Everyting you want to know about “boofing”


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What is a boof?

To “boof” a kayak refers to a technique used in whitewater kayaking where the paddler lifts the bow (front) of the kayak at the edge of a vertical or near-vertical obstacle, such as a rock or a waterfall, in order to avoid getting pushed or submerged by the water. By boofing, the kayaker essentially launches the kayak over the obstruction, maintaining control and preventing the boat from being swallowed by the force of the water.

 proper boof techniques at Oh Be Joyful

Where did the term “boof” or “boofing” come from?

The term “boof” is believed to have originated from the sound that the kayak makes when it hits the water after being lifted in a boofing maneuver. It is an onomatopoeic word that imitates the sound of the kayak landing or “boofing” on the water’s surface.

Example sentence: “As the kayaker approached the imposing waterfall, they skillfully boofed their kayak, launching it over the edge and landing safely on the pool below.”

How to boof a kayak?

Boofing a kayak involves executing a specific technique to lift the bow of the kayak and propel it over an obstacle. Here are the steps to perform a basic boof:

  1. Approach the obstacle: As you paddle towards the obstacle, position your kayak parallel to it. Maintain a good speed to ensure forward momentum.
  2. Identify the boof stroke point: Look for a spot just before the obstacle where you can execute the boof. This is typically at the lip or edge of the drop, where the water is steepest.
  3. Initiate the stroke: As you reach the boof stroke point, plant your paddle blade firmly in the water near your hips, angled slightly towards the bow. Engage your core and upper body to create power.
  4. Lift the bow: With a powerful stroke, push down on the paddle and lift your hips up, while simultaneously pulling the paddle towards you. This action transfers the energy to the bow of the kayak, causing it to rise and lift out of the water.
  5. Tilt and lean: As you lift the bow, tilt your kayak slightly back by leaning your body weight towards the rear. This helps to maintain control and prevent the kayak from nosediving.
  6. Maintain balance: Keep your focus on maintaining your balance and stability throughout the maneuver. Use subtle paddle adjustments and body movements to fine-tune the lift and keep the kayak level.
  7. Extend the stroke: As the bow clears the obstacle, extend your stroke to maximize forward momentum and control. Continue paddling as needed to navigate the downstream section.

Remember, boofing requires practice and an understanding of whitewater dynamics. It’s important to take into account factors such as water flow, boat speed, and the specific features of the obstacle you are boofing. Start with smaller drops and gradually progress to more challenging ones as you gain confidence and experience. Always prioritize safety and consider seeking guidance from experienced kayakers or instructors.

More on boofing

Fine-tune Your Boof with Taylor Robertson

Did You See That? Behind Dane Jackson’s Spine-cringing Cobra Flip Off Scott’s Drop on Cali’s Royal Gorge


Staff Post
Staff Posthttps://paddlinglife.com
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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