Kayaking

Kayaking

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Kayaking is the use of a kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

 for moving across water. Kayaking and canoeing
Canoeing
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

 are also known as paddling. Kayaking is distinguished from canoeing
Canoeing
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

 by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is defined by the International Canoe Federation (the world sanctioning body) as a boat where the paddler faces forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle. Most kayaks have closed decks, although "sit-on-top" kayaks are growing in popularity, as are inflatable kayaks which come without decks but which have air chambers surrounding the boat.

Whitewater kayaking
Whitewater kayaking
Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling a kayak on a moving body of water, typically a whitewater river. Whitewater kayaking can range from simple, carefree gently moving water, to demanding, dangerous whitewater. River rapids are graded like ski runs according to the difficulty, danger or...

 involves taking a kayak down rapid
Rapid
A rapid is a section of a river where the river bed has a relatively steep gradient causing an increase in water velocity and turbulence. A rapid is a hydrological feature between a run and a cascade. A rapid is characterised by the river becoming shallower and having some rocks exposed above the...

s, weirs and waterfalls. Sea kayak
Sea kayak
A sea kayak or touring kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on open waters of lakes, bays, and the ocean. Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spraydeck...

ing, also referred to as ocean kayaking
Sea kayak
A sea kayak or touring kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on open waters of lakes, bays, and the ocean. Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spraydeck...

 or touring, involves taking kayaks out on to the ocean
Ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

 or other open water such as a lake. It can involve short paddles with a return to the starting point (or "put-in"), or expeditions covering many miles and days. Kayaking of all kinds has become more popular through the 1990s and early 21st century.


Kayaks are classified by their use. There are eight primary classifications: polo, slalom, whitewater, surf, touring/expedition, light touring/day tripping, sprint/racing and general recreation. From these primary classifications stem many sub-classes. For example, a fishing kayak is simply a general-recreation kayak outfitted with accessories that make it easier from which to fish. A creek kayak is a certain type of whitewater kayak, designed to handle narrow gully type rivers and falls. Also within these classifications are many levels of performance which further separate the individual models. In other words, not all touring kayaks handle the same.

Kayaks and canoes are also classified by their design and the materials from which they are made. Kayaks can have hard or soft chines which require different types of handling. Each design has its specific advantage, including performance, maneuverability, stability, and paddling style. Kayaks can be made of metal, fiberglass, wood, plastic, fabrics, and inflatable fabrics such as PVC or rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

. Each material also has its specific advantage, including strength, durability, portability, flexibility, resistance to UV, and storage requirements. For example, Wooden kayaks can be created from kits or built by hand, but they are heavy to transport. Inflatable kayaks, made from lightweight fabric, can be dried, deflated, and stored in a closet.
There are several major configurations of kayaks. "Sit on tops", as the name suggests, involve sitting on top of the kayak in an open area. "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. How a kayak is configured has nothing to do with its classification. All configurations are represented in each of the five primary classifications.

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.

See also



  • Canoe polo
    Canoe polo
    Canoe Polo is a competitive ball sport played on water, in a defined "field", between two teams of 5 players, each in a kayak...

  • Kayak
    Kayak
    A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

  • Canoeing
    Canoeing
    Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

  • Quadrathlon
    Quadrathlon
    A quadrathlon is an endurance sports event composed of four individual disciplines. All four disciplines are completed in succession and the lowest overall time decides the winner....

  • Whitewater kayaking
    Whitewater kayaking
    Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling a kayak on a moving body of water, typically a whitewater river. Whitewater kayaking can range from simple, carefree gently moving water, to demanding, dangerous whitewater. River rapids are graded like ski runs according to the difficulty, danger or...

  • Surf kayaking
    Surf Kayaking
    Surf Kayaking is the sport, technique, and equipment, used in surfing ocean waves with kayaks. Surf kayaking has many similarities to surf board surfing, but with boats designed for use in surf zones, and with a paddle...

  • Kayak slalom
  • Outdoor activity

External links

  • Wikipaddle - Online canoe and kayak wiki guide.
  • Kayaking - Kayaking.org - Free Online Kayaking Directory