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HomeNL-2013-07 Maligiaq Padilla

Maligiaq Padilla
by Cindy Bartos

  Maligiaq Padilla
This is a link at to a story about a guy building a Greenland style kayak for the National Museum of Natural History. In the article he mentions consulting Maligiaq Padilla. Maligiaq first competed in the annual Greenland National Qayaq Championship when he was 12 yrs. old, winning every event in his age group and at 16 became the youngest national championship winner in history. He has won a total of 9 championships - and several folks in the Houston Canoe Club know him.

In 1998, John Heath, eminent sea kayak historian and expert on the evolution and construction of Greenland kayaks presented several workshops at the Southwestern Canoe Rendezvous. Maligiaq happened to be in the U.S. at that time and John brought him to the Rendezvous to assist him with the presentations and to demonstrate his kayaking skills. Those in attendance got an unforgettable performance of paddling, rolling and, later on the shore an impressive display of "rope gymnastics" - an ancient Inuit sport which demands and develops balance, strength, flexibility, coordination and pain tolerance.

Not long after the Rendezvous several Canoe Club members spent a day on Galveston Bay paddling with Maligiaq. The attached photo shows from left to right: Maligiaq Padilla, Mark Andrus, Natalie Wiest, Cindy Bartos, John Bartos, Scott Simmons and Wes Simmons. Clete Zimmerman took the photograph.

Maligiaq stayed with the Heath's for several months and, since they only lived a few blocks from us, John and I had the opportunity to visit often and watch as Maligiaq and John Heath worked on repairing some of the Greenland kayaks in John's possession and to see the development of the kayak they built while he was there.

An article that John Heath wrote for Sea Kayaker Magazine explains in more detail Maligiaq's visit and his time spent at the Southwestern Canoe Rendezvous and his paddle with members of the Houston Canoe Club. 

The author, Cindy Bartos