Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Charleston, SC - Where Kodiaks are born!

David from Folbot has sent me some photos of the Kodiak being sewn/built for the TSS 2010 expedition. You can see more pictures by following the link to David's Twitpic.

It's interesting to see the hull and deck of the Kodiak being sewn together, just like the skin of the traditional Greenland Kayak is sewn together - albeit by needle and thread. There are of course many similarities between the design of the two kayak types and you can clearly see the legacy of the Inuit in the kayaks of today, especially the folding kayaks combining the skin and frame construction of the original kayaks.

A while ago I took some photos of the Folbot Cooper on a rack together with the Greenland Kayaks paddled by local people from the town of Uummannaq. Modern materials met traditional designs that day.

It's easy to see how the original kayaks are better suited to rolling than their chunky descendants. Of course, I'll still give rolling a go later this year when the water isn't quite so hard. When looking at the differences between the old and new you might think that the Folbots are like barges compared. Definitely. But then I haven't found a Greenlandic kayak I can fit into yet and they are certainly not built to carry provisions. I really enjoy the modern skin on frame kayak in production, and what it enables me to do in terms of multi-day kayaking trips, but you can't beat the original Greenland kayak for its beautiful lines and efficiency in the water!

The last picture is of the Folbot Greenland II configured for a single paddler. Behind my brother-in-law is one of the feature attractions of Uummannaq fjord - ice!

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