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About Greenland Kayaking

Kayaking originated among the Inuit, the natives of Greenland, probably a thousand or more years ago.  Qajaq is the Inuit word that we know as kayak.  For the Inuit, the kayak was an essential tool for hunting seals, a critical source of food.  These sturdy, lightweight craft consisted of a skeletal wooden frame (made from driftwood, as there are no trees native to Greenland) assembled for the most part without metal fasteners, which was covered with sealskin. This type of construction is called skin-on-frame, often abbreviated as S-O-F or SOF.

 

KOG 77 Frame Overall


KOG 77 Frame Inside

Fred Randall's KOG 77

 

Separation from the qajaq in the frigid Arctic waters surrounding Greenland would mean certain death for the hunter.  By necessity, methods of self-rescue in the event of a capsize were developed as a means of permitting the paddler to stay in the kayak. Best known among these techniques is the righting of the kayak by what is often called an