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What You Need to Know About Kayaking

Updated on January 26, 2017
clivewilliams profile image

An I.T Professional with over 15 years in the industry. A Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator.

Kayaking is Fun
Kayaking is Fun

What Is a Kayak?

So let me ask you this, how do you take your kayak? Do you like to double it up or are you are selfie? Whatever way you decide to do your kayaking, you can be sure that fun is right in the middle of it. Whenever we mention kayak, we are not talking about flights from Timbuktu to North Pole, but the activity of moving across the water in a kayak. So when a person is said to be kayaking, they are sitting in a narrow canoe like boats which only exposes from the waist up, the feet are stretched out and the occupant(s) of the kayak then uses a double blade paddle to maneuver across the water. Kayaks are built narrow and designed for cutting through the water and not to carry items. A kayak is essentially a sports or recreational activity boat.

What is kayaking?
Kayaking is act of traversing across any type of water by using a kayak. Many people associate kayaking with maneuvering dangerous rocks down gushing rivers and grabbing hold of a couple trout while you are at it but kayaking can also be cruising across some nice blue water on a bright sunny day.

Kayak Material and Safety

Kayaks are made from a vast amount of material. They may be classified by the type of material the kayak is made. The design of the kayak also plays and integral part into the operations of the kayak. Back in the Eskimo ages of kayaking, most kayaks were made of wood. Kayaks have evolved in material and sleek designs and many now are made of plastic, metal, wood, inflatable rubber and carbon fiber. For whatever purpose you will be using your kayak, the design and material used plays a very big part in its performance. Let’s take a small look at the super lightweight carbon fiber kayak. Even though it may be a bit expensive than the rest, one could use this carbon made kayak for competitive advantage when doing kayak races. It may also provide quicker maneuvering for easier handling. Inflatable kayaks have the advantage of convenience as it can be deflated and stored easily. And transporting is a snap.

How Safe Is a Kayak
So on a scale of 1-10, how safe is a kayak? Well, if you think it’s going to ward off an attack from a "Jaws" type shark you have just got eaten. Kayaks are small boats and there isn't much room to do anything or pack much gears. Kayaks are not easily toppled over as they are designed for easy balancing. Many kayaks are pretty tough and will not splatter into micro fragments if you hit a small item. But don't go "el toro" into any iceberg thinking you can make ice-cubes out of it, if you do, you will be re-enacting the titanic scene. The best thing is for a kayak user to follow basic kayaking rules such as not to have a bottle of whiskey on his kayak and then standing in his kayak and tries to pin the tail on the donkey! someone will end up getting very wet. So on a scale of 1-10 I can safely give the kayak a score of 9.

Kayaks are colorful
Kayaks are colorful

Did You Know? (Kayak History)

Kayaking is not new! It was created many years ago by the Inuit and was made especially for hunting and fishing. The Inuits were ingenious and used materials such as animal skins and driftwood to make these hunter boats or kayaks.

Types of Kayaks

There are kayaks designed for single occupancy and then there are those designed for double occupancy or two person kayak. So it’s like two door sports car and a luxury four door Benz. You can have both double and single occupancy kayaks both made of same material and design.

Tandem Kayak (2 person Kayak)
So do you want to have that luxury Benz. Well if you plan to have someone help you paddle or you have a pet you want to put in one of those seats. One could consider the two people tandem Kayak. They will come in all types and designs. Newer kayaks are very sleek and some will come customized. There are now some makes of tandem 2 person kayaks which can easily be adjusted for one person.

Pros of Acquiring a Tandem:

  1. You have company in the water
  2. You have double The Kayaking Power

Cons of Acquiring a Tandem

  1. You might still be left paddling alone
  2. Heavier than single kayak
  3. Cost more than a single Kayak
  4. Can't develop any serious kayaking skills in a tandem

One (1) Person Kayak
You can have yourself a nice sleek 1 person regular kayak which still boast all the sleek designs and materials as the tandem kayak.

Pros:

  1. You can develop some real serious kayaking skills
  2. You don't have to be pulling dead weight (tandem kayak with one person refusing to paddle)
  3. Lighter than tandem kayak
  4. May be cheaper than some tandem
  5. Easier to Transport than tandem

Cons:

  1. No body to chat with while on the water

Inflatable kayaks
Seems like more and more people are taking to the new and easy inflatables. These kayaks may not be as robust as regular kayaks, but they are being improved upon vastly. They can travel just as good as the regular kayak and best of all, transportation is easy.

Having Fun Kayaking

Competitive Kayaking

  • So if you are into competitive kayaking, you will definitely have keen interest on the type and design of the kayak you will use.Competitive kayaking can feature events such a, slalom skiing, river racing, freestyle kayaking, kayak 500 meter sprints and 1000 meter races. Competitive kayakers sometimes design and build their own kayaks. This is done by giving specifications to kayak makers and they intern give you exactly what is needed for these competitions. A couple attributes to look at when doing these events are, durability, speed and flexibility.

Leisure Kayaking

  • If you are not into all that Adrenalin rush of competitive kayaking. You can always go the route of just floating down that lazy river inside your kayak enjoying the beautiful surroundings, fishing or simply reading a book. There are hundred of thousands of people who acquire kayaks just for these very purposes.

Romantic Kayaking

  • If you are a true romancer, you will find that a little romance can also be found in the beauty of the tandem kayak. All it takes is you and your loved one, slowly paddling down the calm beautiful river, listening to the birds sing all round and admiring the beautiful scenery.

No matter where you live, you can still own a kayak. It is one of the more fun things to do on the water. If you like the adrenaline rush, competitive kayaking is great. While if you just want a breath of fresh air while traversing the water, the kayak is great also. The goo thing is that the kayak takes you out of the fanciness of the yacht and bigger boats and just leaves you closer to nature, you with your paddle in you kayak. Taking one paddle at a time and simply enjoying life.

Kayak Sport
Kayak Sport

How Much Does a Kayak Cost?

The price of kayaks vary, you can pay anywhere between $250-$10,000 dollars for a particular type of kayak. You will have to consider that the price for kayak is like buying cars. You pay for model, design, material and capability and performance.

Conclusion

I believe that nothing should stop you from enjoying yourself and doing what pleases you. There is fun in kayaking and kayak owners who have this experience know pretty well what i am talking about. Life is already made difficult for many and when we get that opportunity to let our hair down and let loose, grab it, grab fun, grab romance, grab nature, and grab a kayak.

Have you ever been kayaking?

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    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      18 months ago from Jamaica

      hey JODAH. Canoeing is nice, almost the in the same bracket as Kayaking. But Kayaking is the real deal, especially those Adrenalin rush sporty type.

    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      18 months ago from Jamaica

      Hey Ruby, I got that off my bucket list a long time ago. Hope you do too

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Very helpful and sound information here, Clive. I have done canoeing and really enjoy it so I think I would also love kayaking. I just never seem to get around to giving it a go.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I've never gone kayaking, but I have gone canoeing many times on the Current river in Missouri, and I loved it. The current was quite swift, hardly having to use a paddle. We also floated down river in inter tubes which was a lot of fun too. Maybe kayaking will be on my bucket list to do..Lot's of good info.

    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      19 months ago from Jamaica

      Well simplehappylife, the fun still awaits friend!

    • simplehappylife profile image

      SA 

      19 months ago

      Great info! Thank You. This is something I've talked about doing but haven't yet.

    • clivewilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Williams 

      19 months ago from Jamaica

      haha, Go for it Eric!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Oh sure with minimal training my bad-ass big brother put me in one on the Colorado of the Grand Canyon -- hell, Shadrack had it better. A twenty foot wave is just a scooter to surf across.

      The exercise to the core is unmatched except possible by paddle boards.

      So do your best to learn the roll in a pool, but expect to get jacked up in a real rapid.

      My sister is just a low tide mondo yaker with beer and a nice roast and veggies on hers.

      Thanks, time to teach my boy.

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