Sunday was the last day of this year’s Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour, and I have to say that it felt strange. The tour started in Asker, Norway on May 23, and for over three months we’ve ran classes in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We’ve seen the weather go from cold and snowy to hot and sunny, and now the autumn rain seems to be settling in. We’ve coached over 1,000 students, and have had an absolute blast the entire summer. This was year six of the tour, and we’re already looking forward to a year seven.
My last BLOG ended with classes in Helsingborg, Sweden, and from there we took a ferry to Denmark and headed to Rungsted for four rolling classes in some incredibly clear water.
A little yoga is a great way to start a class.
We worked on everything from first rolls to forward finishing hand rolls.
Clear skies and calm water created a very tranquil environment.
It was nice to stop, reflect and enjoy the sunset.
After leaving Rungsted, we made our way to Frederiksvaerk, also in Denmark. This was our third year running classes here, and over the years we’ve become good friends with the enthusiastic club members. It was great to be back.
Throughout the two days, I ran four sessions of Simplifying the Roll, while Mark ran technique classes.
Jacob helped to anchor the kayaks while everyone hopped into the water.
We worked on rolls, laughed, played around and had a great couple of days.
Participants in Mark’s class are smiling… the sign of a great day.
We had a little competition to determine who had the best inside edge turn. The winners got Rebel Kayaks buffs.
Saturday evening we went to Halsnaes Bryghus for food and to taste some different types of beer, all of which were very good.
After saying our goodbyes in Frederiksvaerk, we headed to Copenhagen for a few days of exploration. For us, a visit to Copenhagen always includes a trip to the Inuit display at the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
One of many fantastic display cases.
A display of ulus, or “women’s knives.”
It’s always fun to examine the different paddle shapes.
The cockpit shapes are really interesting too.
This well-decorated norsaq is one of my favorite artifacts on display at the museum.
The upcoming handline fishing contest at The Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering has stirred up quite a bit of interest in Inuit handlines, so we took some pictures of the ones on display.
After “researching” handlines, we headed to Bakken for some brainless fun riding roller coasters and playing games.
What is it that makes sticking your head in a hole for a picture so much fun?
Then we headed to Svendborg, Denmark for the Gronlandsk Symposium, organized by Kajak Inn.
Both days started with yoga.
Rolling was a great way to cool off during the hot day.
Many participants at the event were working on very advanced rolls, such as the Behind the Back Roll and the Straightjacket Roll. Here a Spine Roll is born.
Dubside was also coaching at the event, and it was great to catch up with him.
Greenland Rope Gymnastics were part of the event.
And I ran a Stupid Paddle Tricks competition, complete with prizes.
Several people tried out the Rebel Husky, a new kayak that we’ve been using for the Tour.
A happy camper.
After the symposium we took a ferry to Bornholm, an island far off the coast of Denmark.
A little down time on a far away island was a really nice vacation.
We enjoyed the view from a lighthouse.
And visited Hammershus, Scandinavia’s largest medieval fortification.
We also visited Gaarden, The Bornholm House of Food Culture, which featured a working farm and fresh produce.
This napping hedgehog had us a little concerned, but a gentle nudge woke him, and slightly irritated with us, he strolled off to a safer location.
We also went to The Bornholms Birds of Prey Show.
The remarkable birds were wonderful to see up close.
Mark and I left the island feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for more classes.
Our next stop was in Malmo, Sweden.
We started the day with Yoga for Paddlers.
Then I taught two Simplifying the Roll classes, while Mark taught Simplifying the Rescue and Incident Management.
A roll is born.
One way to travel about the canal.
Mark demonstrates an inside edge turn.
Mark takes a break while looking at Oresund Bridge, the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark.
After a day in Malmo, we headed to Karlshamn, Sweden to run two Simplifying the Roll classes for KajakSyd.
The classes took place at beautiful Lake Langasjon.
A perfect roll in crystal clear water.
Much to my horror, Mark expressed an interest in trying Surstromming, which is fermented Baltic Sea herring potent enough to expand the can it comes in.
The smell coming from the fish was, simply put, awful!
Most people that have tried this traditional Swedish dish claim that the smell is worse than the taste, and when served this way, the flavor blends in. Mark ate his… I had the smallest bite I could take, but enjoyed the other things on the table. Thanks Goran and Veronica for setting up this tasting for us 🙂
Thanks to Annette and Preben (Rungsted), Jacob, Lene, Gitte and Soren (Frederiksvaerk), Pernille and Jacob (Svendborg), Anders (Malmo) and Goran and Veronica (Karlshamn) for taking such good care of us during this leg of the tour. Thanks also to everyone that took care of us on previous legs, to Johan Wirsen of Rebel Kayaks and, of course, to everyone that came out for the classes. You all made us feel very welcome, and we really enjoyed our summer. THANK YOU, and see you next year!
Photos by Mark, Helen and Anders Kristensson.