Kayak Terminology for Beginners on Kayaking Tours
Here are all the terms that can help you save yourself a whole lot of confusion and estrangement to the works of the wonderful world of kayaking tours.
Blade- The broad part on the end of a paddle.
Portage- This is to carry a kayak over land, and to switch waterways.
PFD- This is the acronym for Personal Floatation Device. All such devices are approved of by the Coast Guard.
Hull- The shape of a boat at the bottom, it determines how a vessel will perform in different conditions.
Bulkhead- The cross sectional wall that is present inside a kayak, it is made out of either foam, plastic, or composite. Bulkheads are great for giving structural support, and a watertight space for storage.
Cockpit- The central compartment which is usually enclosed and the space where a paddler sits.
Bulkhead/ Foot-pegs/ Foot-braces- These are adjustable mechanisms inside the kayak, where you can place the balls of your feet.
Roll- To correct the position of a kayak that has capsized, while you are still inside the vessel.
SOT- This is the acronym for sit-on-top kayak where a kayak without a cockpit is usually used to self ball with different foot brace configurations and foot braces. Most of these types of vessels are meant for racing and touring.
Wet Exit- Stepping out of capsized kayak.
Back Band- Also referred to as back rest, this is the feature that allows for lower back comfort while kayaking and also helps with keeping your posture erect. This is usually stored behind a seat.
Stern- The rear end of kayaks.
Trim- This is the leveling of bow to stern in a kayak and it affects the boat control. The best trim is one that is nearly level, but also has the stem lower a bit in the water.
High Brace- Also called the ‘Duffek Stroke’, is a strong back stroke, used when leaving or entering an eddy (a circular movement of water, counter to a main current, causing a small whirlpool.), this is the best defense a kayaker has against the prospect of the boat capsizing.
Low Brace- This is a supportive stroke where the arms are close to the body and low. The back face of a paddle is also braced to stand against the water.
Hung Up- A hung up kayak is one that is trapped in an obstruction.
Hydraulic- The spot around a river where the water flows backward, at the base of rocks.
Spray Skirt- A skirt that is crafted out of nylon or neoprene. This is worn by the kayaker while also being attached to the rim of the cockpit to keep out the water.
Knee/thigh Braces- These are commonly present in touring and whitewater kayaks. The braces are there for extra boat control.