times in many ways. Most of all, economically. However, things are going almost back to normal, and so has my work and my projects.

I will try to catch up on my blog as well. I have a bunch of blog entry drafts that I never published. Simply because I didn't feel like publishing. Everything went freeze at one point, and when it started unfreezing, I've just been too busy.

Hopefully, I can start sharing some of the many exciting projects from this spring and early summer. We were finally allowed to take a little trip to Denmark last week to see the family down there. 

For now, I will just share a few pictures that Jannie took in Denmark last week. Our option down there is SUP paddling with our home made skin-on-frame/plywood boards. Beautiful moments to share...

Stay tuned... I will work on finishing my unfinished blog entries on new paddles, new ultra light kayaks, classes and more :)

Sunday, February 2, 2020

I'm carbon neutral

This year has started a few new things so far. First of all I new have two more employees. I now have Audun Muribø working with me from time to time in my workshop. He is a very talented craftsman and I met him on a building class last year. He build a baidarka and that won't be the last kayak he builds. He lives in Tønsberg and works as an electro engineer.

I also have Jannie working with me part time helping me out with sales, administration and running paddling classes. She and I have been working hard these past months to be able to launch my new website/webshop. Throughout this year, we will make all resources from the old website www.kajakkspesialisten.no accessible on the new webshop platform. We're currently working on integrating both movies and written articles in the webshop.

While working on that, we discussed many things. One of the bigger subject was how are Kajakkspesialistens paddles different from other paddles. And one of the many things we came up with, is that the whole production process and the fact that every paddle is 100 percent handmade and made of locally grown wood makes it a very sustainable and environmentally friendly paddle. One could almost say carbon neutral even though it's not certified in any way.

So we came up with this funny little text 'I'm carbon neutral'. And it actually has a double meaning... you can figure that out yourself :)! We love it!

Please visit our new website and check out the new paddles. I have worked up quite a stock now so I can assure a fast delivery. Click on the link below:

New website and webshop.

Apart from that, the weather is unusually for February. Little snow and warm temperatures. On the positive side you can paddle without too much hazzle.

Personal speed records being broken. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

First day in the shop

Happy new year everyone!

The workyear at Kajakkspesialisten already started a few days ago. I did my accounting and started working on my new website/webshop. All really cool and positive. Now today was first day in the workshop doing "real" work :)

I couldn't resist putting up this Maneki-neko in my shop window. I'm not really sure what it means, but I suppose it has to do with good luck, happiness etc. that I want to make happen. I got if from my mom for Christmas.

Next task was making Aleut paddle for a guy from German. It was a regular Aleut style paddle with a few special measures. All spruce - solid and feather light for it's size.
 I also carried some huge ash timber inside the shop, cut it up and turned it into cockpits and kayak hatches. These are meant for use in the kayak building classes later this year.

On my wish list for this year was "try to get out more video on my blog of all the interesting jobs I do all the time. Check! I did a few takes of the paddle making and wood bending, and posted it on Vimeo immediately. Not a piece of fine art, but live pictures of what's going on in the shop in the moment. I hope you'll enjoy it, and that I will be able to keep videoing and posting. 

I wish everyone a great year. Hope you enjoy the blog, and our great products.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Winter paddling in 3 new kayaks

Winter is here with beautiful light and low temperatures. It has put a stop to my river swimming, but not our regular paddling.

Lately I've been sticking around home, and has only gone paddling on the local waters.

And there are 3 new kayaks to test. Let me introduce them:

The 10 kilo rolling kayak

Started just a few weeks ago as a challenge. This is one of my regular rolling kayaks sized for a medium/big size guy like myself. It is 515 cm. long and has a max beam of 49 cm. The challenge was to cut down the weight to below 10 kilo.

The shape is a normal south Greenland style kayak with a pretty square cross section and some extra rocker. It is incredibly easy to roll. Both simple and advanced rolling is not the great challenge.

And yes... the weight stayed low. It has got it's final coats of varnish now and still weighs only 9,3 kilo. Jannie easily carried it for a distance the other day for our test ride. It was fairly fast and made little or no bow wake. It naturally turns very easily. For touring I will definitely add a skeg.

Today I had finally rut the last deck ropes on, and the scale said 9,5 :) :)

The racing baidarka

This kayak has been described on this blog earlier. Only that now I've had the chance to test it more.

It is 540 cm. long and 45 cm. wide. It weighs 14 kilo. I have added a racing seat and a sea sock for safety. My first impression was fast and unstable. Now that I'm getting more used to it, the stability seems better. But not a kayak to go fishing with!

My test rides have been short, like 3-4 km. I have managed average speed around 9 km/hour. Top speed of 14. But that doesn't really say much, since I'm badly out of shape, and have no training with racing kayaks at all. Jon David Jenssen came by this weekend and borrowed the kayak. Even though he's not an Olympic champion, he has far more skill in kayak racing than I have. He pushed it even faster, of course, and took it with him home for further testing.

I almost forget the most important thing: This kayak looks sooooo.. beautiful to me :)

The surf and rock hopping kayak

Last but not least... My friend Anund keeps asking me to come paddling. Last time we did, I found out he meant rock hopping and surfing. And I'd love to go. Now I find the regular baidarkas to be excellent kayaks for demanding paddling like that. However, I keep thinking that they can be even better if they are a bit shorter. a bit wider and with a bit more rocker.

I finally had some extra time to build me one of these. It is 470 cm. long, max beam of 57 cm. and Weighs 15 kilo. I have equipped it with a fixed sea sock, deck lines, and a hatch.

It looks beautiful and preforms great. The cruising speed is very good, but it doesn't have much to offer in a race :)

It feels very good. Super stable and turns very easily. I'm looking forward to take it out to the sea - maybe tomorrow...