Cheri is one of the worlds’ leading rolling instructors & practioners. She co-presents “This is the Roll” DVD with her partner “Turner Wilson”.
Cheri has been paddling for over 20 years. She’s taught Greenland-style kayaking for 8 years at both national and international kayaking events. Cheri competed in the Greenland National Kayaking Championships in both 2004 and 2005, in events ranging from rolling to individual and relay races, winning a dozen gold medals. She has won several rolling competitions in the United States and is widely regarded as one of the best Greenland-style kayak rollers in the world. She has offered demonstrations of Greenlandic kayaking techniques to many groups across the country, and she has given many presentations relating to Greenlandic kayak technique and Greenlandic culture. She first got hooked on kayaks listening to Audrey Sutherland talk about her solo paddling adventures in Alaska.
“My first kayak was a big plastic one. I put my three year old son in the back hatch! We went on lots of short camping trips. He eventually grew into his own little kayak, and I towed him. He would play in the sand while Mom learned to roll in the shallows.
I did some guiding and instruction over the years, and then, 9 years ago, I discovered the Greenland blade! To hold one in my hands was pure magic! Evolved over a thousand years or more, it is such a simple and elegant tool, yet so wise in ways we moderns can merely dream about! So buoyant, so warm in my hands, it called to me: play, paddle, scull, roll!
I have been to Greenland twice to compete in the Greenland National Kayaking Championships. When folks ask questions like, “How did you do?” expecting race and roll results, I balk at an easy answer. I have a dozen gold medals, but for me that doesn’t begin to answer their question. It is about so much more.
It’s really about “The People” as the Inuits describe themselves, the Greenlanders. Young ones, with so much hope and promise. Old ones, so wise, with the twinkle in their eye. Modern Greenlanders proudly helping to bridge the gap. The Qajaq culture, this tradition of the seal catchers and their families, is thus kept alive in the modern world. To be accepted and welcomed, inside this circle, I just feel fortunate to have taken part”.
Present goals: To wander the world with Turner, teaching the Green love!
Future goals: Long paddles in strange and beautiful places! … to make a rolling DVD & to live in a yurt!