Wayne Horodowich coined the term "Yakism" in the 1980's. He began collecting them for inclusion in the Instructor Exchange column he wrote for the TASK (Trade Association of Sea Kayaking) newsletters. Please send us your favorite "Yakism's." The Yakism's prior to 1998 first appeared in those newsletters. The dates below are submission dates not necessarily dates of utterance.

Definition: Yakism - a word, phrase, saying &/or wisdom used to explain, relate, describe &/or justify experiences, thoughts, insights, &/or observations of a paddler's view of the kayaking world.


"Gelcoat is temporary . . . glory is forever." - Paul Kuthe

"It is better to be on the shore wishing you were on the water....than to be on the water wishing you were on the shore " - Dick Fleming



"In kayaking it is important to have the right proportion of rocks and water." - Harri Hypen, Finland, Vantaa



"The shortest distance between points is a straight line, except in sea kayaking." - Wayne Horodowich - Message from our upcoming new video "The Art Of Maneuvering Your Kayak"

"Rocks hurt" - Hadley Horodowich



"Wherever I go.....there I am" - Whitney Frost

"Better to have and not need, then to need and not have. You’ll know you need it when you don’t have it." - Craig Sindorf

"I have half of the roll perfected, the going down half." - Craig Sindorf

"When things go wrong, don't follow them." - Hadley Horodowich



"There is no such thing as a capsize, it's just degrees of lean" - Derek Hutchinson, Adventur Paddler Magazine

"Don't use a boat to keep from getting wet" - The first thing that came to my mind when I started kayaking - Norm M.

"Staying upright is easier than getting upright" - Message from USK's NEW "Bracing Clinic"

"Good judgment is learned from experience. Experience is gained from bad judgment." Unknown - One of my leading quotes from my judgment lectures. Punkie Bagdon asked for me to post this one.

"Waves have friends and they are never far behind." - Wayne Horodowich

"You cannot appreciate the sweet spot until you have tasted the sour spot." - Wayne Horodowich



"Your are either training or you are un-training" - Sharon Lindsay

"The longer the ride, the better the glide" - Walter Durrua



"The chaos of today will be your playgound of tomorrow" - Wayne Horodowich

"I didn't want to surf that wave, but it wouldn't go away!" - Tiffany, Novice Surf Kayaker

"Regarding kayaking, the best thing to do with your clothes on" - Jan Vlietland (Hamburg, Germany)

"Take time to stop and smell the kelp" - Wayne Horodowich



"There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing" - Unknown



"Any car looks better with a kayak tied to the top" - Wendy Miller, Salt Lake City, Utah

"Rescue practice is essential in the event your kayak wishes to be in the upper position with you in the lower"
- Dan Lacey who says "I have the first half of my roll perfected!"

"Weather happens whether you like it or not" - Wayne Horodowich

"Nothing says I love you quite like a kayak" (seen in a kayak shop for Valentines day)
- Jim Stringer, American Wilderness Outfitters ltd., Augusta Ga.

"A gourmet kayaker suggests a good roll with your meal" - Steve Holtzman



"There is something to be said for caution - Chicken Kayaker" - Robin McGee

"We are all between swims" - Unknown

"Greenland paddles -- made by professional sea kayakers, for professional sea kayakers, over 10,000 years ago." - Scott J. Szczepaniak

"The Great Unwashed -- Euro-blade paddlers." - Scott J. Szczepaniak

"Leading a group of kayakers is a lot like herding cats." - North Shore Paddler's Network

"Hand held radios DO NOT FLOAT" - Chris Wood

"A reliable roll is defined as: when you are out in the middle of no where during your first solo crossing of a major channel you decide to do a roll without even setting up for it." - Confident Paddler



"The greatest kayak in the world is only as good as the comfort of the seat." - Numb Legged Paddler

"A kayaking group is a collection of solo paddlers." - Wayne Horodowich

"The strength of a group is based upon the strengths of the individuals in the group." - Wayne Horodowich

"Amongst the kayak, paddle, and the paddler; YOU are the weakest link." - Steve Holtzman

"The biggest room at my place is the room for improvement" - Rod Tucknott

"Being upside down in my kayak is better than my best day at work behind a desk" - Bumpersticker

"If your paddling partner(s) don't know rescue skills, teach them. The life you save may be your own." - Shawn Baker --(A great reason to buy your partner our Capsize Recovery Video-USK)--

"Safety limitation is normally not the boat or the tempestuous seas; rather it is the paddler." - John Lull (Sea Kayaking Safety & Rescue, pg 4)

"Let's saddle up and paddle out" - Cailean Macleod

"I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught" - Sir Winston Churchill

"There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing." - Related by a friend who forgot the source.



"That which does not kill me will surely make me stronger, but it usually hurts like hell!!" - Shawn Baker

"Maintaining a positive attitude is a key survival skill - when hell freezes over, you get out the ice-skates." - Patrick Martin

"What will I need to be seen, heard and found?" - Wayne Horodowich (On signaling)

"Never look a gift roll in the mouth" - Wayne Horodowich

"Sand Wedgie - Results of a failed surf landing" - Gregg Remer

"Rolling is a sign of success. Having to roll is a sign of failure" - Derek Hutchinson (On Rolling)



"Kayaking is a dry sport." - Derek Hutchinson



"Remember to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet when paddling a Sit-On-Top." - Hawaiian Kayaker



"Kayaking is a wet sport" - Tom Moore



"Are you sure one of these strings pulls the rudder into the water" - Sticky Rudder

"Untangle rudder cables before a solo re-enrty" - Wayne Horodowich

"I must remember to bring my sleeping bag on my next overnight kayak trip!" - Chuck Schonder (after overnighter New Year's Eve)

"The waves didn't look that big when I was standing on shore" - Surf Novice

"It doesn't look that far, let's try it" - Soon to be tired paddlers



"Remember when sex was safe and kayaking was dangerous?" - Kent Ford

"Let's buy a double kayak" - Honeymoon couple

"Can we exchange this double for two singles?" - Post Honeymoon Couple



"The success of your hand roll is inversely proportional to the number of people watching and the number of cameras present." - Swimming Kayaker

"Changing and improving one's stroke is easy, however, one has to want to change." - Zen Kayaker

"Never turn your back on your lunch and a hungry kayaker" - Another Hungry Kayaker



"Any rope that can tangle around you during a capsize in the surf will." - Murphy Kayaker

"If you have to wet exit and cannot re-enter the kayak and you are a half mile off shore, just walk back to shore." - Chesapeake Bay Paddler

"Never turn your back on the ocean" - Hawaiian Ocean Lore

"Kayakers do it with positive strokes" - Zen Kayaker

"Lip stretch is the technique used when your roll does not succeed" - Matt Gaynes

"Kayaking is a state of mind and being" - Zen Kayaker



"Safety is no accident" - Mark Ritchie

"Kayaking is a solo sport that should never be done alone" - Zen Kayaker

"Rudders are for keeping the kayak going in a straight line" - Zen Kayaker

A person who gets cold easily is "Thermally Challenged" - Lori Katz

"Plastic kayaks ARE destructible" - Fold’em Olson

"Sand still happens" - Zen Kayaker



"Which paddle is the best one for me?" - Bruce Furrer's Dilemma

"Watch out for the HOLE in the next rapid." - Rick Haines

"I swear, the wave was 20 ft. high and I rode it backwards to shore." - Surf Kayaker

"All kayaks are as stable as a catamaran" -Unnamed kayak salesperson

"It's not my technique, it's the kayak that isn't going straight" - Beginning Kayaker

"Up is a relative direction to a someone doing a roll" - Zen Kayaker

"Every stroke is a corrective stroke when paddling a kayak" - Wayne Horodowich

"A kayak is a sleek water craft with a cockpit opening on the bottom" - Capsized Kayaker

"If at first you don't succeed, then go kayaking" - Zen Kayaker



"Sand Happens" - Jim Kakuk



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