Delmarva Paddlers Retreat continues its commitment to reaching out across borders to paddlers who are making a difference in the paddling community, especially the traditional community.

Harvey Golden

Harvey Golden  of Portland, Oregon is a student and scholar of traditional kayaks— Their use, construction, documentation, and their cultural context.

We are pleased to have Harvey Golden returning this year after a too many year absence.

 Harvey has built many replicas of Arctic kayaks and participated in the first Open Greenland Kayak Championship (2000). He is the author of “Kayaks of Greenland” -- The History and Development of the Greenlandic Hunting Kayak, 1600-2000 and "Kayaks of Alaska" a new book on Alaskan kayak variation, development and history.

 His interest with kayak replicas is to not only gain insights on their design and construction, but to also conduct 'experiential' research through their use in varying conditions.

 "Since starting on this path, I've replicated over 38 kayaks, some 18 from Greenland— most of these kayaks are still in my collection, and there are always more on the way. It is my goal to build and use as many different forms of kayaks from the arctic tradition as I am able to. I feel there is much more to learn from these kayaks, and that there is much more to appreciate. This pursuit has been challenging, humbling, rewarding, and very insightful.

I've also taken a keen interest in the study and practice of Greenlandic rolling and paddling techniques. With kayaks so finely designed for such techniques and the rich tradition behind them, It is natural to pursue these skills as another element of my interest.

My interests have lead me to Greenland to participate in the Greenland National Kayak Championships (2000), to conduct research at the Greenland National Museum, and to conduct kayak research at 21 museums in Western Europe. My web-page has photos of most of my replicas; I hope you'll find it an inspiring, vast waste of time."

(bio shamelessly plagiarized from the Qajaq USA website)


We are pleased to announce that Anders Thygesen from Norway and Jannie Heegaard from Denmark will be with us this year.

Jannie Heegaard

Endorsed by Jean and Ragnar Midtskogen and so guy named Anders, and everyone at last years Delmarva. She was already on our radar to ask to join us this year, so we did.

Jannie has been seakayaking for almost 2 decades and instructing since 2004. She’s Denmark’s first female Level 3 coach and has been involved with the Arctic Women’s Playground Symposium for the last three years. She has mostly coached in Denmark and Norway, working both as an assessor, coach and trainer. She is a BCU 4 star and has been closely involved in implementing the Euro Paddle Pass system in Denmark.

Jannie is a teacher by trade. Look for her to bring a funny and creative workshop focusing on solid paddling technique, using less power, and paddling more efficiently. In recent years she has been working with kayak ballet – inspired by freestyle canoeing – to motivate people to dance with their kayak and make lazy perfectionists out of everybody. She’s wants to make people do really funny paddling strokes in order to make their “brains go crazy” and have them laugh a lot – all while learning new things about themselves and their own personal Body-Boat-Blade (Stick). Jannie will help you with the mental side of paddling, especially with female paddlers, and is currently working on a ‘yoga with a stick’ workshop… “simply because I love yoga… and love my Greenland paddle”. We’re not sure she’ll be able to all of this in her first visit.


Anders Thygesen

Anders returns this year in a totally new capacity, for us anyway. Many have seen his kayak, actually Iqyax, building skills during his presentations and of course last years very successful kayak build competition. This year Anders will be leading a paddle making workshop. See the workshop page for more details.

Anders Thygesen is Danish, but has lived in Norway since 1992. He founded Kajakkspesialisten in 1996 and since then has worked on building traditional kayaks, teaching others to build traditional kayaks and giving kayak technique courses. Anders has 3 years of education as an outdoors guide from Telemark Høgskole, and 3 years of education as an arts & crafts teacher. He has been involved with the Norwegian Canoe Association since 1998 as a member of Technical Committee for Sea Kayaking. Among other duties he has been responsible for the sea kayak instructor education program in the Norwegian Canoe Association. Anders showed us this video last year and about half way through it there is perhaps the best explanation of why we use the Greenland paddle we’ve heard. It's worth a view. The Greenland Style Paddle


We kind of claim Dubside as one our own. We saw him in Philly practicing rolls in a wide folder back in 2000. A quiet kind of guy back then, he couldn’t convince Robin to let him come to Delmarva that year. But he’s now been with us since 2001 (yes that’s him in the photo circa 2001). Who knew this mild manner sound man would become Super Roller Man. He’s still Dubside to us though. Visit the website he helps with, Qattaarneq

TIPS had him described best so we will just pass on their bio: On instructional DVDs, on the internet and especially in person Dubside makes kayak rolling, traditional Greenland rope gymnastics and kayak yoga look unbelievably easy. His one-of-a-kind persona, infectious enthusiasm and unpretentious demeanor have become an annual feature at numerous padding events and gatherings for many years. He started competing at the Greenland Championships in 2004 and has been a competition judge since 2010. He has also taken his unique folding kayak to Japan, Spain, Sweden, and Greenland

Greg Stamer

Greg Stamer

From the Qajaq USA site: Greg Stamer is the founder and past-president of Qajaq USA. Greg has over twenty five 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.