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Special Guests

Mentors and Special Guests


TRAQS is honored and thrilled to offer our attendees the wisdom, skill, and mentoring by the following people for 2017:


James Manke, Greenland Qajaq Instructor

James Manke is an International Greenland Kayak Instructor living in Victoria who travels around the globe teaching Greenland and traditional kayak related skills. He teaches rolling, surfing and rough water clinics along with a wide range of skills building clinics.

James is an active member of the world class sea kayak group; The Hurricane Riders who seek out some of the largest conditions for sea kayakers, as well as helping improve the sport promoting Safety, Skill and Fun. View a video clip of his Grand Canyon run.

James has been in Greenland for the National Greenland Kayaking Competition as one of the first members of Team Canada to ever compete in Greenland. While he was there he filmed the experience to make a documentary on the competition. His aim to help spread awareness of a culture once lost.. the heart and soul of a sport loved and valued by so many today… kayaking.

Dubside, Greenland Ropes and Rolling Guru

Dubside is a worldwide ambassador for Greenland culture and qajaqing. He is famous for his demonstrations, DVDs and articles publicizing the fun and beauty of Greenland rolling and rope gymnastics. Dubside has participated at the Greenland National Qajaq Competition both as a competitor and a judge.

Benjamin Fontenot, Greenland Qajaq Paddle Designer/Maker & Instructor

Originally from Louisiana, Benjamin discovered sea kayaking and woodworking in his current hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Shortly after the purchase of his first sea kayak, he began carving his own Greenland style wooden paddles. With a great love for surf and rough water paddling, Ben spent several years of paddle refinement and testing in a local play spot known as The Triangle. In addition, he spent time exploring the rest of the wild Georgia coast, paddling through the vast salt marsh and hopping the barrier islands. He started Benjamin Fontenot Paddles recently, a small business specializing in traditionally inspired kayak paddles and accessories. He holds paddle-making workshops on a regular basis. Alongside making paddles and running workshops, Ben works at Savannah Canoe and Kayak and is a SKUK/NDK Pro Team paddler. He is an ACA Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor and an ACA Day Trip Leader.

Ed Mann, Greenland Qajaq Instructor & Organizer

Ed holds an L4 ACA Open Water Instructor Certification and an ACA Traditional Skills Endorsement.  Simply stated, he is a passionate Greenland kayaking devotee.  Before moving to Florida, he was the President of the Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association, a principal kayak instructor for the Jersey Paddler, and instructor of rolling at the inaugural Garden State Sea Kayak Symposium. He mentors at other Greenlandic events, including the Delmarva Paddlers Retreat, Hudson River Greenland Festival and TIPS. When he’s not teaching, he is usually upside down in his kayak watching Manatees while he rolls.  Visit his Facebook page to learn more about Ed.

Kathy Altum, Yoga Instructor

For the past two years Kathy has been teaching Hatha Yoga, with an emphasis on restorative practice. Her teaching—and the direction it has taken—grew out of a need to heal her own body, mind and spirit following spinal fusion surgery in 2007, which forced her to retire from a 20-year career as a horse trainer. She went on to complete teacher-training courses from a number of highly respected yoga educators and institutions. She is now a sought-after instructor her own right, helping people restore balance to their lives through group classes and private session. You will find her enthusiasm and expertise a terrific way to start each day of the event.