Feedback from Trond Mangne Movik

Trond Magne Movik, a judge from Skien writes:

The feeling of building a Greenland kayak

We had moved closer to the sea, and Kjersti and I agreed that we had to get a couple of kayaks and begin paddling again. I was going on a trip to Bergen for job reasons, and saw that there was a "build your own kayak" course there the same week. Exciting. We had been considering fibreglass, but it would be fun to have a really traditional kayak. Additionally, I would find it fun to build it myself. After doubting whether it would be a good idea to spend a week on this, I signed up, and watched some long boards quickly take shape and begin to resemble a kayak. We had just built a house, and we were used to right angles and millimetre precision being important. There were no such criteria here. Instead, it was all about fine curves, good shapes and approximate measurements. For example, the kayak was to be about three times as long as I was tall, and as wide as my own width plus two fists. The distance between the ribs was about as far as the distance between my outstretched first finger and thumb, or a "small span" as Anders called it. Each participant could design their own kayak. I was fascinated to watch my kayak assume its graceful, but flexible and beautiful form. When I came home, it didn't take long before I bought a kit of materials from Anders, and began building a kayak for Kjersti in the garage. I had doubts about bending the ribs myself, so I took a trip to Anders to seek his aid. This is something that requires practice, and it's a joy to see him shaping them.
It begins to look like a kayak!

Spring arrived, and we began paddling. We had paddled a bit before, but usually in rivers and on lakes, especially in the area around Hardangervidda. After we had children there was little paddling. Now they were grown enough to be left alone for a while, and we could enjoy a few trips on the fjord. But the children weren't just grown enough to be independent, they wanted to come along. Magnus turned 18 that summer, and thought that this was a great craft, which held its own on the water. He wanted to try it for real. We paddled around Stråholmen outside Telemark in a gale. The kayaks performed impressively, and rode the waves in a natural and elegant way. The only downside to the trip was that by the time we got back to Havsund, I was seasick and vomited. We took more trips, and I began to understand that we had too few kayaks. So next winter, I made another one. This time with a slightly different shape and other properties. But then there was my younger brother. His kayak was starting to get old and wasn't very good. So I bought another kit of materials from Anders, and soon the fourth kayak will be ready. It's a good thing I took that course in Bergen.....


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