|Atomic Launch - launching from a ledge
above a river by sliding down the bank and droping into the water.
Boat-Eater - A "monster hole" in a rapid, big enough to swallow a boat.
Also known as a bus-stopper.
Boil - swirly or unpredictable currents
pushing (boiling) to the surface. Usually caused by rocks pushing the water to
Bony - run or rapid requiring lots of maneuvering
because of the abundance of obstacles, mostly rocks.
Boof - driving
your boat for a mini-launch over a shallow ledge or rock.
paddling technique using downward and sweeping strokes to stabilize a tipping
canoe or kayak.
Broach - occurs when a canoe or kayak becomes caught
in the current against an obstruction and turned sideways. Can result in severe
damage as the current's force warps the boat around the obstruction.
C.F.S. - Cubic Feet per Second. Measurement of velocity of water flow at
a given point in a river. Will vary according to water level and gradient of
Carnage - general term for a mishap, as in a boat flipping
or someone falling out.
Chicken Line - Straps on the sides of a raft
for clients to hold on to if they get scared. Use caution as it can entrap arms
and legs in a flip.
Class I-VI - international scale of river
difficulty classification system for negotiating the difficulty of fast-moving
water. Class I is the easiest and Class VI the most difficult.
Confluence- the junction of two rivers or forks of a river.
Control Hand- "fixed" hand, left or right, depending on the offset of
the blades on a kayak paddle. Left hand paddles are more difficult to
Curler - a large wave, usually at the bottom of a drop, with
a crest that spills upon its upstream slope. May be a surfing wave.
Drop - a short, well-defined rapid or section of a rapid. Named for the
abrupt drop in elevation between the top and bottom of the rapid.
Eddy - area of usually calm water behind or downstream of an obstruction
in the main current, where water flows counter to that of the main current.
Eddy Out - term used to describe leaving the main current and entering
Eddy Line - a current differential between the upstream
current of the eddy and the downstream current of the main flow of the
Ender - a play maneuver enacted by nosing the boat's bow down
and deep and the stern up, which results in the boat popping vertically upward.
Ferry - a maneuver used to cross a current with little or
no down stream travel. Utilizes the current's force to move the boat
Float Bag - the most common form of floatation in canoes
Gauge Height - for measuring water levels at one or more
locations. Reference point used with CFS (or in lieu of).
- grab-handle threaded through bow/stern stems of a kayak or canoe. Useful as
carry-handles and for catching swimmers.
Gradient - refers to the
steepness of a riverbed over a specified distance, usually per mile. Along with
CFS and water level information, this helps paddlers draw a conclusion of a
river's difficulty. See CFS and Class I-VI.
Hair - dangerous and
Hair boating - paddling in dangerous and difficult
Haystacks - big standing waves in a wave "train"
following a drop.
Headwall - steep cliff where the main channel of
the river drives against it at a 90-degree angle.
Highside - when
you broach on a rock with a raft everyone moves to the highside to push it back
down so it won't wrap around the rock.
Hole - a hole is created when
the river current drops over a rock or ledge and circulates instead of
continues its downstream flow. A significant feature because it either offers
play opportunities or danger of trapping, depending on the power of the
Horizon line - usually indicative of a falls or steep drop.
There is a line, but the route, if there is one, is not apparent. Time to exit
Hydraulic - water formation following a sudden drop in
the riverbed or drop over an obstruction that creates a powerful circulating
force at the base of a drop. The circulating pressure of a powerful hydraulic
can hold boats and paddlers for indeterminate lengths of time.
|Hypothermia - the cold water hazard for
paddlers. Prolonged exposure can lead to incapacitation and eventually death as
body core temperature drops below 80 degrees.
Lilly-dipper - a weak
Maytag - stuck in a hole and thrashed about as if in a
washing machine. Usually not fun!
Mystery move - usually a squirt
boat move that is a lengthy disappearance under water then reappearance to the
surface downstream in an entirely different location. Fun, especially when
New Yorker - a client who whines and complains.
Peel out - term used to describe leaving an eddy and entering the main
current; bow catches the main current and quickly swings the boat downstream. A
downstream lean is needed to counter act the current.
PFD - Personal
Floating Device. The proper name for a Life Jacket per Coast Guard definition.
It is required by law for every passenger of all water craft and your most
important life-saving tool.
Pillow - water that builds up around a
rock in the main current. Pillows are stuffed with rock.
Pin - being
stuck between the current and the river bed or an obstruction such as a rock or
log and unable to dislodge. Not fun; possibly deadly!
while popping vertical in a kayak during an "ender", the paddler reaches a
paddle blade to the water then effects a vertical boat-and-paddler spin with
Portage - term for carrying boats and gear around a difficult
rapid or from lake to lake.
Put-in - starting place of a river trip;
where you put your boat on the river to begin a run or trip.
point in a rapid where water constricts/pools before dropping downstream
through a channel.
River left - the left-hand side of the river when
looking downstream. When downstream looking upstream it is on your right.
River right - the right-hand side of the river when looking downstream.
When downstream looking upstream it is on your left.
Roll - a move
requiring a paddle stroke and body snap to right oneself from a tip over while
staying in the boat. Common techniques are the Sweep and the Eskimo rolls.
Roostertail - spray of water that explodes off a submerged rock or
Shuttle - the most dangerous part of the trip. Driving
between the put-in and take-out. One-vehicle shuttles require logistical
foresight using options such as biking, walking, hitchhiking, etc., to return
to the put-in.
Side surf - a play move in a hole in which a paddler
uses counter balancing forces of downstream current and upstream hydraulic.
Spray skirt - or spray deck. A neoprene or nylon accessory that fits
around the waist of the paddler and the cockpit lip of a canoe or kayak for a
Squirt boat - extremely low-volume (small, flat)
kayak that uses the underwater river currents for playing.
waves - big waves that often indicate the main channel.
- current clogged with tree branches or debris that allows the water to flow
through but could pin you or your boat. Very Dangerous!
ending point of a paddling trip; where the boats are finally taken from the
Technical - describes the character of a rapid that requires
skillful maneuvering because of frequent obstructions. Also describes specific,
difficult-to-master paddling techniques.
Throw bag - rescue device
incorporating a 60 ft. floating rope coiled inside a nylon bag, to be thrown
while holding one rope end.
Tongue - a smooth downstream V
indicating the route through a rapid.
Undercut - an overhanging rock
or ledge with water flowing underneath it. A serious hazard!
Waterfall - major drop in a riverbed, usually over six feet in
Wave train - A series of standing waves or runout of a
rapid. Also called "haystacks".
Wrap - to wrap your boat around a
rock or obstacle. Countered by leaning into the rock or highsiding a raft.