There are a lot of different kayak and boating slang words, aren’t there??? Having a basic understanding of some of the basic kayaking and paddling terms will help you understand what people say, or what you're reading, when it comes to your Vibe fishing kayak and being on the water. Here's a list of some terms we thought would be helpful for you. 

Basic Terminology 


Blade - The broad part at the end of a paddle.

Bow - The forward, front-part of a kayak.

Hull - The bottom shape of a kayak, which determines how it will perform in various conditions. Kayaks have a “hull” on the bottom and a “deck” on the top.  

Portage - To carry a kayak over land (or the trail you carry it over) to get from one waterway to another or to avoid a specific part of water. 

PFD - Personal flotation device, or lifejacket. Wear it! 

Shaft - The long skinny part of a kayak paddle.

Stern - The rear end of a kayak. 

Swamp - To fill a kayak with water. 

Trim - The bow-to-stern leveling in the water of a kayak that affects kayak control. In most cases it should be nearly level, with the stern slightly lower in the water. 

Kayaking Terms 

Bulkhead - A cross-sectional wall inside a kayak, made of composite, plastic, or foam. Bulkheads provide structural support and cross-sectional bulkheads create watertight compartments for buoyancy and storage. 

Deck - The top part of a kayak that keeps the hull from filling with water. 

Footpegs (also known as foot braces) - Adjustable structures inside the cockpit on which a kayaker places the balls of her feet. 

Sit-on-top (SOT) - A kayak without a cockpit, sit-on-tops are usually self-bailing with various seat and foot brace configurations. Sit-on-top kayaks are generally considered safer and better for lots of activities. All of Vibe’s kayaks are sit-on-top kayaks. 

Wet exit - Coming out of a capsized kayak. 


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