In the June/July issue of Instinct magazine (aimed at young gay men), a travel story by Jonathan Higbee, “Risen From the Ashes: The gay scene spread across the volcanic lands of New Zealand rises from the brink of extinction”, about a Kiwi vacation with his partner. On p. 46, Higbee writes that the couple

walked a few blocks to the town center [of Queenstown] to be picked up for our first Queenstown adventure, “funyaking” down the Dart River.

Not merely kayaking, Dart River Safaris’ funyaks have earned the right to update the nme of the age-old river activity.

A photo from Dart River Safaris:

Funyaks come in many styles, and you can rent or buy them in many places around the world. From the CrabApple Whitewater company, which offers funyaks (inflatable river kayaks) for whitewater rafting in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont:

What is a Funyak?

The word “funyak” has come to mean several things through marketing and whitewater product development. Some consider a funyak to be a molded plastic boat made for lakes and ponds – fun “touring” kayak, essentially. However, most consider a “Funyak” to be an inflatable whitewater craft, appearing and functioning similar to a white water river kayak – a “fun” kayak. They are built for fun and stability for whitewater trips.

Funyaks are stable whitewater craft designed to bring the possibility of river kayaking to novice paddlers. Individuals can buy an inexpensive Funyak to use on lakes or on mild whitewater. They are easily transported and easy to maneuver through mild rapids. They do not require a skirt over a closed cockpit which seals in the paddler. The cockpit in a Funyak is open so the Eskimo roll is not necessary to right the boat while still in it. The open cockpit Funyak is stable and rarely turns over in mild rapids and is easily righted if it capsizes. A further advantage of Funyaks is the soft material – rather than a hard plastic shell as on a “Sit-On-Top” plastic kayak, the soft material is comfortable and allows you to stretch out and recline between rapids or paddling sections. There is also room in the cockpit to carry items for a short whitewater excursion – food, drink, extra gear, squirt guns, etc.

Portmanteaus take to the water.


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