Greenland or Bust’s September Newsletter


We’re writing this newsletter from a hot and sunny Malmo, Sweden, the second to last stop on this year’s Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour. This year’s Tour ends tomorrow, and we can’t believe that it’s almost over. It has been a wonderful summer! We’ve met lots of great people, seen lots of fantastic places and worked with over 1,000 incredibly awesome people. THANK YOU to everyone that has been part of our summer!

Throughout August we ran Simplifying the Roll and a BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning class during Värmlands Paddelfestival in Karlstad, Simplifying the Roll and an instructor training day in Helsingborg (both in Sweden), Simplifying the Roll in Rungsted, Simplifying the Roll and technique classes in Frederiksvaerk and Simplifying the Roll during the Gronlandsk Symposium in Svendborg (all in Denmark). This weekend we’ll be running Simplifying the Roll, Simplifying the Rescue, Incident Management and Yoga for Paddlers in Malmo and Simplifying the Roll in Karlshamn (both in Sweden).

Later in September, Helen will be teaching Simplifying the Roll at Big Lagoon, in California, and then heading to Minnesota for the Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering, taking place at Lake Carlos State Park. After that she’ll be teaching Simplifying the Roll and Simplifying the Rescue at Whiskeytown Lake in California, followed by a trip to Mendocino to run private rolling classes during Mendo Madness.

Meanwhile, Mark will be running a BCU 4 Star Sea Training and Assessment in Pembrokeshire, Wales, followed by a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment on Anglesey, also in Wales.

Later in the year we’ll be teaching Simplifying the Roll and Combat Rolling together on Anglesey, then heading to the Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium in Southern England. Helen then heads to Pacific City, Oregon for Lumpy Waters. Most of our winter programs will then be in California, until February, when we head to Anglesey to run the 8th UK Storm Gathering Symposium. Will you be there???

And finally, are you interested in joining us for a Greenland expedition? Next year’s expedition will take place in the Disco Bay/Ilulissat area from July 20 to 31, 2016, and places are filling fast. Contact us at for more information.

As usual, visit for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings. You can also follow us on Twitter. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, e-mail:

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark

Q & A with Helen

Front to Front Norsaq Roll
(Norsamik Masikkut)

Question: My forward/forward norsaq roll only works the following way. First, I must open eyes and watch the outward sweep until the point of the “back down and under to touch the hull” part. Secondly, I can’t seem to leave the left hand touching the Qajaq. Only when I touch the back of the sweeping hand with the one that’s supposed to be left touching the gunnel, does it work. Thoughts?

Answer: It sounds like you’re doing a two handed norsaq roll. If that’s the only way this roll is working for you, then you’re using too much “arm” and not enough “body.” When I do this roll I find that the power comes from my abs. From your description, it sounds like you’re recovering on the right side of your qajaq, so I’ll describe it with that recovery:

– Extend directly out to the right side of your qajaq as far as you can.

– Reach up with not only your norsaq, but the top of your head as well. Try to get your eyebrows out of the water. This should put a nice arch in your back.

– Meanwhile your left hand should be doing nothing. I hold the bottom of my qajaq. It’ll slide a bit during your extension, but just try to keep loose contact with the qajaq.

– When you think that your body is in the right position, focus all of your energy on the crunch. Basically, picture every internal organ squeezing into a spot a couple of couple of inches to the right of your belly button. Lift your knee to hit that spot, and slide your hunched upper body over the front deck. Your shoulders should stay square to the sea floor and then to the qajaq deck.

– With the norsaq, from the extended position, and while you’re doing all of the body movements described above, push it through the water to get some lift. Follow through until it hits the bottom of your qajaq. By this time, the rest of you should be up. As with any roll, this really has way more to do with what you do with your body than what you do with whatever object you’re holding.

Program Schedule
Nordic Tour 2015:

May 23 to August 30, Norway, Denmark and Sweden

May 23 to 24 Asker, Norway

May 29 to 31 Oslo, Norway

June 5 to 7 Fitjar, Norway

June 9 Bergen, Norway

June 10 to 11 Glesvaer, Norway

June 13 to 14 Austevoll, Norway

June 18, Skudeneshavn, Norway

June 20 to 21 Stavanger, Norway

June 26 to 29 Copenhagen, Denmark

July 3 to 4 Grebbestad, Sweden

July 9 to 12 Stockholm, Sweden

July 16 to 18 Mora, Sweden

July 22 to 26 Nynashamn, Sweden

July 28 to 30 Sandhamn, Sweden

August 1 to 3 Karlstad, Sweden

August 8 to 9 Helsingborg, Sweden

August 11 to 12 Rungsted, Denmark

August 15 to 16 Frederiksværk, Denmark

August 22 to 23 Svendborg, Denmark

August 29 Malmo, Sweden

August 30 Karlshamn, Sweden

And The Rest…

Simplifying the Roll
September 5, Big Lagoon, California

Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering
September 10 to 13,
Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

BCU 4 Star Training
September 14 to 18, Pembrokeshire, Wales

BCU 4 Star Assessment
September 19 to 20, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
September 19 and 20, Whiskeytown, California

Simplifying the Rescue
September 19, Whiskeytown, California

Private Rolling Classes during Mendo Madness
September 25 to 27, Mendocino, California

BCU 4 Star Assessment
September 26 to 27, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
October 3, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling
October 4, Anglesey, Wales

Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium
October 10 to 11, Cornwall, England

Lumpy Waters
October 16 to 18, Pacific City, Oregon

Traditional Skills Paddle (for ENC)
November 1, Stone Lagoon, California

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available from our on-line store HERE

Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501

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