What Is a Kayak?

What is a Kayak, the most frequent question among newbies. A Kayak is a craft for sporting, recreation, fishing, and transportation. The boat is small in size and narrow in shape. Further, they have enclosed cover, which stretches up to the leg with a sharp pointed edge. The sailor uses double paddles while seating in the cockpit facing forward to power the canoe. The term Kayak was from the Greenlandic word qajaq, meaning man’s boat or hunter’s boat.  Kayak history states that they were first produced by the Inuit, Yupik, and Aleut tribes. Besides, the main purpose was for animal hunting and transportation. The paddling of a kayak by a user is known as Kayaking, while the person moving the kayak is a kayaker.

a plastic kayak

Functions of Kayaks

Recently, a person inquired about the uses of a kayak during our flat water kayaking. To answer the question, I had first to explain the meaning of a kayak. To the question, these items are for the movement of people and goods, recreation, aquatic competition, and more. Moreover, there are different types of kayaks, which depends on the size, use, and types of construction material. Most kayak boats take one person, but the recent surge in manufacturing has boats for two to more people. For example, there are sit on top types of kayaks which carry more people and sit in kayaks types which can also accommodate one person to four or five.

What is a Kayak Size

Lightweight kayaks are present in the market for a water voyage. Farther, the size depends on construction materials. For instance, plastic kayaks are lighter than wooden boats made from an oak tree. Kayak’s length refers to the distance between the furthest points in the stern to the bow, and the lengths range from 16 to 19 feet. Further, it has a maximum width known as width, while the maximum distance from bottom to the top is known as height. Kayak is designed for specific water conditions, namely, white water, rivers, oceans, and surf zone. The recent innovation in the world of recreational kayaks has witnessed the assembly of inflatable and foldable kayaks which are growing in popularity among water sports lovers.

The Kayaks Parts

The sharp front end of the boat is the bow, which helps in the water navigation. On the other hand, the back end is called Stern. The center where the paddler sits in refers to as the cockpit for system control for a one-person kayak, and the coaming surrounds it. Furthermore, Kayaks cockpits have spray deck, designed to prevent water from the waves and spray. For this reason, the spray desk is tightly fitted and are less likely to be carried off by winds than the larger ones.  The size of the cockpit is determined by the seat, the smaller the cockpits, the smaller and the spray decks.

Boarding and exiting Kayaks

Boarding and exiting are easier and quicker on larger cockpits. Besides, the large cockpit have big storage room for keeping kayaking accessories. For any system, there is a point of entrance and exit, and with the kayaks that point is the Hatch. A paddler can either approach the hatch from the boat front or the back side. Within the kayak, there is a wall separating the internal boat spacing known as the bulkhead.

What is a kayak rudder?

The most frequently question by kayak beginners. The rudder, is a routing or a steering blade embedded on the sterns of a kayak. However, some canoes does not have the navigational tool. For better management of the boat in the water, it is advisable to have a rudder. Besides, it’s improve speed and direction control. Other than the rudder, you have to carry the kayak up and down using the lifting toggle. Similarly, boat handle is a string attached to the stern and a bow and requires two person on each end to lift the kayak. Moreover, the yacht have a cord embedded laterally at the back and front of cockpit of the deck.

Basic requirements for Kayaking

A person must have basic items to go kayaking, such as paddles, clothing, kayak safety gear, and more. In particular, there are different types of paddles, namely feathered which have their blades positioned between each other at 70 to 90 degrees and Non-feathered kayak paddles with the blades positioned at no angle with each other. In addition, there are two types of blades, the wing blade for lateral movement of the oar at the right angle, and not parallel to the boat. Before the evolution of the wing blades, there exist the flat vane for drag force momentum. Besides, a spare paddle should be available for use at any time.

Personal flotation device (PDF)

Second to the list is the Personal flotation device (PDF), mandatory wear, which all user must put on before proceeding with the kayaking voyage. Remember, that something can go wrong at any time when kayaking and it is only the PDF that can help in the middle of the water before external assistance arrives. Have you had this phrase, do not try this at home, if so, they never get into the water without your lifesaver kit? If you are kayaking using the inflatable kayaks, carry a pump to inflate the kayak.

Basic kayak types

There are five basic types of kayaks for different purposes and people, namely, kayaks for surf play, fishing, hunting, recreational, and touring kayaks. The design can either be sit in or sit on top kayaks, and foldable or non-foldable kayaks.

What are Kayaks made of?

Kayak construction materials are Fiberglass and polyethylene hulls (the latter is less hard), plastics, wooden, among other materials. In addition, the materials pros and cons range from durability, stability, costs, etc. For example, Fiberglass kayak brands are stronger, but break easily from collisions and impacts, and are susceptible to cracking. The materials for kayak construction are:

  • Wood/canvas;
  • Wood;
  • Carbon fiber;
  • Fiberglass;
  • Kevlar;
  • Polyethylene;
  • Polyester;
  • Rubberized fabric;
  • Neoprene; nitrylon;
  • Polyvinyl chloride (pvc);
  • Polyurethane;
  • Aluminum; and more.

Kayak Design Considerations

With the emergence of technologies, Dealers are designing kayaks using computer-aided software for precision. Besides, the design of kayak is based on the shape and is either narrow or wider in nature. A narrow kayak is effective and efficient in water navigation but lacks the stability of a wider Kayak. The design depends on the type and function of the kayak. In fact, touring boat design greatly differ from the racing and complex ones. The touring kayaks are slow and easy to navigate while a racing requires a fast-moving kayak.

Key manufacturing features

Key design consideration when manufacturing kayaks are the length, which depends on the activity of the boat, displacement functionalities. The rocker, which assists in object maneuverability, beam, and hull profile. Other factors in consideration are the Kayak efficiency in gliding, course tracking, and capacity, both final and original stability, 65–85 kg (143–187 is the weight for the majority of kayak for paddlers, while others weigh less than 50 kg (110 lb). Source en.wikipedia.org

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