Standard Hand Signals for River Communication

Communicating on the river is done with hand signals.

Ground Rules

  1. Never point to a hazard
  2. Always return a signal to show you understand
  3. No signal – no move!!!

Go Signal

With Paddle:

Go signal with paddle

With Hands:

Go signal with hands

Stop Signal

With Paddle:

With hands:

Everyone Together Signal

Paddler Draws a Circle in the air – From head to Hips

One Person At A Time Signal

Eddy Out Signal

  • Draw a circle in the air over your head
  • Point to where eddy is

Move Left / Move Right Signal

Move to the left

Move to the right

Toward Me Signal

Signaller makes a ‘Thumbs up’ sign and motions from the deck to their chest

Hurry Up Signal

Raise & lower paddle (Not to be confused with “Go” Signal)

Raise & lower Clinched Fist

Slow Down Signal

Extended arm raised and lowered

Spacing Signals

Group too far apart – “Get closer together”

Group too close together –“Spread Out”

“Warning – Stopper!” Signal

  • Raise and open hand
  • Clinch your fist
  • Open your hand

“Bring a Rope!” Signal

This signal mimics the action of throwing a rope

Are You OK Signal

  • If OK reply to this signal as the same signal
  • If not OK either do not reply or cross arms over chest

I Dont Understand Signal

Can be used as a reply