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Glossary of Canoeing Terms
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The widest part of canoe (or any vessel).

Bent-shaft paddle
A paddle with a bend in the shaft near the throat, which increases power but decreases control.

The widened end of the paddle that does the work in the water.

The front end of a canoe.

A dangerous event in which a canoe is caught against an obstruction and turned sideways by the current.

What, in a sea kayak, there is never enough of. (When the compartments of a sea kayak are not filled with gear they should be filled with buoyancy material.) All canoes and kayaks must have sufficient buoyancy material so that they float level at the surface when swamped.

Designation for a one-person Canadian canoe.

Designation for a two-person Canadian canoe.

Designation for a four-person Canadian canoe.

Canadian canoe
An open canoe propelled with a single-bladed paddle.

Broadly speaking, any paddle-propelled craft with two pointed ends, which includes kayaks. But the word is often used to mean a Canadian canoe.

An area where a river of stream suddenly narrows, resulting in increased water speed; often contains rapids.

An enclosed area over the bow and/or stern of a canoe, which keeps water out and increases the vessel's strength.

Downstream gate
A gate on a slalom course that is to be traversed in the same direction as the water's flow. To be distinguished from an upstream gate.

A stroke taken at right angles to the direction of travel, as a means of turning a canoe.

A relatively calm area, away from the main current, often near the shore. Upstream gates are often located in eddies, so that the paddler will not have to fight the current's full force.

Eskimo roll
A method of using the paddle against the water to right a boat that has tipped or rolled over.

Fast and clean
Descriptive of an excellent whitewater run, since it covers the course quickly with a minimum of penalty points.

A five-second penalty assessed when a whitewater paddler touches a gate pole.

A fifty-second penalty assessed when a whitewater paddler misses a gate, moves a gate pole to allow passage, or goes through a gate in the wrong direction.

Water that has little or no movement. As an adjective, it describes competitive canoeing on that type of water, as opposed to whitewater canoeing.

Distance between waterline and the gunwales; essentially, how much of the canoe site above the water

In whitewater slalom, a passage marked by two poles that the paddler must pass through. See downstream gate; upstream gate.

The area of the paddle that the canoeist holds.

The main body of any water-going vessel, including canoes and kayaks.

J Lean
A way of leaning the boat while keeping the torso vertical. In sea kayaks, lifts bow and stern, increasing the effective rocker and making the boat easier to turn

J Stroke
A stroke on which the paddle is turned to act as a rudder, keeping the boat on a straight course without having to shift the paddle to the other side for the next stroke.

Designation for a one-person kayak.

Designation for a two-person kayak.

A type of fully-decked canoe. The paddler is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle.

Strip running the length of the canoe's underside for the purpose of stiffening the hull and improving tracking

Keel line
Shape of the hull bottom running from bow to stern; varies from straight to having extreme curvature or "rocker"

The path chosen by a whitewater slalom paddler to traverse the gates and the entire course.

A thing used in rowing (which see).

A form of paddle racing, usually at sea, derived from Pacific island outrigger canoes.

The implement used for propelling a canoe. Canadian canoeists use a single bladed paddle. Kayakers use a double-bladed paddle that's held in the middle.

A race that's used to determine the placing of paddlers who don't reach the finals. For example, if eight paddlers qualify for the final, the winner of the petit-final is awarded ninth place. From the French, "little final."

An area of a river, stream, or course where the current is very rapid and flows around and over various obstacles.

A competitive round in which paddlers who lost in the first heat are given a chance to advance further; from the French for "second chance."

River left
Similar to "stage left"; the left side of a river from the paddler's point of view.

River right
Opposite of river left.

To use the paddle to steer the canoe by turning its blade.

The narrow part of the paddle, above the blade, encompassing the grip.

A type of whitewater race in which the paddlers have to pass through gates.

A race determined by speed alone. All flatwater races are called sprints, regardless of distance.

The rear end of a canoe (or any boat).

A stroke on which the blade moves through the water in a wide curve, thus helping to steer as well as propelling the vessel.

The area of the paddle where the shaft meets the blade.

A supporting module that extends the width of the canoe.

Upstream gate
A gate on a slalom course that is to be traversed in the direction against the flow of the water. To be distinguished from a downstream gate.

the highest point that water reaches on the hull when the canoe is in the water

A wall across a river to control its flow, such as the �locks� on the Murray. They are dangerous, because the flow at the surface immediately downstream of the weir will be upstream � objects (i.e. boats and people) can be trapped in the circulating flow. Keep well away from weirs, both upstream and downstream.

The type of water created by rapids, so called from the white foam created on the water's surface. As an adjective, it describes slalom racing, which takes place in such water.

a thwart that is shaped so as to allow the canoe to be carried on the shoulders during a portage

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