Paddlers' Dictionary
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Off-side Opposite of on-side.

On-side 1) The primary side on which a canoeist paddles. A canoeist holding the paddle shaft in the right hand paddles on the right side of the boat. This is the on-side; the left side is the off-side. 2) When rolling, most kayakers have a side (right or left) on which they can roll better. This is their on-side.

Outfitting Items added to the boat hull either by the manufacturer, the owner or the dealer to make it fit the paddler and be usable. Outfitting includes extra flotation, seats, pedestals, knee braces, kneepads, thigh straps, back bands, painters, etc.

Paddle An implement having a blade at one end or both ends, used without an oarlock to propel a canoe, kayak or other small boat. Made of a wide variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, plastics, fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fibers.

Painters Lines tied to the ends of boats. Very useful for recovering a loose boat and to tie it to shore. Open canoes should have painters and grab loops at both ends, and they should be secured (shock cord loops work well) so they do not accidentally come free. Painters should float, so use soft, braided polypropylene at least a quarter inch in diameter. Painters should be long enough to reach the center of the boat. Kayaks and decked canoes should have grab loops. They may have painters if properly secured.

Peel-out A technique of leaving an eddy by crossing the eddy line back into the current This is done by starting up current, with the intention of turning down current.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device) also called a life jacket or life vest. Buy a good one that fits well and wear it.

Pillow When water flows into a rock, it can pile up in a pillow on the upstream side of the rock. Pillows bounce a boat away from the rock and can be used as an aid to maneuvering, when used with skill. The absence of a pillow on the upstream side of a rock can mean that the rock is undercut, but the presence of a pillow does not necessarily mean that it isn't.

Pool and Drop River Rivers having fairly short rapids interspersed with flat stretches. Rescue is generally easier on such rivers. Paddlers can stop and rest, scout and portage. As opposed to continuous rapids. Local examples: the Nescopeck, most of the Lehigh, the Yough. Example of continuous rapids are available on parts of Black Creek into the Lehigh, or mile long rapid and the last two miles of the Lehigh Gorge at levels above 3,000 cfs. The Hudson Gorge above 5 foot also offers fine examples of continuous rapids.

Pour-over Pour-overs are rocks with tops that are just under the surface of the water. Run them carefully. If there's not enough water flowing over the rock, the boat may become lodged on the rock or poke a hole in your boat. There may be a powerful hole below the rock. Avoid unless you're sure of what you're doing.