Welcome to the Traditional Qajaqers of the South (TRAQS)
Do you want to learn how to efficiently paddle using a traditional “skinny stick”? Trying to learn to roll or finally perfect that forward finishing hand roll? Always wanted to throw a harpoon or paddle a traditional skin-on-frame qajaq? TRAQS is the event for you whether you’re just starting or you’re an advanced paddler.
Our mission is to spread the joy, benefits and cultural aspects of Greenland paddling in Florida. We adhere to the Greenlandic and QajaqUSA principles of mentoring and sharing our passion, skills, and knowledge.
Our 2019 event will be held from March 21 – March 24, 2019 at the Lake Placid Camp and Conference Center on beautiful Lake Placid in Central Florida. SAVE THE DATE! This will be our 4th Annual immersive Greenland kayaking weekend that includes paddling and rolling skills, presentations, morning yoga, kayak games and exposure to Inuit culture.
… this was my third year in a row of attending the traditional paddling skills symposium. It’s easy to say that each year it gets better! The passionate students, next level mentors, and good friends make this QajaqUSA sanctioned event a yearly pilgrimage… –Ben Fontenot
The 2018 event was excellent in every way. Everyone appreciated and benefited from our incredible mentors Alison Sigethy James Manke, Greg Stamer and Ben Fontenot. Alison is one of the best known Greenland paddling mentors and Greenland Qajaqing Championship participant as well as an accomplished artist. James is an internationally recognized kayak instructor and Greenland mentor. Among his many accomplishments, James won a gold medal at the 2014 Greenland Qajaqing Championship and successfully paddled the Grand Canyon rapids using Greenland paddles and sea kayaks. Greg Stamer is a former President and founding member of Qajaq USA as well as an accomplished distance kayaking racer. Ben is not only an accomplished ACA L4 Instructor, but an extraordinary Greenland Paddle maker. We are proud that he returned to TRAQS for his 3rd season. His designs and construction are museum-worthy, but do paddle with them!
To complete the experience, we are offering a full day Greenland paddle making class, back by popular demand – this workshop is always sold out, so register early! You can then use your beautiful new paddle throughout the event.
TRAQS is also a terrific opportunity to meet other kayakers. Join us in a warm (temperature and atmosphere) and nurturing environment. Enjoy the camaraderie while learning and sharing kayaking techniques and skills.
Whether you are local to Florida, or are looking for a personal or family winter get-away, this event, modeled after The Delmarva Paddlers Retreat, offers a paddler a wonderful weekend of enjoyment.
Come join us and be a part of a growing paddling community. Check out our 2018 Photo Album (still growing!) and save the date for 2019!