Tuliq questions

For those who wear a tuliq, I’m curious what you wear under it…regular immersion garments (e.g., drysuit)?

Also, I’m wondering if all that material interferes with re-entries / self rescues.


Still need to dress for immersion in water at what ever the temps are. I’ll get a Cag this year when it’s real cold

@PaddleDog52 said:
Still need to dress for immersion in water at what ever the temps are. I’ll get a Cag this year when it’s real cold

Yeah, I agree. So I’m thinking about why I would want a tuliq to basically be a cold weather sprayskirt. Maybe if the seal around the face is superior to other methods, maybe just warmer, maybe added buoyancy if you capsize. Why I would maybe not want one is the cost, and as I mused about earlier, if I did get out of my boat would all that material complicate a re-entry and roll, or cowboy scramble.

Historically, from what I understand, if you were a native Greenland hunter you’d be sewn into the boat upon departure. The plan was not to come out until you return. If you can’t roll for some reason or come out of the boat, you may not return. Many didn’t.

I’m not sure there’s total compatibility between the “then” and “now”. In a boat without bulkheads or float bags, you’d have a hell of a time with a self-rescue anyway. Even an assisted rescue gets way more difficult.

Most I know who use a true Tuliq are also quite secure in their rolls, so are less likely to need to cowboy back in than many others. It is also often used when journeying is not in the cards, instaed targeted rolling practice in one place. Am told they are very comfortable.

Don’t know if its true but I remember reading some time ago that the water is so cold that no one learns to swim anyway so, yeah, a huge premium is put on staying in the boat.

Last I knew basic swimming was usually taught. But the water was so cold that simply getting wet could be fatal since out on a hunt there was not any way to get the swimmer to land and warmed up in time.

You have to separate the practices of the hunting parties from how they used kayaks, in fact the kayak design as well, from kayaks used to move families from one location to another. Completely different animals.

I only wear the tuliq anymore when it is freezing cold(spray ices on the deck), over dry suit. In MN there are usually about 3 paddle days with those conditions for me anymore. Then the lakes freeze. I usually practice cold water rolls at the end of the paddle, close to take out. Tuliq is nice when it is cold frosty windy, otherwise I think they are stuffy. I have wet exited for practice in the tuliq but it was at least 10 years ago.

Kayak technique trainer Paolo Oullet of “Comfort Paddling” in British Columbia makes what looks like a really nice Goretex tuiliq which functions as a dry suit when used with dry pants in his roll tunnel version. I’ve been thinking of getting one myself since it looks so versatile and is probably not as overly warm or bulky as a neo one for milder weather. It looks like you could wear a pile bunny suit or wet suit under it. His prices seem quite reasonable and are comparable to the neoprene tuiliq models that are commercially available.


The goretex tuilik looks really interesting. Maybe it will substitute for my next dry suit. I would mostly use it for roll practice. Since I am older it could also be used as a death shroud. Brooks makes one also.

And how is this word spelled? When translating from Greenlandic, there must be options. So from qajaq USA, I find this:
“[Unlike English, you don’t pluralize a Greenlandic word by adding “s” to the end. The plural of tuilik is tuillit.]”
And why should I trust them? They don’t even spell ‘kayak’ correctly.

Some good info on the tuilik is on the Qajaq USA site is at http://www.qajaqusa.org/Equipment/clothing.html.

You can wear a dry suit or top under a tuilik, but there are some issues to deal with. For example, my dry top has fabric and neoprene covers over the latex wrist gaskets, so to fit them comfortably under my Brooks tuilik I need to roll the covers back toward my forearms. This creates a bit of a bunch in that area and can become rather annoying and somewhat uncomfortable. If you leave the covers forward, the wrists of the tuilik don’t seem to stay watertight.
The waist area definitely has better freedom of movement than a neoprene sprayskirt would have though, so for rolling practice in cold water I just deal with the sleeve issue, buy for touring I just use a dry top.

I’ve usually seen tuilik. Reed uses the tuiliq spelling consistently. I’ve used both, but can’t explain why. I wonder if the transliteration of Greenlandic words is kind of flexible – I’m not aware of them having a fixed pronunciation guide as with the Pinyin standards for Mandarin Chinese (which has changed Western spelling of Peking to Beijing and Chungking to Chongqing.)

Also there are 3 main dialects of Greenlandic. Both K and Q are said to be pronounced as a hard “k” but I don’t know if there are subtle variations.

Greenlandic was originally an oral language. In Greenland today, ‘tuilik’ is usually spelled ‘tuilik’. Kayak is spelled qajaq. The language has been written in the Latin script since the start of European colonization in the1700s but the orthography has changed several times, including last in 1973. Some words in old texts do not match current usage.

Tuilik is actually pronounced like “doo-e-leek”.
I recorded Maligiaq Padilla pronouncing a number of terms in Greenland at http://www.qajaqusa.org/Movies/audio_glossary.html .

I’m still working on Worcestershire sauce.

So am IMonkeyhead.
Place where I am thankful for spellcheck.