Qajaq TC 2024

The first year you attend Qajaq TC you are instantly a part of the crew, and every year following that, you feel like you’re at a family reunion.  This year you can expect plenty of time around the bonfire and on the deck overlooking the lake making new friends and catching up with old ones you haven’t seen in a while. Prepare for some serious belly laughs and good times as you reconnect with paddlers, learn new skills, and enjoy a much needed break from regular day-to-day life.

Cost is $375 and includes lodging (shared cabins or personal tent space), dinner on Thursday through lunch on Sunday, and a weekend of exceptional instruction and fun!

2024 Camp Highlights

Balance Board Workshop

Greenland qajaqs require good balance, and good balance takes practice and muscles.  Traditionally, that practice started with a Balance Board.  A father would typically make one for his children and they would be given a treat to eat while sitting on the balance board.  Their hands were busy with the treat, so they would have to use their core for balance.  They are fun and excellent training! 

It should take a morning or an afternoon, leaving plenty of time to play on the water.   (Cutting the curve on the bottom pieces is surprisingly time consuming.  We will cheat a bit- Chuck will cut them on his CNC machine.) There will be at least a couple of “curve difficulties” to choose from! We will also have wood burning tools so you can customize your board!

Cost $50.

Rolling and Ropes with Dubside

Dubside is known internationally as an authority on Greenland rolling and rope gymnastics. He has appeared in Justine Curgenven’s “This is the Sea Four”, Bryan Smith’s “Pacific Horizons”, and magazine articles in “Sea Kayaker”, “Canoe and Kayak”, “Paddler”, and “Adventure Kayak”. He has his own series of instructional DVD’s. Dubside does presentations, demonstrations, and instructional classes for symposiums, clubs, and outfitters throughout North America and Europe.

2024 Mentors

Luke Rovner
(Kayak Hipster)

Luke Rovner is a sea kayak coach with a fondness and great respect for traditional paddling. Combining his experience as a photo and video professional with his love of kayaking, he started Kayak Hipster with the goal of capturing outdoor adventures and sharing kayaking tips.

Sharon Bustamante

Sharon began kayaking 22 years ago. She first attended Qajaq TC in 2004 and has been attending ever since, first as a participant then as a mentor. She directed the on-water instructional experience for a number of years as well. She loves to help beginners work through a progression, beginning on land, that helps them find their roll of the water in a safe and comfortable way. She also likes to help participants develop an efficient forward stroke and become more comfortable with a variety of strokes that are used in real world paddling. She may also be able to troubleshoot issues with rolls you already have so you can move onto new rolls. Sharon is an ACA Level 3 kayak instructor and BCU 3-star paddler.

chuck Smith

Chuck Smith is the owner of Aluu Paddles and has been playing on, in, and under the water since before he was born. He is from the Detroit area, where he has organized and run several group builds of qajaqs, paddles, and assorted gear. He enjoys teaching rolls, rescues, and how to build things. He has taught all sorts of outdoor skills, from sailing to winter camping. He has mentored at QTC, The Gathering, and Delmarva.

Pete Kuhn

Pete enjoys kayaking, whether guiding a group in a fully loaded boat or wearing a tuilik in a skinny Greenland kayak throwing a harpoon for points. Biking and blading would be some of his dry land fun and when the water gets hard, it’s time for snow kiting. Pete is an ACA level 4 kayak instructor, wilderness first responder, and a PASA certified snow kite instructor.

Doug Van Doren

Doug Van Doren has been a practitioner of the “Traditional” (Greenland Inuit influenced) style since he began paddling in the early 90’s. He is one of an early handful of North American paddlers to research, experiment with, and honor the traditional paddling style and equipment and to show its proficiency for padding in any sea condition. He is a regular instructor at symposiums throughout the U. S. well as Canada, Wales, and at the International Symposium in Llanca, Spain.

Tony Pascuzzi

Tony began using a Greenland paddle in 2007 after undergoing rotator cuff surgery and never looked back. A few years later he taught himself several rolls and started attending Qajaq USA events, most notably QajaqTC. He has been working with friends and fellow HCKC club members on rolling and sculling since 2015. He loves surfing and playing in rough water as well as sight seeing and exploring by kayak.

Danielle Steffey

Danielle practically grew up at QajaqTC and she is still coming back all these years later. She began her path as a mentor via the ACA and soon began paddling with a traditional paddle that she carved herself. It took a few more rounds of carving, but now she rarely ever paddles with anything else. She is passionate about many aspects of traditional paddling, including ropes, rolling, and building. She will encourage you to try something new or help you take your next step, whatever that may be.

Gwen Truhn

I have been a paddler my whole life, first in canoes, later in kayaks. I spent time as a kayak guide and ACA instructor on the Hudson River in NY. What really got me interested in Greenland paddling, however, was rolling. I love the way it is like dancing in the water, and I love helping people find the grace and ease in rolling. When I'm upright in my kayak I like to check out beautiful scenery, industrial ruins, and the expanses of water between islands.

Kam Truhn

Kam has a wide range of kayaking interests. A former guide and ACA instructor in NYC, he loves the challenge of big water, long trips, and urban environments. As an aquatic ecologist, he also enjoys lily dipping and looking for cool plants, insects, and algae. Kam teaches paddling and rolling with a mind toward proper form to avoid injury and always loves seeing someone nail a roll they didn't think they'd be able to do.

Tim Mentor Photo

Tim Gallaway

Tim began using a Greenland Paddle in 2008 and after teaching himself a majority of the traditional rolling list he was bitten by the Greenland Rope Gymnastics bug and is now one of Qajaq USA‘s ropes gurus. In the summer of 2018 Tim traveled to Greenland to compete in the National Qajaq Championships. In 2021 he completed a personal goal of a paddling expedition along the Michigan shoreline of Lake Superior and Lake Huron and has his sights on bigger expeditions in the next few years.

Henry Davies

I have paddled almost exclusively with a Greenland paddle since 2001. I enjoy helping people learn and improve their rolls. What I really want to see is everyone become proficient at paddling/maneuvering their qajaq. Qajaqs aren’t just for rolling, they are for hunting. I use mine to hunt for scenery! Nothing is more fun than hugging the cliffs along a Lake Superior shoreline, matching each rock and cove with the maneuvers of your qajaq — except maybe doing it in some wind and waves.

Gina Johnson

Gina, a traditional Greenland paddler since age 14, is a patient and encouraging mentor who works well with beginners and weary paddlers. She’s committed to inclusivity and making everyone feel comfortable and valued, regardless of background or size. Her infectious energy and enthusiasm create a positive and memorable experience for all, and she's dedicated to ensuring everyone feels at home in and on the water.

Peter Strand

Peter Strand hails from Wisconsin and is the current organizer of the Traditional Paddlers Gathering, a Qajaq USA sanctioned event held in central Minnesota. He is a member of the Qajaq USA Board of Directors and currently Chair of the Events Committee. Peter teaches at numerous local paddling events and leads several big-water muti-day trips on the Great Lakes and around the country. In 2017 Peter traveled to Greenland and participated in Qaannat Kattuffiat’s National Qajaq Championships.

Renee Mentor Picture

Renee Dufresne

Renee has been an active paddler and Greenland enthusiast for many years. She formerly served on the Qajaq USA BOD, and has attended every QUSA event nationwide, all of them in one year. She even participated in the Greenland National Championship in 2017. Thats a lot of miles. Despite the high miles on Renee's cars and body, she's still an protector of all things Greenland. Renee prefers to teach beginning rolling... from day one in your Journey. You need a hand roll? She's got that too.

Chris von Briesen

A resident of Milwaukee, WI, I have been a coach/trip guide for the following organizations: Urban Ecology Center, SherriKayaks, and the Milwaukee Kayak Company. I continue to coach at the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium. I have been WW kayaking in NE Wisconsin and have completed a 50-day canoe trip in NWT, Canada. I have been a volunteer with Chicago Adventure Therapy (CAT) and serve on the Board. I have held a WI EMT-Intermediate license and Wilderness First Responder Certification (WMA).

Kyle Wills

I've been kayaking my whole life, starting when I was around 6 y/o. I've been active in Indiana kayak clubs since 2020. Namely IYAK - Indiana Kayakers, HCKC - Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club, and USCA - United States Canoe Association. Kayaking appeals to me both for the fitness aspect, and as a way of leaving my stress on shore for a few hours. I pole vaulted on my school's track team, so learning kayak rolls was a familiar progression of learning body positions and timing.

David Nord

David (Dave) Nord has been paddling for over 30 years. His love for the traditional paddle started when he made his first one in 2005. He is happiest when bouncing along the waves next to a cliff or dancing around shoreline rocks in one of the Great Lakes. When he is not paddling, Dave is a Professional Land Surveyor, an amateur geologist, and is dreaming about his next paddling trip. He also repairs and refurbishes the used kayaks that show up at he and his wife Susan's "base camp" in Troy, MI. As a Mentor in Training, Dave looks forward to helping paddlers develop skills that will increase their enjoyment of being right side up or upside down in their qajaq.