With Gauley Season 2011 just around the corner, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on your rafting lingo to get you primed for Upper or Lower Gauley rafting success. We’ve assembled the top 5 guide commands to review and store in your noggin:
1. All Forward:
- meaning: paddle forward.
- commonly used when: guide needs power to hit a wave or avoid an obstacle.
- sentence: “Let’s hit this! All forward!”
2. All Back
- meaning: paddle backward
- commonly used when: guide wishes to decrease momentum drastically; raft is approaching feature(s) that guide does not wish to encounter
- sentence: “And straight ahead is Butcher’s Block…All back!”
- meaning: cease paddling
- commonly used when: guide desires to decrease speed; guide sees fit to give you a break from paddling
- sentence: “Stop, you guys can take a break.”
4. High Side Right/Left
- meaning: all persons hasten to one side of the raft
- commonly used when: raft encounters a large rock or wave at a poor angle and risks flipping; ACE surf master Steve Reid is getting his surf on
- sentence: “If ya’ll don’t want this raft to flip, you better high side right!”
5. Get Down
- meaning: well, get down (commonly confused with the dancing term “get down”)
- commonly used when: approaching a feature that’s going to literally rock the boat, e.g., the pourover in Insignificant or the left side of Iron Ring
- sentence: “All ahead. Dig it in. Get it together… Get Down!”
Now, who’s ready to go white water rafting?