Paddling Terms Defined

Articulated~  A blade design which is assymetrically shaped to work better for a  particular task~ that being mid-stroke steering applied through twists  of the wrist.  This only works well for boats which are easy to steer~  like squirt and rodeo boats.

Bland~  A paddle blade design which is meant to travel as flutter-free as  possible in the water. Excellent for uses where fast strokes are common as in creeking and rodeo. This blade shape is balanced across the  shaft to be stable through the water.

Charc~ Short for ‘charging arc’~  describing a boat’s path through the water in  relation to local water features.  A ‘steep’ charc is parallel to the  current, a “broad” charc is more perpendicular to the current.

Dipping Edge~A bump on the lower outer tip of the paddle for getting light touch strokes like slight rudders while surfing.

Flavor~Being able to twist the paddle blade in mid-stroke to achieve subtle steering advantages.

Feather~ How one blade relates geometrically to the other in a kayak paddle.  Zero degree feather has the blades in the same plan- 90 degree feather  has the blades perpendicular to each other.

Power Face~ The “front” of the paddle when it is being used- or the side being pulled against the water.

Releaseability~ The ability of a paddle to pull out of the water edgewise.

Rodeo/Freestyle~ The sport of playing on distinct river features like holes or waves and using gymnastic moves such as cartwheels and spins.

Squirt~ A sport with super small custom sized squirt kayaks used for gymnastics and ‘mystery moves’ ~ where the entire boat and rider dive into whirlpools and seams in the river’s currents to achieve ‘Downtime’ and ‘Roam the Realm’ for up to 30 seconds or more at a time- as long as you want!

Trik Style~ A ‘Trik Style’ kayak blade  is centered on the shaft like most canoe  paddles.  It is the lightest strongest configuration for a kayak blade  shape and has the added benefit of providing optimal blade surface area  for the strongest, closest part of your stroke.

ZOMBIE!!!~ I’m sorry if you don’t know what zombies are in this context-  but it’s what squirt boaters who pursue mystery moves refer to themselves as.  That’s because we wander in circles for hours and end up entranced by the wonders of the whirled.  It’s an unfortunate reference and we basically refute any other associations with common off-the-shelf zombies. It’s a submersive culture. Been around for 30 years.  As you can see in this picture~ Josh is really into it-  pun intended. very subductive…. Learn more here.


Deep in a mystery ~Borobus, Japan