Photo courtesy of Sawyer Harris
This is a work in progress, so please bear with us! If you have any terminology to add, please email us at email@example.com
ACA: American Canoe Association.
Amateur Boat, Am Boat: A 4″x32″ racing canoe, that complies with the North American Marathon Racing Canoe Specifications.
ARCM: AuSable River Canoe Marathon
ARICM: AuSable River International Canoe Marathon, Inc., which is the name of the non-profit organization that manages and plans the AuSable River Canoe Marathon.
Backpaddle: Paddling backward to slow or reverse the forward motion of a canoe.
Bailer: A device in the bottom of the canoe which extracts water when the canoe has forward motion.
Bar: A shallow part of a river, usually with sand or gravel, that is typically found on the inside bend of a curve in the river.
Blade: The wide, flat portion of a paddle.
Bonk: To become exhausted during the race, usually because of dehydration, a lack of nutrients, a lull in energy, or psychological fatigue.
Bottom: The part of the canoe that is under the water.
Bow: The front end of the canoe.
Bow Paddler, Bowman, Bow Person: The person who paddles in the bow. In canoe racing, this person is typically the larger, heavier, and/or stronger of the paddling team.
Brush Dam Run: A training session in Oscoda in which the paddler(s) paddle upstream from Riverbank Park to Whirlpool landing, and back.
Buzz: 1) To “psych out” a competing team by using some sort of psychological ploy, as made famous by canoe racing legend Irvin “Buzz” Peterson. 2) To pass a competing team quickly and (relatively) cleanly.
C-1, C1: A one-person (solo) canoe. While a C-1 looks much like a kayak, it has a larger volume and rides higher, and is typically propelled with a single-bladed paddle.
C-2, C2: A two-person (tandem) canoe.
Capsize: What happens when a canoe is flipped by a combination of wind, waves, obstacles, or a lack of stability.
Carbon Fiber: A thin, strong, and lightweight material used in the manufacturing of racing paddles and canoes.
Chine: The curved transitional section where the side of the canoe merges with the bottom. Hard chines are angular; soft chines are rounded.
Chine: Where the curving sides of the hull gradually merge into the bottom.
Daytripper: A person leisurely floating or paddling in a recreational canoe or tube.
Deck: The covered section in the middle of the canoe.
Deadhead: A stump or log that is mostly or fully submerged.
DNF: Did Not Finish.
Draft: The amount of water a canoe draws.
Drop: 1) A withdrawl from the race. 2) To leave a canoe behind, usually by sprinting or taking advantage of a mistake. 3) A significant change in river level.
Eddy: A current at variance with the main current, and where the main current either stops or reverses its flow upstream; caused by rocks, obstructions, or the bends in a river or stream. Once avoided as dangerous, eddies now are routinely used in maneuvers and for rest stops.
Goo: A gel consumed by paddlers to give them a temporary boost in energy.
Grip: The handle formed on the top of a paddle Shaft.
Gunnel, Gunwale: Both outside and inside, top finished edges of a canoe. Also referred to as rails.
Hit the Wall: Same as Bonk.
Hull: Frame or body of the canoe.
Hup: A cadence called aloud to indicate the paddlers to switch the side of the canoe they are paddling on. Typically called by the Stern Paddler.
Hut: Same as Hup. Typically used by paddlers from New England and/or Minnesota.
ICF: International Canoe Federation.
Intermediate Water: Water which is between one-to-four feet in depth and therefore very difficult to paddle in.
Iron Paddler: A paddler who has finished the Marathon ten times in the Professional Division.
Junk Water: Same as Intermediate Water.
Masters: 1) Paddlers aged 40 or older. 2) A team of two paddlers aged 40 or older.
MCRA: Michigan Canoe Racing Association
Mixed: A team consisting of a male paddler and a female paddler.
Newbie: A paddler who is racing the Marathon for the first time.
Oar: Not used in canoe racing.
Paddle: The instrument used to propel a canoe through the water; it is not an “oar.”
Portage: How you get your gear and canoe across a stretch of land between two bodies of water. A solid reason why canoe-campers, like backpackers, attempt to reduce their gear to the lightest load possible.
Pro Boat: A 3″x27″ racing canoe, that complies with the North American Marathon Racing Canoe Specifications.
Rocker: Indicates curvature of the keel line.
Rookie: A team of two Newbies.
Seniors: 1) Paddlers aged 50 or older. 2) A team of two paddlers aged 50 or older.
Shaft: The cylindrical section of a paddle between the Grip and the paddle Blade.
Shallow Water: Water that is less than one foot deep.
Spare Paddle: Any paddle in or on the canoe that is not in the hands of the paddlers.
Splash skirt/cover: A fitted cover designed to keep water out of a canoe. Splash covers are useful in rough rapids and big waves.
Starboard: The right side of the canoe.
Stern: The rear end of the canoe.
Stern Paddler, Sternman, Stern Person: The person who paddles in the stern. In canoe racing, this person is typically the smaller, lighter, and/or more technically skilled of the paddling team.
Stripper: A wood strip canoe.
Suck Water: Same as intermediate water.
Swamp: When a canoe fills with water but does not capsize.
Throw a Rudder:
Thwart: Crossbars toward the bow and stern of the canoe. Structurally maintains the canoe shape.
Trim: The difference in the draft at the bow from that at the stern of a canoe. A properly trimmed canoe will sit dead level in the water.
Up All Night: To have spectated the Marathon from Start to Finish without sleeping.
USCA: United States Canoe Association.
Veterans: Paddlers aged 60 or older.
Wake: The temporary trail in the water behind the canoe; also called the “wash.” Beginning canoeists should peek occasionally at their wake to see if it is a straight line, which indicates good directional control.
Yoke: A strong crossbar in the middle of the canoe designed for carrying the canoe on the shoulders. Often includes two yoke pads for more comfort.
Youth: 1) Paddlers aged 19 or younger. 2) A team of two paddlers aged 19 or younger.