Kayaking Terminology – Glossary

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Hope you find this glossary helpful 🙂

Back band: An elastic band that can be tightened around the paddler’s seat to hold him upright when paddling. The back band’s aim is to provide support for the lower back. Recreational kayaks also feature a back-to-the-seat design, which allows for a more relaxed sitting position when paddling.

Back stroke: Paddling backwards.

Base layers: Paddlers wear base layers underneath outer garments made of natural or synthetic materials. A good base layer can assist in wicking moisture away from the paddler’s skin, keeping them warm or cold, depending on the weather conditions. It retains moisture, dries slowly, and has the ability to keep one cold. Cotton baselayers are never a good idea. Fleece, hair, polypropylene, or neoprene may all be used as the base layer material.

In most kayaks, the back band is covered with cloth, rubber, or foam to prevent the lower back from being thrown forward. It is usually made of padded cotton, plastic, or foam and is located behind your seat.

Baja Sleigh Ride: When a fisherman hooks a large fish and is dragged around in circles in his kayak, this is referred to as a Baja Sleigh Ride.

Bearing: Bearing is the direction or target in which you wish to go.

Bent shaft paddle: The paddle’s ergonomically curved shaft enables users to grip the paddle securely with neutral wrists. Bend-shaft paddles are favoured by paddlers who suffer from tendonitis and wrist problems.

Blade: The blade is the wide portion of a paddle’s end.

Boof strokestrong>: Boof is a Whitewater manoeuvre that involves the kayak “jumping” over a steeply angled obstacle. A skier captured in this image employs the same technique when jumping off a cliff. The manoeuvre’s name is most likely derived from the sound it makes when performed.

Booties: Within the kayak, a kayaker keeps his or her feet warm with boots, which are close-fitting neoprene shoes.

Bow: Front of the cockpit

Bow draw: It is a stroke that propels the kayak’s bow into a powerful turn.

Bow/stern lines: A kayak is attached to the vehicle’s bumpers through bow/stern lines that run along the vehicle’s side.

Brace stroke: When using the brace stroke, it is ensured that the kayak does not flip or capsize.

Bulkhead: Inside the stern of a kayak is a foam block that prevents water from entering the interior when the kayak is turned upside down. By inverting the kayak, it floats higher and consumes less water, making it much easier to save. Additionally, splash guards keep water out of hatches.

Carabiner: Typically, a carabiner is known as a loop with a gate at one or both ends. Another gate is located at the opposite end of the circle. Another circle, this time with a gate at the top. On one side, a lock; on the other, another loop; and on the other hand, another gate. Another gate is located at the opposite end of the circle. There is a gate at one end and a loop at the other. We walked the loop of the Climbing and Kayak Rescue system. They are compatible with tow leashes, as well as dry bags and water bottles.

Carp: A roll where the kayaker attempts to touch the water’s surface by breathing while staying on top of it, but does not nail it.

Cam straps: Kayaks are secured to roof racks using Cam straps or straps with metal buckles.

CFS (cubic feet per second): This is the abbreviation for the amount of space per second expressed in square feet. Historically, the United States has estimated river flow using this process. On the channel, an indicator number indicates the amount of water flowing past a specific point.

Class I rapid: This whitewater segment is straightforward to navigate, poses little to no danger, and leaves you feeling at ease.

Class II rapid: A Class II rapid can exhibit multiple whitewater waves, as these cannot be easily controlled by a single individual.

Chine: It is the midpoint between the bottom of the boat and the sides.

Coaming: The raised edge is referred to as a coaming, which is a lip that surrounds the cockpit and serves as the attachment point for the spray shield.

Cocking: Cocking is a method in which a paddle blade is cocked by twisting the hand. When conducting strokes and manoeuvres, the feathering on a paddle blade ensures that it approaches a certain angle in the water, maintains neutral position in the water, or causes resistance against the water.

Cockpit: The kayak paddler sits in the cockpit, the kayak’s enclosed centre compartment.

Deck: The surface of the water is referred to as the deck in kayaking.

Deck bungees: The boards are attached to the kayaks with bungee cords, which makes accessing the storage compartment underneath the kayak easy. These straps make it simple to stow equipment underneath the kayak.

Drytop: A type of paddling jacket with rubber gaskets around the neck and wrists that is worn to keep the paddler’s upper body dry while paddling.

Downstream: Direction of current in a river

Downstream V: The river’s whitewater portion is surrounded by a dark water tongue that flows along the side in a V pattern.

Dry pack: Dry packs are waterproof, sealable bags used to hold personal belongings dry when paddling down a river. Paddlers use dry bags on the river to transport products such as first-aid kits, snacks, and other essentials.

Drytop: The drytop is a form of rain jacket that is worn when kayaking to fully protect the body from the elements.

Eddy: Eddies are relatively calm spots in a river where the water does not move with much velocity. The eddy is a river feature formed as water flows upstream to fill in a section of a flow that has been deflected by a obstacle. Within eddies, current flows upstream. The Eddie is perfect for scouting, reversing the current, and escaping the river.

Edge control: The ability of a paddler to manage different angles of their kayak’s edge and maintain each angle when paddling. Edge control is critical in whitewater kayaking, but not so much in recreational kayaking when you are paddling in very calm waters.

Edge to edge transition: The paddler moves from one side of the kayak to the other.

Ender: A freestyle motion in which the paddler thrusts the bow into a hole’s green water. This forces the bow downward until the water pressure releases it, propelling the kayak vertically into the air.

Eskimo roll: An Eskimo Roll is used when kayaking to correct oneself if one rolls over while paddling.

Feather: The feather is the distance between the paddle’s blades. On a windy day, it is more convenient to use a paddle blade that slices through the wind than a paddle blade that is 90 degrees to the other. Paddle makers may order an adjustable feathered paddle.

Ferry: Crossing a river from one side to the other.

Footpegs: You can brce your feet against these small plates while kayaking. Also called foot braces or bulkheads. Paddlers produce greater strength with each stroke when wearing foot braces.

Forward stroke: Paddlers use the forward stroke to propel themselves forward in canoeing.

Grab loops or handles: Paddles can be attached to a kayak through loops and handles at the bow as well as the stern, which also serve as a means of securing the vessel.

Hatch: The hatch is the container that is pre-installed in the kayak to hold your dry belongings.

Hatch cover: A simple-to-remove hatch cover holds water out while the hatch is closed and in when it is opened.

Hull: The bottom of the kayak is called the hull. You have a choice of rigid or hollow hull kayaks.

Hole: When a river flows around an obstacle, the current reverses. A hole can trap a kayak.

Inflatable kayaks: Kayaks made from materials like PVC, Hypalon and Nitrylon.

J-cradles: J-cradles or J-plates are rack accessories shaped like a letter “J” that can be used to attach a kayak to a car without the use of tools.

Kayak: A boat that’s paddled by one or sometimes two people.

Keel: The keel is a piece of wood or steel that runs the length of the hull’s bottom centerline.

Lee: A sheltered area protected from winds.

Open water: Only experienced sea kayakers can attempt open water, as there is not anything that protects from the wind.

Outfitting: Refers to the additional features that can be added to a kayak seat to make it more comfortable to sit. The kit contains all required components, including the bench, the back band, the foot braces, and the thigh braces.

Paddle: A paddler navigates the kayak using a shaft with two blades on either end.

Paddle jackets: Paddle jackets or splash tops double as a windbreaker while still keeping you dry.

PFD / lifejacket: A form of personal flotation device. Paddlers carry this type of safety equipment because it is the most critical piece of equipment. When kayaking, it is important to wear your life jacket properly.

Portage: Carrying a kayak instead of paddling.

Racks: Used to store bicycles, skis, and snowmobiles, as well as luggage, on the roof of a car.

Rapids: Portion of a river where the water flows a lot faster.

Reading water: The process of identifying and deciphering the best whitewater routes requires one to read the water.

Riffles: A riffle is a section of a rapid in a Class I channel that is shallow.

River Right/River Left: When looking downstream, there are two river banks, one on the left and one on the right.

Eskimo roll: This maneuver is one which enables the kayaker to right a capsized craft while still seated in the cockpit.

Rudder: The rudder controls the direction of the kayak. By pulling on small ropes or lines attached to the kayak’s hull, the kayaker is responsible for lowering the kayak’s rudder. The paddler lowers the rudder and manoeuvres it into the water by pressing down on the pedals.

Sculling draw: The kayaker propels his kayak through the water using the sculling stroke, a figure-eight motion.

Shaft: The paddle shaft is the long, slender section of the kayak paddle.

Shortie: Shorties are short-sleeved paddle jackets.

Side draw: A stroke that causes the kayak to move sideways.

Sit-On-Top kayaks: Self-bailing kayaks without a cockpit that can be equipped with a range of seat and foot braces. Other boats are designed for racing or touring, while some are built for pure pleasure.

Spray skirt: When paddlers are paddling, a spray skirt prevents moisture out of their thighs.

Stacker: Car roof racks equipped with stackers can accommodate several kayaks stacked on the roof rack.

Strainer: A tree or branch that allows water to flow freely, allowing the kayak to be caught in the current.

Stern: The stern of a kayak, or the back of it, is referred to as the stern.

Swamp: A kayak is swamped when it is fully submerged in water.

Sweep stroke: The sweep stroke is the simplest method of turning around a switch.

Swim: In the event of a boat capsize, you can dive if you are wet.

Swim beer: Swim beer has become a common product to administer to anyone assisting with resuscitation after unintentional falls in the water.

Tandem kayak: A kayak with two cockpits that allows both occupants to paddle simultaneously. When paddled in tandem, these kayaks can be used by families and mates.

Thigh braces: These keep a kayaker’s thighs in the right positon. There are also braces for the knees, thighs, and feet.

Tow leash: A tow leash is a length of flexible webbing that is wrapped around the paddler’s waist or rescue harness and held in a small bag. Additionally, kayak instructors depend heavily on it in the event of a rescue to recover kayaks from the sea. Apart from towing, it can also be used to tow tired paddlers who are unable to continue paddling.

Tracking: The ability to maintain a course is referred to as tracking.

Tricky-woo: It entails three consecutive 180-degree paddle rotations with just one paddle blade.

Trolling motor: Includes a propeller, an electric motor and the associated controls. A trolling motor may be fixed either at the bow or stern.

Upstream: The direction opposite to that in which the river flows.

Water sandals: Sandals used for kayaking or rafting.

Wave: As the gradient of a river increases, the river narrows, or currents pass over rocks and other obstructions in the riverbed, waves form.

White water: When air and moving water combine to form aerated water, white water is formed. When a river flows over obstacles such as rocks in the riverbed, the gradient of the river increases and the flow increases, resulting in rough, rough water often referred to as whitewater.

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