Fight to win

It’s inevitable, even for pacifists: At some point, you’ll clash with other rafts in a water fight. So you might as well come out on top. Here’s how.

Trust no one. The raft with which you were exchanging merry banter moments ago can inexplicably turn on you. Clues to an impending attack: a raft that is too quiet; a raft that appears to be waiting for yours to draw closer; a raft that is trying extraordinarily hard to catch up to you; exchanged whispers and sidelong glances; a gleam in someone’s eye.

Use your weapons wisely. Once the fight has begun, use the bottom one-fourth of the paddle to chip water fast and hard in an upward arc toward the other raft. The back-paddle splash (see “Head Out”) is your most potent weapon. If using a bucket, fill it only one-quarter full to maximize your tossing power.


• Maneuver like an admiral. Have the wind with you so you can begin and end your attack from farther away. Position your raft so that the strongest splashers are in on the action and not watching from the opposite side.

Never surrender. When foes are drifting away and celebrating victory, they are often the most vulnerable.

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