Qajaq USA Board Members
Greg Stamer is the founder and past-president of Qajaq USA. Greg has over twenty years experience using Greenland-style paddles and equipment. He credits John Heath and Greenland Champion Maligiaq Padilla as his primary mentors.
"I have always been attracted to functional, organic boats and paddles, whether that be a birchbark canoe with a beavertail paddle or an elegant Greenland kayak".
Greg's rolling skills are self-taught, and his first roll was learned from a book and then refined from carefully studying and emulating John Petersen perform in John Heath's "Greenlanders at Kodiak" video. " I believe that it is much, much faster and safer to learn from an instructor, and you also have less chance of picking up bad habits. However, learning on your own does give you a number of insights that helps you as a teacher, since you have probably have made similar mistakes as your students, and can spot the source of their troubles quickly. Although flexibility and fitness are important for learning the Greenland rolls, dogged persistence is an even greater asset".
"For many years my dream was to travel to Greenland and learn from the Greenlanders, so in 2000, when the Greenland Championships were offered to foreign kayakers for the first time, I jumped at the chance." Greg was invited in 2000 to attend a week-long Qaannat Kattuffiat training camp in Greenland to prepare for competition and has participated in two Greenland National Kayaking Championships, in 2000 and in 2002, winning two gold and two bronze medals. In both events Greg earned the most points in the individual rolling event for his age group and was the overall champion for his age group in 2000.
In 2007 Greg took a leave of his corporate job to pursue longer kayaking "expeditions" -- another long-held dream. Since then Greg has circumnavigated Iceland (with a trip partner) and Newfoundland (solo), using a carbon Greenland paddle. Both circumnavigations were done in record time, proving that the Greenland paddle is certainly no slouch.
Greg also enjoys swimming, fitness paddling, kayak racing, kayak surfing, kayak camping and refining his forward stroke mechanics. Although Greg's preference is for Greenland technique and equipment he also regularly practices with canoe paddles, "euro paddles" and wings. Greg lives in Orlando, Florida with his dog, Bear.
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