2018 Mentor Biographies
We are delighted to feature in 2018 a group of very talented mentors hailing from both coasts of the US.

 From the QUSA Site:  Greg Stamer is the founder and past president of Qajaq USA.  Greg has over 25 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 help you as a teacher, since you have probably 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, Fla with his dog.  


Don loves everything about the water, which led him to kayaking quite a few years ago.  His curiosity and do it yourself nature has inspired him to build several kayaks and boats.  Besides achieving instructor level certifications in the ACA and BCU, Don is a lifetime member of Qajaq USA and is excited about mentoring at QUSA events.  He is passionate about safety.  One of his favorites is teaching risk assessment and rescue classes where he shares in a hands-on, fun atmosphere lessons he has learned .  Participants come away empowered with new skills and confidence.

​Don also carves paddles.  Lots of them!  To date he has hand carved over 700 individual, personally sized Greenland paddles for clients, and has 
taught over 35 classes around the US, Japan and Argentina, helping others learn to carve their own Greenland paddles. n
Along with fellow expert, Vernon Doucett, Don was invited to the Smithsonian to survey some of the many historic paddles in that collection.  He will freely share what he learned there including patterns of three unique paddles.

Don is founding member and organizer of SSTIKS, the South Sound Traditional Inuit Kayak Symposium, held each June on Hood Canal in Washington State. 

The origins of my interest in Greenland Paddling are now somewhat lost in the mist of time.  I was grabbed by the lines of a West Greenland kayak in Adney and Chappelle's old book, "Skin and Bark Boats of North America". I also remember a number of articles about Inuit paddling in issues of Sea Kayaker Magazine in the 80's and 90's.  When I started sea kayaking somewhat over 20 years ago, I knew that I needed to explore this subject.  I built a series of paddles and had pretty much moved over to using a stick when I first met Greg Stamer at a sea kayak symposium on Orca Island in Washington in 2001.  I attended the first SSTIKS event the next year and have been instructing there ever since.

Since then, we have introduced the Greenland paddle to many kayakers at SSTIKS and many sea kayak symposia and clinics in the Pacific Northwest.  It is not uncommon to have as many as half of the paddlers on a trip using "sticks".   As I became more interested in the Greenland Inuit culture, I knew I needed to visit the country.  I was able to join a Danish volunteer work camp and spend a month in and around a small town on the Greenland West Coast helping the town construct some backcountry huts for dog sled tourism.  Several years later I joined a sea kayak expedition organized by a Scottish outdoor center for a week-long coastal trip to tidewater glaciers in South Greenland.

Although no longer professionally active, I have held coaching certifications from the BCU and ACA -- Level 2 BCU with Level 3 and 5 training and ACA Level 4 Coastal with the Traditional Paddling Endorsement.

Watch Henry talk about  harpooning   here


An internationally known authority on Greenland rolling techniques and Greenland rope gymnastics, Dubside is easily recognizable at any event by his completely black attire and distinctive beard.  He spends a portion of each year in Greenland interfacing with Greenlanders and learning more about their culture and their kayaking skills, and no doubt teaching a bit also.  The remainder of his time he spends traveling throughout North and South America, Europe and Japan giving presentations, demonstrations and instruction for symposia, clubs and outfitters. Dubside is also the creator of the ​ qattaarneq.com