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Indian Rock Art

Kayaking Terminology

Some of the terminology of kayaking is based on general boating that is the same on a ship, yacht or battleship. Common examples include:

Deck
The top surface of the vessel
Hull
The bottom surface of the vessel
Bow (front)
The front or forwards part of the vessel
Stern (back)
The rare or aft part of the vessel
Port
The left side of the vessel when in a forwards position.
Starboard
The right side of the vessel when in a forwards position.
Forward
Towards the front or bow of the vessel
Aft
Towards the back or stern of the vessel

Aft, port and starboards are not commonly used nowadays.

But there are a number of kayaking specific terminology too. It isn't an over expansive list so you should pick most of these up quickly. These can be grouped into features of the kayak and gear, the features of the river or lake and finally the techniques or manoeuvres to move the kayak.

Kayak with different parts labelled

Gear


Features that make up a kayak and related gear.

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Diagram

Environment


Features of rivers and oceans.

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Kayaker doing an aerial loop

Manoeuvres


Names for manoeuvres used when kayaking.

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