Say WHAT?? A guide to River Speak…

Posted July 12, 2010 by Malina

If you have ever been on the river and think the guides are talking in another language… we are.  It’s river talk and here is some vocab. you might hear on your trip with AO….

Put-in: where your river trip will start

Take-out: where your river trip will end (NOTE: very different than a put-in

except on the Lazy River at Raging Waters…)

Paddle: a stick with a t-grip and a blade used to paddle.

Lily Dipping: when you aren’t actually paddling… just petting the water with

your paddle.

Oar: long wooden or plastic blade attached to the boat with an oarlock or

pins. Always comes in two. If you only see one in a boat… ask questions.

Bow: front of the boat (wet real estate)

Stern: back of the boat (dry real estate)

Thwart: seat or hotdog looking tube in the middle of the boat. Not to sit on

or eat, just there to hold gear and your feet.

Chicken strap: the handle on the thwart your guide told you not to hold

onto… and you are….

Dry bag: “kind of dry” bag. Fit for clothes, snacks, sunscreen… not cameras

or iphones.

PFD: Lifejacket or a cool orange vest great for chest bumping.

Duckie: an inflatable kayak. Everyone looks cool in a ducky.

Eddy: the calm water out of the current or a “happy place.”

Hole: the foamy munching whitewater that is typically avoided.


Now you will know what your guide means when she says, “Chester, stop lily

dipping and grabbing the chicken strap, we are about to leave this eddy and

hit some serious rapids!”

See you on the water!

(BIg thanks to River Guide Brooke for this awesome post!)


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