greenland team zero approach

I keep hearing about a concept called “Team Zero”

Not even sure it is a concept or a philosophy or a training program or what.

Can someone elaborate and educate me?


It’s A Reaction…
against “badges” and alphabet soup instruction and hierarchy. I believe VD coined the phrase.

Yet, you have some “go native” crowd who are just as dogmatic in their own way.

People are people. Seems there is an inbuilt need for “we/they”. Some have it stronger than others.

You really should post this over at the other forum. Most folks here have no clue of that little brouhaha, nor really care about it.

I know about but don’t care a bit about it.


what other forum should I post this at?

I didn’t even know what it was. And after your description I think I care even less than you do about it. It is all good. Get on the water and learn whatever, wherever and however you can. I don’t care if Mother Goose comes up and teaches me something…As long as I learn.

All I know is this. If I am in conditions and need to self rescue and succeed, the last thing I am going to wonder about is how or where i learned it. I am just going to be damned glad that I did learn it and was able to apply it.

Training is a process. Just yesterday practicing eskimo rescues i was able to reinforce the importance of sprinting and then stopping within three to four strokes to get your bow or paddle to the victim’s hand in a hurry. I had been shown that a few months ago and had practiced so it was very beneficial to be able to get to the victims boat quickly.

Any and all training, be it formal, friends critiques, people watching and having opinions, etc is a great resource and education as long as your mind is open to it.


Qajaq USA
"what other forum should I post this at?"

I would think there’s where you saw the term, “Team Zero.” Haven’t seen that use anywhere else.


I heard it from
a friend who was talking about what I was going to be learning at Delmarva. he didn’t elaborate so I got curious.


Go to
…and check out the forum there. The Team Zero thing is old news and I haven’t seen anything posted about it in a long time. :smiley:

Team Zero is pretty tongue in cheek…

– Last Updated: Jul-11-06 9:29 AM EST –

It was a concept that several QajaqUSA members were throwing around when there was discussion around certification and QajaqACA. Team Zero are the folks who do not seek certification and wish to grow Greenland style kayaking here in the US in an informal "coaching" manner versus a hierarchical and formalized manner. Although I tend to lean more toward the Team Zero mentality, I also am an ACA member who could potentially see myself getting certified at some point if my club requests it of me from an insurance standpoint. With that said, the ACA offering a Traditional Skills endorsement feels a little... wrong... for lack of a better word.

I saw the logo

– Last Updated: Jul-12-06 5:42 AM EST –

I want a team zero patch to put right next to my QajaqUsa patch right nect to me Leave No Trace Patch right next to my BCU patch...

I want to wear "colors" just like the bikers do...

I need a bigger pfd...


Bicycle People

– Last Updated: Jul-12-06 6:13 AM EST –

The certification / star stuff is foreign to us bicycle people. There are a couple of folks in the local bike community who no one wants to ride with because of their poor risk assessment skills. They NEED education but don't think they do. Everyone just steers clear when they show up.

IMO, it’s very wrong…
…as it’s seeking to codify a free-form type of paddling. Fortunately, it’s seems that nobody’s taking the ACA course and the BCU seems to have abandoned their program before it got off the ground.

It strikes me the ACA is about to “certify” themselves out of business. If their new, currently voluntary trip leader certification becomes mandatory for ACA affiliated clubs, they’ll probably lose nearly all of them. It may be just as well, since liability insurance is the only benefit to the clubs and it’s getting way too expensive.

I guess it’s not a unique name!
There certainly seems to be a bunch of zeros in that organization.

I want to wear "colors"
Plenty of real estate for patches on a tuilik. Aquaseal should hold.

Won’t do you much good if you ever get a surf ski though…

You should also consider the Winnebago/steamer trunk travel sticker approach on all your kayaks.

Are you sick of the bike club talk? Sorry. I can’t help but compare and contrast. Our local club deals with liability by 1) Staying broke and 2) describing our rides as ‘show and go’ which is bikespeak for ‘leaderless’.

The local sea kayak club I’m becoming involved with seems to follow that same model. It’s mostly a message board. “I’m going to lake such and such. Anyone wanna come along?”

and then…
You could get all those little pins from all the places you paddled and put them on your hat! Perfect accompanyment to your carbon paddle shaft for lightning!


personally I like the idea
of mentoring and learning from peers. Just wish I had more opportunity.


More opportunity for peer mentoring?
Well Paul, that’s the problem with exceeding your peers in your first year of paddling! If you’d stuck with that first plastic tub, or maybe even the SP, you’d have peers coming out your ears!

I think you created your own problem - and it’s a good thing - but you are going to have to travel farther now to find suitable peers for continued development. Then next year to UK for 5 star. Add in some distance paddling, racing, WW…

After mastering all that, you may just have to settle into “just paddling” sometimes. L

Personally I think it’s pretty amazing/unusual that you know anyone else in steamy S FL who’s into G-Style paddling and actually own tuiliks and such - let alone more than a half dozen (more?) all with qajaq/qajariaq. Then you’ve got even more BCU type peers if you extend “local” to gulf side. Add in year 'round paddling in warm water - yeah, pretty lean learning environment! L

It’s also a matter of cultural respect
Not that anybody outside of G-style paddling really cares, but it also was a small movement to shun certification out of respect for Greenlandic culture.

It’s kind of like the “americanized” versions of asian martial arts in which you display your status by wearing a different colored belt based on skill. I have not heard of that being the case in the originating cultures.

I do have to say that even though “team zero” was mostly an inside joke, there is a certain appeal to shunning certification and getting back to what’s really important — having fun safely in boats. That said, I have been a devotee of that philosophy for a long time anyway — I learn all I can, but I don’t go after any merit badges. The proof is in your paddling!


I should have included “time” in that statement.


the qajaq usa
peer mentoring program is great if you’re focused solely on rolling. If you want to learn other skills, such as directional control, leadership, seamanship, surfing/or other moving water skills, you would be hard pressed to find them there. In that event, you would need to find someone who is willing to teach you that in a mentoring program. I managed to find some good paddlers here in michigan with similar interests. They were not one person though. I found some people who want to surf small boats and do white water. But I got super lucky with the rolling/sea kayaking/seamanship directional control mentor because it was all the same person. That said I did attend symposiums with BCU/ACA folks and learned a lot. Plus the social atmosphere is a gas, it’s a good crowd of people who put on the symposiums in the midwest.

Maybe you should be open to both the aca/bcu thing and the non-traditional method.

Either way if there is something you want to learn, it will take longer on your own.

Good luck.