Knowing Kayaking

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        The word “KAYAK” dates around 4,000 years and litterally means “man’s boat” or “hunter’s boat”, a small boat powered by one person propelling a double-bladed paddle. Kayaks were developed by the indegenous people Alinu, Aleut and Eskimo- all living in the arctic regions and natives of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Russia and Greenland. They were used for hunting seals and transporting goods and passengers on inland lakes, rivers and coastal arctic waters. They were built from animal skin and wood. The natives thought they wouldn’t survive the freezing waters if the kayak capsized, so they created a waterproof seal known as tuilik, a covered deck called a spray deck that prevents waves or sprays from flooding the boat. Kayaks were designed for optimum manueverability, easily rolling upright without filling with water after turning upside down.

Modern- Day Kayaks

      This small boat have many varieties and uses such as sea, whitewater, surf and recreational kayaks. Sea kayaks are typically of tradional design, having two or three paddlers, but are distinct from other boats with their longer waterlines, rudders or skegs (steering gears) and provisions for storing goods. The length and the steering gears help navigate the boat in a straight line on water. This type of kayak provides comfort during long trips in open water. Recreational kayaks are actually a type of sea kayak anyone interested in fishing, photography or simply enjoying the scenery while paddling across a placid lake. This type has a bigger cockpit and wider beam for more stability on the water.

        A whitewater kayak has a role-molded, high-impact plastic hull designed to withstand the rapid forces of water and enable it to bounce off rocks without causing any breakage or leaks. While recreational kayaks are usaully 12 feet long, whitewater kayaks used for this sport are shorter. Whitewater kayaking ranges from gentle moving waterways to grueling rivers.

       But of all modern-day kayaks, there is one regarded as the long-board of the kayak world- the surf kayak, which comes in two types: high performance (HP) and international class (IC). These two differ in looks form their nose and tail rockers to hulls and fins. Some sufboats are made of tough, heavy plastic while others are extremely light and fragile.The word “KAYAK” dates around 4,000 years and litterally means “man’s boat” or “hunter’s boat”, a small boat powered by one person propelling a double-bladed paddle. Kayaks were developed by the indegenous people Alinu, Aleut and Eskimo- all living in the arctic regions and natives of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Russia and Greenland. They were used for hunting seals and transporting goods and passengers on inland lakes, rivers and coastal arctic waters. They were built from animal skin and wood. The natives thought they wouldn’t survive the freezing waters if the kayak capsized, so they created a waterproof seal known as tuilik, a covered deck called a spray deck that prevents waves or sprays from flooding the boat. Kayaks were designed for optimum manueverability, easily rolling upright without filling with water after turning upside down.

Safety First

       Top on the list is a life jacket, which should be worn before entering the boat. Check the kayak’s exterior for any damage and look for a floatation device like an airtight float bag. For sea kayaks, a towline and bailing device are must-haves. Considering the sea kayaks may travel from a few hours to a few days, it is always advisable to bring extra dry clothing, first aid kit and a repair kit with duct tape, all sealed in an airtight container.

Kayaking Art 

       Usually, making first attempt is always the hardest, as in this case. Choose the best spot when getting inside the boat. Others may find it easy to enter while in shallow water while most novices prefer to do it at shore and have somebody else push their kayaks towards the water. Make sure to hold the proper side of the paddle. Kayak paddles have blades attached to both ends of the shaft and the blade’s inward curves should be facing the paddler. The control grip is as essential as one’s loose hand to paddle into the water smoothly. The dominant hand serves as control while the other aids in rotating and repositioning.

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