Glossary terms

Capsizesearch for term
When a boat overturns so that it goes from being upright to upside down.
Channelsearch for term
A boatable route through a section of river
Chart (nautical)search for term
Marine map referencing water features, including depths, shorelines, scale, aids to navigation (like lights and buoys), and other features essential to marine navigation.
Chutesearch for term
A narrow drop or small fall
Class Isearch for term
Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy. No signs of whitewater. The difference between Class I and II, is that Class II shows the first signs of whitewater. (Skill Level: None) See also: Class II
Class IIsearch for term
Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class II+”. First signs of whitewater. The difference between Class I and II, is that Class I has no signs of whitewater. (Skill Level: Novice) See also: Class I
Class IIIsearch for term
Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively. (Skill Level: Intermediate)
Class IVsearch for term
Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require “must” moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting may be necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class IV-” or “Class IV+” respectively. (Skill Level: Advanced)
Class Vsearch for term
Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is recommended but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential. Because of the large range of difficulty that exists beyond Class IV, Class 5 is an open-ended, multiple-level scale designated by class 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc… each of these levels is an order of magnitude more difficult than the last. Example: increasing difficulty from Class 5.0 to Class 5.1 is a similar order of magnitude as increasing from Class IV to Class 5.0. (Skill level: Expert)
Class VIsearch for term
These runs have almost never been attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. After a Class VI rapids has been run many times, its rating may be changed to an apppropriate Class 5.x rating. (Skill level: Extreme)
Coamingsearch for term
The lip around the cockpit that allows the attachment of a spray skirt.
Cockpitsearch for term
The sitting area in a kayak.
Compasssearch for term
A device to determine direction using the Earth's magnetic field
Confluencesearch for term
A point where two or more watercourses meet
Coursesearch for term
The compass direction of travel to a destination.
Currentsearch for term
The horizontal movement of the water