What is Kayaking
Kayaks in today's world are generally used for recreation. They are great for transporting one or two people across potentially hazardous water conditions that would be impassable to almost any other craft. Kayaking takes place on virtually all types of waterways in all types of conditions. From crossing tropical waters from island to island to braving the icy winter waters of the North Sea. Kayaks are suitable for downriver travel in small spring creeks with huge waterfalls to raging torrents like the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. If there is water, a kayak is not far away. People of all age ranges can paddle these crafts, and with experience almost anyone to can progress to advanced water conditions.
A kayak is a small boat molded from plastic in roto-molds or created by fiberglass, carbon or nomex fiber sandwich construction techniques. Traditional "Sit in Kayaks" have a large hole in the deck called a cockpit, in which the paddler encloses him/herself with a spray skirt to keep splashing water out of the hull. A kayak is paddled with a double bladed paddle as opposed to the single blade paddle of a canoe.
Kayaks were developed by people living in the far northern hemisphere. These people had limited natural resources in which to create a sea worthy craft. Using driftwood and animal skins they created watercraft that were able to traverse rough water, keeping the paddler dry while being agile enough to fish or hunt from.
Sea kayaks are designed to be long and sleek to ride large ocean waves while keeping their pilots warm and dry. Playboats are short solo craft meant for tricks in waves, surf and for navigating rivers, streams and creeks. Ocean kayaks have a hull like a normal kayak. The deck has a seat and foot rests molded into the plastic that the paddler sits on. Surfskis are a hybrid kayak, designed with very narrow hulls and a molded in cockpit that is used without a spray skirt. The cockpit has water draining holes called scuppers that self bail but sucking water out via a low pressure suction while in motion. Surfskis were originally designed to surf downwind off shore waves. Downriver kayaks are generally longer than most solo kayaks as they are made to track well with a minimum of drag. Kayaks have also become the personal fishing boat of choice for many. They are inexpensive, easy to store, transport, and launch; Kayaks are able to go quietly where other boats cannot venture allowing the stealthy fisherman an strategic advantage over larger fishing craft.