at a very Young Age
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly; but when they
lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving that you can't have your kayak and
heat it too.
Things that you can say as a
kayaker (thanks Vince) (email us your best lines)
When I say "Hut-ho", we'll switch.
Mine's longer by a couple inches.
I have to buy more tie-downs.
You need to lengthen your stroke.
She's one of the fastest women I know!
I find neoprene too constricting.
Let's roll over a few more times and call it a night!
It's a tight fit, but if I wiggle I can get in.
He was riding my ass for hours.
I'm switching partners next time.
I need a smaller shaft.
I'm going to hit the Assawoman this weekend.
I did it with a partner last year, but I'm doing it solo this year.
She's always willing to go out with a group of guys.
Steve has a much faster stroke rate than me.
She's got some cosmetic blemishes, but she rides real nice.
He asked me to pick him up a new skirt.
The complete list of
paddling related sayings ...
* This vehicle stops at all river crossings
* In Anticipation Of Precipitation
* Life's short- paddle hard
* Love many, trust a few but always paddle your own canoe
* Half the paddle, twice the paddler
* Follow me to the putin
* Rollin' on the river
* Take me to the river
* I remember when kayaking was dangerous and sex was safe
* Paddle solo, sleep tandem
* Shut up and Paddle
* Surf New Hampshire
* Frankly, my dear, I don't want a dam.
* Dam Politicians, not Rivers
* Paddlers do it rapidly
* I'd rather be paddlin'
* You deserve a good paddling
* We all live downstream
* Runnin' down a dream,
Runnin' down a stream
* Kayakers get eaten more often
* Kayakers love to play in holes
* Kayakers roll over without falling out
* Amusement park rides are for people who don't know how to paddle!"
* Kayakers roll over and do it again ... swimmers just shrink
In response to too many technically verbose emails on the
Paddlewise site about weathercocking
Mark Arnold wrote this:
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 18:09:24 -0500
From: "Mark Arnold"
Subject: [Paddlewise] Kayak Physics (Humor)
Being an old country boy from South Texas I found this physics of
weathercocking discussion bewildering although fascinating. I decided that
I should try to learn a little more about the fundamental concepts
I started out with some Internet searches. I tried "center of lateral
resistance" first. I am not sure what I did wrong, but I kept winding up
at a site about some Eastern European freedom fighters opposing Russian
imperialism. I then tried "center of gravity". Again I did not quite get
what I expected. I kept coming to this Washington, DC. think tank. Their
mission statement was something about "Exploring and extolling the
gravitas of using the word gravitas" in an appropriate manner. After
reading their information I almost became convinced that a kayak had to
rotate about its "center of gravitas". Of course the "center of gravitas"
of a kayak would change depending on the BCU rating of its paddler. Some
country boys and technology just do not mix well.
Next I decided to try the local library. They made a big deal in 1990
about getting in some new books so I figured I should try them. They did
not have any books by that Newton guy that kept getting mentioned in the
posts. They did have "The Joy of Fig Newton Desserts", but it was checked
out and had 2 people on the waiting list so I decided to pass. They did
have a couple of physics books by this guy "Quantum". It was a little
(okay a whole lot) confusing. But I got to the part about this physicist
Heisenberg and his idea that you could not really know for certain where
you were. I was thinking, "This guy must have gone kayaking with a lot of
the same trip leaders who lead my trips." Maybe he even spent some time
in that Lake Caddo cypress swamp. Then the proverbial light bulb came on.
If I did not know for certain were I was, then I could not know for certain
where I had been, since some time in the past it was where I was, If I
did not know where I was or where I had been, then how could I know what
rotated about what to get me there. Maybe this "Quantum" was going to
explain all the confusion.
Sure enough I think I finally got the explanation for all the differences
of opinions. It turns out that when you think you are paddling a kayak you
are really paddling a wave. Not on a wave but the kayak itself is actually
a wave since all matter is actually made up of waves. Every kayaker knows
what happens when one wave runs into another, its clapotis. And every
kayaker knows that clapotis means "CONFUSED" seas. Based on this new
"Quantum" physics I think it is safe to say that there is no way to resolve
the confusion in this rotation question.
By the way, this guy "Quantum" really has a diverse background. He was
also writing about that Deep Space Nine Ferengi character "Quark" and how
he liked all these different flavors. Some of them were strange, but
others were charming. Who knew physics could be so interesting.
Just when I thought I had it all worked out, this college guy walked by and
ruined my day. He explained that most of this "Quantum" stuff was outdated
(the books were 15 years old) and that all the physicists today say that
"String Theory" is the only thing that matters. It seems that things are
not waves, they are strings. I was a little disappointed, but then it
dawned on me. All I had to do was check out that "Handbook of Knots" and I
could get all these ideas tied together. I'll write you again when I
figure how to do it.
Mark J. Arnold
You might be a kayaker if...
You "pour over" streamflow
readings the way a stockbroker scans the markets everyday.
The longer dry time you have, the more you want to kick your dog
You practically salivate at the sound of rainfall.
There's no room on your speed-dial for anything but guage readings and the
numbers of people with nicknames like Psycho.
You paid more for a roof-rack for the boat than you spent for anniversary
You tie down the boat better than you seatbelt in the kids.
"Waterproof" means "a little damp" or "might-float"
Your friends or relatives are shocked when you answer the phone at home on a
House guests ask you why you replaced your living room sofa with a sea kayak...
You can't drive over a bridge without looking for water under it.
The smell of old polypro doesn't bother you.
Your wife says you love your boat and your boat'n buddies more than her, and she
sounds just like your first wife...and your second.
Driving 1200 km for a weekend on the river doesn't seem strange to you.
Your idea of a complete
first aid kit is a roll of duct tape
Window shade means more than keeping the sun out.
You choose a new car based on whether or not your rack system will fit it
A dress shirt and tie no longer bother you, because they're looser than a
drysuit neck gasket
You co-workers (and non-boating friends, family and your spouse) will not ride
in your vehicle between March and October because of the ode de polypro.
The sight of a waterfall gives you the uncontrollable urge to urinate in a
nearby bush- while you search out the line...
You call your buddies in order of shuttle ability
Your boat is worth more than your car
Even in the dead of winter, you never actually lose the PFD tan lines...
You build your new house as
close as possible to the flood plain.
Your dog loves to roll in your pile of paddling clothes.
You're all dressed up and don't notice that you're being rained on.
You ask the clerk at The Bon Ton how well these dress shoes hold up to
You measure major purchases relative to the cost of a new boat...('Hmmm,
that new computer will cost me about 2 1/2 kayak units')
You're the one with the Bright Sunny Smile on the Cold Rainy Day.
Every once in a while you touch your paddle, just to touch it...every once in a
while you let go of your paddle, just to eat something.
When your non boating friends visit your home or your car they ask "Do you have
You have no trouble saying "Rotomolded Crosslink Polyethelyne" ten times fast.
The idea of a 20,000 km per year car lease seems ridiculous.
You have a bathing suit that's wet from March to October.
Your Mom has stopped saying "be careful this weekend".
You've never setup a tent when it's light out.
You've tied up your mate using either a taught-line or trucker's hitch.
You have friends that you don't recognize without their helmet, pfd, paddling
jacket, and boat ensemble...
You can ID make and model on a car topped kayak at a quarter mile...
"Wet, sticky hole" and "blowing a ferry" in casual conversation don't
give you pause...
You always have sinus congestion on monday morning..
You freely discuss how much you and others weigh, and don't feel self-concious
about it (or about asking others how much they weigh).
You leave your glasses strap on at night
Your only considerations when buying a car are ground clearance, and the size of
the rain gutters.
All career,personal and financial decisions are judged by the criteria of "How
will this increase my paddling time?"
You visit Niagara Falls and think "This may be runnable."
You build a 2 car garage addition and you still can't park your car inside.
You bug out on your wife and kids to go paddling for the weekend because you are
SURE your priorities are right.
You deliberately watch the whole commercial just to see the kayak on the car...
You maneuver your car on five-lane streets by eddying out behind trucks and
making S-moves in the left turn lane. And you lean into the turns.
` If you live in a town with a river running through it, you give street
directions with descriptions like "upstream of the ..." or "two blocks
down on river left ..."
You find yourself humming Weather Channel tunes.
It takes longer and longer to get your "land legs" back. Solid ground "feels
You feel all mushy inside when your wife gives you a drytop for Christmas.
You keep moving the car seat forward, so you can bend your knees and feel good
and wedged in for pulling maneuvers on the freeway.
You can't look at water in a gutter without imagining tiny runs and miniature
waves and holes.
You start driving around with your PFD and helmet on because you have noticed
that other drivers tend to give you the right of way.
After a car wreck, the first thing you check for is damage to your boat.
The only thing you worry
about when getting naked just about *anywhere* is whether or not you'll get a
You might be a kayaker if . Part
- The heat
in the kitchen while dinner is being made is just right for drying wet
regard any form of motorized watercraft as cheating. A wetsuit and paddling
jacket is appropriate attire in any waterfront restaurant.
already have several kayaks and are trying to convince your spouse that you
really need another one.
- You paid
more for a roof rack than you spent for your anniversary presents (combined).
- You tie
down the boat better than you seatbelt in the kids.
"Waterproof" only means "a little damp" or "might-float".
friends or relatives are shocked when you answer the phone at home on a
Houseguests ask you why you replaced your living room sofa with a sea kayak.
can't drive over a bridge without looking for water under it. The smell of old
polypro doesn't bother you.
wife says you love your boat and your paddling buddies more than you love her.
She sounds just like your first wife -- and your second.
800 miles for a weekend on a river or a lake doesn't seem strange to you.
idea of a complete first aid kit is a roll of duct tape.
- You use
a river trip to wash sand and seaweed from your boat.
choose a new car based on whether or not your rack system will fit it.
- A dress
shirt and tie no longer bother you, because they're looser than a drysuit neck
- You owe
more money on your sea kayak and accessories than you do on your car. Or your
sea kayak is worth more than your car.
sight of a person in a tight rubber suit doesn't seem kinky.
- You have
ever gotten frostbitten and sunburned on the same day.
- You know
which leaves make good toilet paper.
all dressed up and don't notice that you're being rained on.
once in a while you touch your paddle, just to touch it.
once in a while you let go of your paddle, just to eat, or something.
never set up a tent when it's light out.
- You have
friends that you don't recognize without their PFD, paddling jacket, and spray
- Your dog
loves to roll in your pile of paddling clothes. You can ID make and model on a
car topped sea kayak at a quarter mile.
career, personal and financial decisions are judged by the criteria of, "How
will this increase my paddling time?"
build a two-car garage addition and you still can't park your car inside.
- You bug
out on your spouse and kids to go paddling for the weekend because you are
SURE your priorities are right.
- You find
yourself humming Weather Channel tunes.
change oil in the campground in the evening because you haven't had a weekend
home in so long and you can't afford to pay to have it done.
lost count of the number of boats you have in your garage or back yard.
gone boating in conditions where you normally wouldn't go outside.
friends call you a "gear head" and you don't know what they mean.
toyed with the idea of just leaving your boat and gear loaded on your vehicle.
- When you
hear about a guy in a skirt you think nothing of it.
- When you
go shopping, Gore-Tex stock goes up.
- You buy
new clothes not by how good they look but by how fast they'll dry.
haven't missed roll practice at the YMCA in three years.
divide your life into workdays and kayaking days.
talking paddling to non-paddlers and not realizing when they've glazed over
with boredom or left the room.
- All your
rendezvous and evenings out on the town start/end by meeting with your friends
at the local paddling store.
- All your
new shirts are some type of long underwear.
start thinking seriously about building a paddle pool in your
- Your 75
year old mother gives you silk long johns for Christmas.
craft advisories" make you praise the Ocean gods.
measure major purchases relative to the cost of a new boat -- "Hmmm, that new
computer will cost me about 2 1/2 kayak units."
- You feel
all mushy inside when your spouse gives you a drytop for Christmas.
- After a
car wreck, the first thing you check for is damage to your boat.
- You keep
a tide chart in your car.
highlight the highest tides of year on your chart.
old friends with a great blue heron.
- You have
a huge plastic storage tub that rides in the back seat to hold your wet
“Good seamanship is using superior judgment to prevent
the need to use
superior skills." Greg Welker
"the more time you spend on the sea, the more chances you
might be surprised by
something you can't handle; for that has always been the way of the sea."
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from safe harbor: Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream,
Discover." -Mark Twain
“Stress dissolves when exposed to water” The
Kayak Center 1998
A man who is not afraid of sea will soon
be drowned, he said,
For he will be going out on a day he
But we do be afraid of the sea,
And we do only be drowned now and again. John Millington Synge “The Aran Islands”
by Tim Garland
Hey there, novice paddlers!
Tired of being confused about what all the veteran paddlers
are talking about? I have been only paddling for about two years but I think I
have gleaned what most of the specialized terms mean. At the CV pool sessions
this winter, drop a few of these terms and you can pretend you are a real
Boat – If you don’t know, stay off the water in one. And,
by the way, how did you get this newsletter?
Cane Seat – Canoe seat designed to make little criss-crossed
lines on your butt.
Canoe – Open-topped kayak for one armed paddlers or
paddlers with one short arm.
Canoe, Whitewater – Open-topped kayak for one armed
paddlers who like to swim.
Canoe, Aluminum – No such thing exists, just rounded off
Canoodle – An open-topped kayak with a really thin hull.
Codorus – Patrick F. McManus once said that any cow with a
reasonably good aim can change a creek into a crick. The Codorus is a crick but
needs no bovine assistance.
Conodoguinet – Local creek. Origin: American Indian for
“Doesn’t this white guy know that it is called “The Creek”.
Conodo-Gucci – Conodoguinet as it runs through Hampden Twp.
and Camp Hill.
Dry Top – Made of the latest miracle fabric, it will stay
dry but you won’t.
Flipped – The natural orientation of a kayak.
Float, Paddle – Used by those who fail to remember the
natural orientation of kayaks.
Full XTR – Oops. Wrong vocab list. This one was for the
bike club article.
Hull – Unknown. As in “Hull if I know.”
Kayak – Closed-topped canoe for those without canoe
Kayak, Rotomolded – Expensive, closed-topped canoe.
Kayak, Fiberglas – See Kayak, Rotomolded but you need a
mortgage to buy one.
Kayak, Kevlar –See Kayak, Fiberglas but bought by single or
about-to-be single kayakers once the divorce settlement is finalized and the
wealthy aunt dies.
Kayak, Rec – There are many obvious jokes about “Wreck
Kayaks”. Pick one. Try to be original. We’ve heard all the old ones.
Kayak, Sea – Any kayak that turns around in a distance
greater than the width of the stream.
Kayak, Whitewater – Any kayak that can’t go straight for a
distance longer than its own length.
Kayak, Wooden – Looks like a beautiful kayak but is never
put into water.
Keel – To fall over at the price of the typical boat.
Keeled – To be murdered. As in “Juan was keeled by Maria
when she saw the price of his new boat.”
Neoprene – The latest advancement in stinky clothes since
Paddling Shop – A place to be ignored in spring and fawned
over in January.
PA Non-powered Boat Sticker – Another funding source for
your local legislator’s pay raise.
Paddle (n) – A stick.
Paddle (v) – Sticking that stick in the water and flailing
Paddler – My dad, when I did set off a cherry bomb under
Paddle, Carbon Fiber (n) – Expensive and fragile stick.
Paddling Trip – For me, a source of new material for
writing stuff like this.
Puddle – Typical creek in July.
Piddle – Used to augment a puddle in July.
Poodle – A great boat sponge when dried and stuffed.
PFD – A really cool guy who wears a life vest. Origin:
Pretty Funky Dude.
PDF – An idiot who doesn’t wear a life vest. Origin: Pretty
Powerboat – Hitler had one. Charles Manson had one.
Attila-the-Hun wanted one. AKA: “The Enemy’s Evil Boat” unless you get flipped,
stuck, injured or exhausted in the dark as a storm approaches. Then it is known
as “Your Best Friend’s Great Boat”.
Personal Water Craft – The Enemy’s evil, annoying, noisy,
smelly boat that apparently never gets more than 50’ from other boaters. Unless
you…. Oh… never mind.
Play Boat – A redundant term. Aren’t they all?
Nose Plugs – Converted to Greek letters, it is written as
“Nose Plugs ." There is no paddling significance to this but aren’t computers
NRS Catalog – The cause of the question “How much longer
are you going to be in the bathroom?”
Rack – What I am doing right now with my brain to come up
with something clever.
Rescue Knife – What you do in the lake after dropping your
Roll (v) – An apparent impossibility made possible by sheer
terror. See Wet Exit.
Roll (n) – What kayakers develop after abandoning cycling
and other cardiovascular exercise for paddling. Helps seal the cockpit. (Did
you notice that there is no definition for “cockpit” in this glossary? I
wouldn’t tough that term with a ten foot paddle.)
Roll, Combat – A really stupid idea. If someone is
shooting at me, I’m staying underwater until he leaves.
Roll, Failed – The normal kind of roll.
Roll, Successful – Got lucky, didn’t you?
Shuttle – A modern dance whereby one tries to get the
others to drive to both the put-in and the take-out by whirling, dodging and
well faked sincerity. I usually show up with my boat strapped to a backfiring
‘84 Yugo with ripped seats covered with damp and aromatic hairballs donated by
Fluffy. I haven’t had to drive all summer.
Skiing – Paddling a pair of really skinny boats in fluffy
water. Usually done in the season when wet water gets too stiff.
Spray Skirt – A very tight skirt. As in “Her skirt looked
like it was sprayed on.” Susquehanna – The big, wet thing between Lemoyne and
Harrisburg that sometimes invades Lemoyne and Harrisburg and leads to cute
photos in the newspaper of people paddling on Front Street.
Throw Bag – Tossed to hapless paddlers. Often contains a
helpful rope. May accidentally contain a less helpful but nutritious baloney
Thwart – To prevent a paddler from paddling yet again
instead of visiting the in-laws.
Trip Leader – Selfless heroes and/or warped sadists who
either help you avoid the nasty stuff or stuff you into the nasties.
Wet Exit – Used when the impossible is impossible.
Yellow Breeches – Rumored to be a nice place to learn to
paddle. It is definitely a nice place to learn to wet exit following a flip
since the water is so clear that you can see the rocks coming for your head.
Tim Garland, a part-time roller can be reached at:
firstname.lastname@example.org if you care to appear in slightly disguised form in a future
article. Inept, inefficient, clumsy and careless paddlers are especially
encouraged to make contact as he needs new material. Extra consideration will be
given if you like to drive.