Trip Report    

Essential Sea Kayak Skills - Lake Washington: Concrete Beach

Today’s Essential Skills clinic provided an opportunity to learn about the history of kayaking in Greenland, how it inspired recreational sea kayaking in Europe and America, and how to use the skinny paddle.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

We started on the beach where Henry Romer explained the history of kayaking in Greenland. The Inuit people developed kayaks and paddles suitable for subsistence hunting in their environment. This involved ambushing seals, harpooning them and bringing the meat back to the village.

The Inuit and their kayaks were encountered by European whaling ships who recorded the details and brought stories home.
Then in 1959, Ken Taylor brought a West Greenland kayak home to Scotland. The design intrigued his local paddling clubs and was copied many times. Eventually the design was transformed into a plywood stitch and glue model and then one in fiberglass. A commercial version was produced by the brand new Valley Sea Kayaks and called the “Anus Acuta”. This was the start of recreational kayaking! 


After a busy morning on the water, we broke for lunch and Henry brought out his hunting kayak and showed us how an Inuit hunter would use a harpoon, float and line to catch a seal.


After lunch, we went back out on the water to learn more about the finer points of paddling with a skinny paddle.