Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. It is
distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and
the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is a low-to-the-water,
canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in
front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side
and then the other in rotation. Most kayaks have closed decks,
although sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity as
3.1 Types of kayaks
4 Activities involving kayaks
5 See also
7 External links
Kayaks were created thousands of years ago by the Inuit, formerly
known as Eskimos, of the northern
Arctic regions. They used driftwood
and sometimes the skeleton of whale, to construct the frame of the
kayak, and animal skin, particularly seal skin was used to create the
body. The main purpose for creating the kayak, which literally
translates to "hunter's boat" was for hunting and fishing. The
kayak's stealth capabilities, allowed for the hunter to sneak up
behind animals on the shoreline, and successfully catch their prey. By
the mid-1800s the kayak became increasingly popular and the Europeans
became interested. German and French men began kayaking for sport. In
1931, a man named Adolf Anderle became the first person to kayak down
the Salzachofen Gorge, this is where the birthplace of modern-day
white-water kayaking is believed to have begun.
Kayak races were
introduced in the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936. In the 1950s
fiberglass kayaks were developed and commonly used, until 1980s when
polyethylene plastic kayaks came about.
Kayaking progressed as a
fringe sport in the U.S. until the 1970s, when it became a mainstream
popular sport. Now, more than 10 white water kayaking events are
featured in the Olympics. While kayaking represents a key
international watersport, few academic studies have (to date) been
conducted on the role kayaking plays in the lives and activities of
the public 
Kayaks can also be classified by their design and the materials from
which they are made. Each design has its specific advantage, including
performance, manoeuvrability, stability and paddling style. Kayaks can
be made of metal, fibreglass, wood, plastic, fabrics, and inflatable
fabrics such as
PVC or rubber, and more recently expensive but feather
light carbon fiber. Each material also has its specific advantage,
including strength, durability, portability, flexibility, resistance
to ultraviolet and storage requirements. For example, wooden kayaks
can be created from kits or built by hand. Stitch and glue, plywood
kayaks can be lighter than any other material except skin-on frame.
Inflatable kayaks, made from lightweight fabric, can be deflated and
easily transported and stored, and considered to be remarkably tough
and durable compared to some hard-sided boats.
Kayaking at Waimarino Adventure Park
There are many types of kayaks used in flat water and white water
kayaking. The sizes and shapes vary drastically depending on what type
of water to be paddled on and also what the paddler would like to do.
The second set of essentials for kayaking is an off-set paddle where
the paddle blades are tilted to help reduce wind resistance while the
other blade is being used in the water. These vary in length and also
shape depending on the intended use, height of the paddler and often,
the paddler's preference. Kayaks should be equipped with one or more
buoyancy aid (also called flotation) which creates air space that
helps prevent a kayak from sinking when filled with water; life jacket
should be worn at all times (also called a personal flotation device
or PFD), a helmet is also often required for most kayaking and is
mandatory for white water kayaking. Various other pieces of
safety gear include: a whistle for signaling for help; throwing ropes
to help rescue other kayakers; and, a diving knife and appropriate
water shoes should used depending upon the risks the water and terrain
pose. Proper clothing such as a dry suit, wet suit or spray top also
help protect kayakers from cold water or air temperatures.
Types of kayaks
"Sit on top" kayaks place the paddler in an open, shallowly-concave
deck above the water level. "Cockpit style" involves sitting with
the legs and hips inside the kayak hull with a spray deck or "spray
skirt" that creates a water-resistant seal around the waist.
"Inflatables" are a hybrid of the two previous configurations; these
boats have an open deck, but the paddler sits below the level of the
deck. "Tandems" are configured for multiple paddlers, in contrast to
the single person designs featured by most kayaks. Tandems can be used
by two or even three paddlers.
Activities involving kayaks
Sea kayaking at
Wilson's Promontory in Victoria, Australia
Because of their range and adaptability, kayaks can be useful for
other outdoor activities such as diving, fishing, wilderness
exploration and search and rescue during floods.
Kayak diving is a type of recreational diving where the divers paddle
to a diving site in a kayak carrying all their gear to the place they
want to dive. The range can be up to several kilometres along the
coastline from the launching point to a place where access would be
difficult from the shore, although the sea is sheltered. It is a
considerably cheaper alternative to using a powered boat, as well as
combining the experience of sea kayaking at the same time. Kayak
diving gives the diver independence from dive boat operators, while
allowing dives at sites which are too far to comfortably swim, but are
Kayak fishing is fishing from a kayak. The kayak has long been a means
of transportation and a stealth means of approaching easily spooked
fish, such as cobia and flounder.
Kayak fishing has gained popularity
in recent times due to its broad appeal as an environmentally friendly
and healthy method of transportation, as well as its relatively low
cost of entry compared to motorized boats.
Main article: Ecotourism
Ecotour guide stands on a kayak spotting dolphins and manatees, around
Ecotourism based on kayak trips is gaining in popularity. In
warm-water vacation destinations such as Sarasota Keys, guided kayak
trips take kayakers on a tour of the local ecosystem. Kayakers can
watch dolphins breach and manatees eat sea grass, in shallow bay
Main article: Outline of canoeing and kayaking
Water sports portal
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Kayaking and Rowing: So what's the difference
anyway?". Canoeicf.com. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012.
Kayak Review. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
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surftosummit.com. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved
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^ Parker, Christopher J.; May, Andrew; Mitchell, Val (2013). "The Role
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^ Brown, Kevin. "What Is Best For You; An Inflatable
Kayak Or A
Hard-Shell Kayak?". Surf to Summit. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
Kayak Safety – Essential Paddling Safety Tips". Globo Outdoors.
Retrieved 19 January 2018.
^ Bigelow, Jodi (2008).
Kayaking for Fitness. The Heliconia Press.
Retrieved 13 July 2015.
Canoe Association: Paddling 101: A Newcomer's Guide to
Canoeing and Kayaking" (PDF).
^ "Why a sit-on-top kayak?". Ocean Kayak. Retrieved July 18,
^ "Equipments". Wiltshire Search and Rescue. Archived from the
original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
^ Francis, John (August 2003). "
Kayak diving". How to Scuba Dive.
Scuba Diving magazine. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
^ Routh, Cory (2008)
Kayak Fishing : The Complete Guide No
Nonsense Guides. ISBN 978-1-892469-19-9;
Burnley, Ric (2007) The Complete
Kayak Fisherman. Burford Books.
Daubert, Ken (2001) Kayakfishing : The Revolution. Coelacanth
Pubns. ISBN 978-0-9678098-2-3;
Null, Scott and Mcbride, Joel (2009)
Kayak Fishing: The Ultimate Guide
2nd Edition. Heliconia Press. ISBN 978-1-896980-43-0
^ "Cost Effective Fishing". Retrieved 7 August 2016.
Kayak Coasting, SRQ Magazine(2015)". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
Media related to
Kayaking at Wikimedia Commons
Canoeing and kayaking
Sprint (Men's Canadian medalists
Women's Canadian medalists
Men's kayak medalists
Women's kayak medalists
Slalom (Men's canoe medalists
Women's canoe medalists
Men's kayak medalists
Women's kayak medalists
Mixed canoe medalists)
Slalom Junior & U23
Whitewater canoeing / kayaking
Canoe paddle strokes
Albano buoy system
Douglas C. Gordon
Canoeing and kayaking venues
List of world records in canoeing
Au Sable River
Devizes to Westminster International
YMCA Massive Murray Paddle
National Student Rodeo
Riverland Paddling Marathon
Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York
Houston Dragon Boat Festival
Lethbridge Dragon Boat Festival
Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival
British Dragon Boat Racing Association
Association of International
Paddle Sport Federations
International Dragon Boat Federation
Sir Alexander Mackenzie Canada Sea-to-Sea Bicentennial Expeditions
UK Rivers Access Campaign
The Rise and Fall of the Great