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Making an all-out effort to get to safety due to dangerous river
A member of the paddle crew who is assigned to get out on shore
and hold the boat.
The angle of the boat relative to the current.
The front of the boat
An inflatable boat with two pontoons.
A clip, used to secure items into the boat, and to construct safety
and rescue systems.
A suit designed to keep all water out, under which any amount
of layered clothing can be worn.
Bag, Day Bag
A bag for keeping gear in while on the river. They help keep things
dry, but probably not 100%.
A one or two person inflatable boat, usually paddled with double-bladed
Water flowing upstream behind a rock or other obstacle. Eddys
often provide a safe place to get out of the current.
Line, Eddy Fence
Where the water flowing upstream passes the water flowing downstream.
To cross a current or river without moving downstream.
The boat turned upside down by a wave, a rock, or other mishap.
A group of boats together on a trip.
The amount of water passing a point in the river, measured in
Cubic Feet per Second (CFS).
The"steepness" of a river, measured in feet of elevation loss
per mile of river.
The person who steers the boat down the river, giving paddle commands
to the crew (paddle captain), or rowing (oar captain).
The necessary act of jumping to the "high side" when coming up
against an obstacle sideways. Always jump downstream, towards
the rock or obstacle. When executed properly it can help prevent
a wrap or a flip.
River flow above an expected average, which makes the currents
faster. Some rapids get easier, others become more difficult.
Where water flowing over a rock or other obstacle flows down,
then back onto itself in an eruption of whitewater.
A wave or hole peeling out of an obstacle at an angle.
The first boat in the flotilla, often captained by the trip leader.
Life Jacket (PFD)
A personal flotation device, Coast Guard approved, and worn like
Low Water -
Flows below an expected average. More rocks and obstacles may
show, rapids become more technical.
A long blade, attached to the boat by an oarlock and used to row.
A boat rigged with oars, so one person sitting in the center or
rear of the boat can row.
A paddle held in the hands, not attached to the boat, used to
paddle. Can be single-bladed (rafting and canoeing) or double-bladed
(kayaking, solo cats, inflatable kayaks).
A raft with a crew of paddlers and a guide.
The guide in the paddle boat.
Commands used by the guide to communicate to the crew. Some more
commoly used are: "forward paddle"; "back paddle"; "left turn";
"left back"; "right turn"; "right back"; and "stop".
A type of river in which rapids are separated by calmer pools
of water, sometimes more forgiving than continuous gradient rapids.
To carry the boats around a rapid. Necessary around Class VI rapids
and other obstacles.
River access where a trip begins.
Where there's whitewater! Water flowing through a shallower, constricted,
or steeper section forms a rapid.
The left side of the river when facing downstream.
A measure of the difficulty of a rapid or a river.
The right side of the river when facing downstream.
A section of river run in order to return to our Durango office
A section of river that can be boated.
A talk that preceeds every trip, in which paddlers
learn about safety on the river.
To stop and look at a rapid before running it.
Catching an eddy or hiking down the river, past a rapid to be
there for the safety of a boat about to come through the rapid.
A wave in the river formed by obstacles on the river bottom, where
the wave stands still relative to the bank.
The rear of the boat.
Stern Rig, Paddle Assist
A oar/paddle boat, in which the guide sits in the rear and has
control of the oars. The crew, sitting forward, has paddles. Often
used in high water.
An opening or openings where water can flow through, but a solid
object such as a person or boat cannot. It is usually formed by
trees on the banks or by rocks on top of one another with water
flowing through them. It is one of the most dangerous river features.
A member of the crew, usually in the bow, appointed by the guide
to set the cadence or the timing for the entire crew. If everyone
follows the strokemaster, the crew will be efficient and work
A boat rigged with first aid, safety and rescue gear which usually
runs last in the flotilla.
A person who has fallen out of the boat.
Often the safest way to "swim" in a river or rapid. Feet up in
front of you, visible on the surface, facing downstream, arms
out to the sides for stability and to scull or move across the
River access where a trip ends.
A guide deignated to oversee the smooth running of the trip.
A neoprene rubber suit that allows a small amount of water in,
to help retain body heat.
A boat held against a rock or other object by the force of the
A pulley system used to give a mechanical advantage when trying
to free a boat from a "wrap".