Qajaq USA Board Members
Jennifer Torres started paddling back when she was a kid. She got more serious about it after doing some WW kayaking in the streams and rivers of the Berkshires and in northwestern Connecticut in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Later, post grad school, after spending a few too many years in dry flat Kansas she moved to southern Mississippi for work and quickly took up sea kayaking and solo canoeing. In 2001 she began using a Greenland paddle after building the first of two S&G boats. The first Greenland skin-on-frame (SOF) came a few years later. She now has three SOF boats and no intentions of stopping.
As a sculptor she has struggled to balance her love of the boat forms and her artistic work. She currently incorporates many skin-on-frame building techniques in her creative work and is interested in using cultural themes to tell stories through her sculpture. She has cast in iron an eight foot long hull replica and a full-sized Greenland paddle and dares anyone to attempt to roll with the 70+ pound cast paddle. “Maybe I’ll try and cast a norsaq next, that might be a little more doable.”
Jennifer discovered Qajaq USA after taking a class with Greg Stamer at Sweetwater a number of years ago and quickly became an active member. With the help of Dave Braun the idea of expanding Qajaq USA merchandise became a reality and the merchandise committee was set up. Jennifer continues to serve Qajaq USA as an advisor now, but for many years she created merchandise designs for members and handled membership and treasury duties. We all owe her a hearty thank-you for all of her efforts!
Jennifer loves southern Mississippi mainly because of the year round paddling and the vast amounts of federal and state protected wetlands, seashores, rivers and streams. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg were she lives with her two mutts, Bella Fleck and Frida Kahlo.
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