In the world of whitewater kayaking, the word “boof” gets thrown around a lot. For example, “I boofed the rock on the right at Husum Falls.” But what does that mean? What is a “boof?”
First I consulted the book, The Ultimate Guide to Whitewater Kayaking by Ken Whiting for a definition. He says “Boofing is the act, or art, of keeping the bow of your kayak from diving underwater.” It’s a technique that is needed most frequently while running vertical drops so that the paddler can land flat (instead of vertically) in the pool below. The resulting sound is a splatting sound, or “boof” as the boat lands flat. The word is an onomatopoeia- a word that sounds like what it means (like “meow,” “splash,” or “click”).
I walked around Wet Planet to ask some of our guides and instructors about boofing. Some descriptions included, “disconnecting your boat from the water-pulling it up and out of the flow,” “planting your paddle and twisting your body to launch off of the drop like a baseball player would set up for hitting the ball with a bat,” “thinking about kicking the front of your boat as you go over,” and the overall consensus that every single boof is different. After practicing your boof many times, you’ll start to be able to read the water and rocks to know how to boof each individual drop.
To learn how to boof with Wet Planet instructor Jeff Clewell, join us on Sunday, August 25th! The course is full day, with lunch included, for $95. We’ll most likely be going to the Lower Wind!
You’ll practice the timing your power stroke when going off the drop, learn how to shift your weight forward in your landing, and when to start your boof during the drop-off during this course.
Call 800-306-1673 to reserve your spot, or click here to book online. Space is limited.
by Emily, who wrote this blog in exchange for a day off to take the clinic herself!