GASP! Gulf Area Sea Paddlers

Hand Signals for Sea Kayakers

Tsunami Ranger Hand Signals - Copyright Eric Soares

See the complete article describing the use of these signals that was published in BASK's (Bay Area Sea Kayakers') newsletter Bay Currents December, 1991 issue. A big thanks to Eric Soares of the Tsunami Rangers for granting GASP permission to publish these valuable signals from the Tsunami Ranger Anthology by Eric Soares and Jim Kakuk. To obtain a copy of the Tsunami Ranger Anthology, contact Eric Soares, P.O. Box 339, Moss Beach, CA 94038, (415) 728-5118. Very nice publication with a great deal of valuable information on sea kayaking.


I/ME point index finger toward self yourself
IT/THEM point index finger toward object object, activity, place, people
YOU point index finger toward person person(s)
WE/US circle index finger at group all of us

COME beckon with index finger come here
CUT bring index across throat let's quit
FORM UP circle index above head gather around
GET CLOSE put thumb close to index get in close
GO horizontally revolve forearm as if
winding string on a spool
go forward/backward
GROK put bunched up fingers on temple pay attention
HANG hang fingers limply near ear wait around; hang out
IGNORE throw air over shoulders ignore my last signal
LAND slam palm face down go to shore and land
LEAD give seig heil lead the group
RAFT click side of fist on paddle raft up
RELAX slowly ease palm face down relax; don't be uptight
SCOUT put palm over brow scout it out
SPREAD open hand wide near head spread out
STAY AWAY move hand far away from body stay far away (from danger)
STOP put fist in air stop; hold position
SURF move hand in snake motion, palm down surf; play in waves
SWEEP make whisking motion with hand, near ass follow the group and sweep
WAIT hold index up near head wait a moment, please

BAD thumb down no good; bad move or idea
BORING pat yawning mouth with palm boring, uninteresting
DANGEROUS arm or paddle horizontal over head not safe; don't go
GOOD thumb up good, good move or idea
GROOVEY cross hands or paddles like wow, far out; spectacular
HAIRY make tiger claw near head very wild and scary
OKAY pat head with palm physically okay, not hurt
SAFE arm or paddle vertical over head safe to go
STUPID slap forehead or index to temple stupid
SURFCHICKEN hold fist against shoulder and flap
elbow rapidly
UNSURE rotate down palm from side to side not sure; can't decide; iffy

Miscellaneous Signals
BYE a wave good bye good bye; end transmission
GOT IT form a circle with thumb & index A-okay; I understand
GREETING give Vulcan greeting live long and prosper
HAIL lightly wave arm over head hail; listen up
HELP strongly wave arm over head help; assistance needed
NO shake head from side to side no; I disagree
WHAT place palm up near shoulder who/what/where/when/how/wanna?
WILL COMPLY salute I understand and will comply
YES shake head up and down yes; I agree

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