Sunday, October 15, 2017

Finally home!

Coming from  30 degrees plus to temperatures around 0 came as a shock. Sleepiness and getting back into home world has been keywords from the week. I did get a few nice days on the water in sun and rain. Here is some glimpses:

and a short super fast edit video from Friday:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

All good things come to an end

Birdcage... site of qajaq and ixyaq build at the Delmarwa paddler's retreat

Just a brief update from the US. I'm pretty tired at the moment. It has been a super good and inspiring week with so many good people around. The kayaks came out beautifully. We coated them, made sea socks and finally we got to test them on the water.

Delmarwa paddler's retreat has been ongoing alongside out building project with lots of great things happening. I will post some grest pictures soon.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Qajaq and ixyaq build Delmarwa part II

We finished all the wood during Friday. John Huber came up from Norfolk Virginia to help out with the class. 3 pairs of hands is luxury when lots of thing needs to be taken care of.

 The bird cage is the kayak building site here at Delmarwa. We set up workbenches, sawhorses, tools and all, and during Friday afternoon most of the kayak builders showed up.

One thing we hadn't figured out was the masik question. It was solved by finding crocked trunks and branches in the woods and cutting them into finished masiks. It's so cool to have people like John around! 

Now by the end of day 2 it begins to look an awfully lot like qajaqs and ixyaqs in the birdcage. We'll try to post some pictures when we have time. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kayak build at Delmarwa paddlers retreat

I was pretty anxious about travelling to the US this time.. My American friend Miguel suggested that I should shave off my beard to get through customs. And what about my Russian books that I was planning to carry in my luggage.... Would they make me look suspicious? Should I leave them behind?

I didn't shave and I brought my Russian books... and I got into the US without any difficulties - of course!

I was met by Chris at Newark airport - one of the finest Americans you can imagine.

We drowe down to Delaware yesterday and set up a workshop in Chris' driveway this morning. It looked like early Christmas at some point with yellow spruce sawdust carried by the wind all over the neighborhood :( Only that the temperature was around 30 degrees celcius!

I was kind of nervous about the foreign materials, but a day of handling, cutting and planing convinced me that this will make great kayaks for sure!

More cutting to be done tomorrow..... And then we'll probably meet most of the class at camp arrowhead by tomorrow evening.

4 huge sacks of sawdust and wood shavings, a bunch of materians and two tired men having a beer...

Monday, September 4, 2017

Paddle building class in Struer, Denmark

Just a short notice:
who took part in the paddle making class in Struer, Denmark this weekend :)

It was a great experience. Everyone did outstanding work and managed to have a great time doing so! For me it was a thrill to work in the old factory buildings of Struer kajak. The place where legendary veneer racing kayaks has been build for generations. A great honor, actually :)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Going to Greenland

...Not me unfortunately

My friend Jon David and I built a kayak this winter. It should be suitable both for rolling and racing. We made a nearly 6 meter long and 42 cm. wide low volume Greenland style kayak covered with cotton canvas.

Now Jon David is on his way to the Greenlandic championship in Aasiaat, Greenland and wanted to take the kayak with him. We met this morning and started cutting up the kayak.

First all the stitching went. It was incredibly easy to remove all the threads. and soon we could pull off the whole skin and roll it together. The plan is to sew it on the kayak frame again, once in Greenland.

Now the frame... We cut all the lashings, and took all doweled joints apart. Luckily, no glue was used while building the kayak, so This was also an easy task.

Finally, we had to cut the length of gunwales, keelson and stringers. This was done by drilling 2 holes in the wood for precise joinery later and simply make some long cuts/scarf joints with a fine toothed saw.

It all fitted nicely in a ski bag, which won't give any trouble or extra costs when boarding the plane to Greenland.

Jon David has plenty of time to assemble the frame when he gets to Greenland. And probably plenty of time to paddle it as well. We cheer on Jon David in the competition!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May expedition

It has been quite a bit of paddling in May - at last! Weather's been fair and even the rainy days are GREAT for paddling the local waters. Today my 12 year old daughter suggested a paddle trip to the medieval church on the shores of lake Fiskum. It's a 5 km. paddle from our home, so we loaded the double baidarka and ventured out.

At first, it was quite windy. The first 2 kilometers are on the river. I wish the smell of the bird cherry flowers could be expressed in this photo. It doesn't, but it really adds to the feeling of early summer. I enjoy this a lot.

Sissel is the expedition photographer and front hatch paddler. She did great doing  both jobs.

I'm the rear paddler AND captain of the ship. So I think, at least...

We're getting closer to the church. It's not always easy to find the mouth of the little river that takes us closer to the church.

This church was build around year 1250. Same time as the characteristic Norwegian stave churches. It lies all by it self close to the water.

These are very hard to read...

And very beautiful...


I'm very impressed with the performance of this two-hatch baidarka. I built it quite a few years ago and haven't used it a lot. It's 6,5 m. long and 65 cm. wide. It's pretty hard to paddle alone in wind, but today with Sissel's help we easily paddled a 10 km. distance at an average speed of 6 km/hour. That's good speed for such a great wet surface... in a strong breeze. On the way home, we got a little help from wind, current and waves and managed 11 km/hour.

We haven't seen beavers for a while, but today we learned that they have found a new home :)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Qajaq and iqyax building class, April

 Spring came and went... The leaves started to shoot on the newly planted maple tree in my yard. Then winter suddenly came back with snow and cold. In the middle of all this, a group of people gathered in my workshop to build a kayak each.
 The hours and days flew by as the wooden frames took shape.
 People would help each other with different tasks. The Greenland style kayak always finish first. The waiting time was spent making paddles.

A couple of evenings, we went paddling. One day in heavy wind and snow. A great experience
 for our french student!

Ole Kristian inspects his nearly finished iqyax frame.
Lashings and dowels... Here Sylvian hammers the last dowel that binds the oak ribs and the spruce keelson together.

Sylvian and Bjørn help each other with the

The Frames are oiled in the end..The next step will be covering with heavy duty canvas.
Something new..... This new patent of securing the very important and potentially life-saving sea sock to the cockpit rim has been on it's way for a while. For the first time the whole class would choose this kind of sea sock. Unfortunately the process involves the use of of power tools, but not for long :)

The finished result looks neater than the old style with a chord (as seen in the background kayaks).

Happy future kayakers.....

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spring activity

It has indeed been a very long winter. I always get impatient at this time of the year. I check the ice edge on the lake regularly with binoculars and occasionally take a paddle out there just to check how long it is till the ice will be gone for this time. Now Ice seems to be gone for good, and I've taken out my new racing SOF Iqyax SUP...

Currently building yet another Greenland style kayak for a Norwegian customer, and meanwhile preparing cockpit coamings for next week's kayak building class. There will be students from Norway, Sweden and France attending this time.

Yesterday I had the rare pleasure of paddling and rolling with my youngest son, Åsmund. He thought he would start practicing rolls again, and he is planning to compeed in the Norwegian championship this summer. Last year he took a 2. place among all (first place among juniors) with nothing but 3 days practice. The kid is a natural!

Got my own new Iqyax tested as well. with a beam of only 45 cm. it is incredible stable (and fast of course). Great thing about a tiny kayak like this is that I don't need any padding to do advanced rolls. It's so tight to get into. 

This paddle is my current favorite for speed paddling :)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Qajaq and ixyaq building class

Yesterday I finished a great 8 days class with students from near and far.

We built 4 touring ixyaq (baidarka) with hatches, Aleut style paddles and hatches.

We also built 2 rolling qajaq and a racing qajaq for the Greenland international qajaq competition this summer....and a childrens qajaq and a very beutiful ordinary south greenland style qayaq for general use.

Happy students and their proud teacher!

After class, we even had time to test the kayaks. demonstrated some wet exit safety techniques and we did some racing and rolling on the river :)

Thanks to Roger (Kayakid) and Vidar from Trondheim, Vidar and Jon David from Oslo, Erik from Sweden, Johan from USA and Jannie and Cecilie from Denmark! Big hugs to everyone and Happy paddling!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

First class this year

Saturday I had the great pleasure of giving the first paddle making class this year.
Paddle making is a short class, taking typically 9 hours and a class that has been gradually more popular the last 10 years.  Counting last year’s classes reveals that more than 120 people have made their own paddle through one of my classes in 2016! I think that’s a lot of paddles and it warms my heart J

This class consisted of people from Sandefjord Kayak club. Sandefjord is one hour’s drive from here, on the South East coast .

Some had made paddles before, some hadn’t. Some made classic Greenland style all round paddles, some made Aleut paddles, one made a spare paddle and one made a surf paddle, which basically is a short wide Greenland style paddle.

We had a great day together. I can’t complain on either company or food! Thanks a lot, Sandefjord Kayak club. Happy paddling! I’m looking forward to see you again on the water or in the workshop next year!

nw1 from anders thygesen on Vimeo.