Those swirls and dead areas in the current that you push blindly through
on your way to the next rapid become playspots worthy of hours of exploration
in a boat that sinks on command and can tap into
the subsurface interplay of currents. Boils and seams that would otherwise be a nuisance in a surface playboat suddenly turn into portals; access conduits into a subsurface champagne world of silence, bubbles and curtains of filtered sunlight.
Eddylines become a stage for squirt artists to practice their craft, making the path of their boat a free-form expression of the whirlpool energies below in a display of ever-changing angles and rotation. Holes and waves begin to show themselves as structures with many layers of current, each of which is surfable and playable in a boat that can get down to their level. And then of course, there is the mystery move…perhaps the ultimate expression of what a squirt boat can do. Downtime has become an end unto itself, and can be the sole raison d’etre for many a custom-built boat. It is addictive, a heady feeling of being truly at one with the river as you slowly wing your way into the depths of a mystery spot, sensing and feeling your boat respond to subtle (and not-so-subtle) nuances of flow, pressure and depth, and using those sensations to navigate underwater, to sustain and prolong the ride until you run out of air and come back to the surface.
A squirt boat can also be an excellent training tool for surface moves. Removing volume (and hence resistance) from the equation lets you fine tune your hip angle and boat positioning, and gives you that critical extra second or two to set up for the next phase of a given move. Ever wonder how so many of the top freestyle boaters got so good? A lot of them either have a background in squirting, still actively paddle squirt, or use one as a training boat in the lake or the pool.
Squirt boats are cool – anyone will tell you that. They are sensuous, sculpted creatures clad in coats of sparkling colour that draw attention anywhere they go. In every way, they are the embodiment of a boater’s unique, personal style; from the cut of the boat, the graphics, the colours, the way they move under and through the water, each is a real-life physical expression of that paddler’s own inimitable vibe. They are flashy, eye-catching and vibrant. One universal truism is proven time and again whenever a squirt boater shows up in a crowd: that “chicks dig metalflake, and guys love a glittery girl”!
You decide...does the ends justify the means? Is squirting worth the price
of admission to you? If not, that’s cool. If so, then by all means,