Guide to Kayaking

A kayak is an ideal solution to provide people with inexpensive access to local waters for recreation, research and fishing.

There are several aspects to consider when studying kayaks; for example, buying the right type of kayak and paddle, rowing techniques, and buying clothes and protective equipment to suit your needs.

A kayak is a narrow long boat with high stability, low draft, equipped with heel paddles, knee paddles, hip rests and double blade oars. Their distant ancestors kayaks appeared many hundreds of years ago and were invented by the peoples of the North. They made such boats from wood or bones, covered with the skin of marine mammals. The Eskimos made three-seater kayaks for fishing in the open sea, which allowed them to successfully hunt whales.

Modern kayaks are produced in single, double, triple and quadruple versions. They are made of wood, duralumin, polyethylene, composite materials, dense PVC fabric, have different designs, different sizes, all kinds of equipment. Models can be collapsible, solid cast, frame-inflatable, inflatable.

Kayak types

  • Kayaks

Kayaks are descendants of the ancient northern kayaks. They have a shell made of animal skins and a frame, which is covered with this shell. It includes stitches, welded bars, stringers, kilson, bulwarks, bends, fillers, fasteners. They are made of duralumin, durable plastic and provide rigidity of the models’ body.

Such kayaks are supplemented with anatomic seats with adjustable position, have spacious cargo compartments, can be equipped with steering with pedal drive and sailing structure. The shell of the boats usually completely covers their top, leaving openings for seats. They are provided with aprons and skirts, which are worn on the holes for sealing the cockpit in rough water and in cool rainy weather.

Disassembled kayaks are the most convenient for placing the cargo in the long hikes. They have large luggage compartments in the stern, bow and under the boards, can be complemented by hatches for small items, bottle racks, folding seats for children. These are boats with excellent sailing characteristics, capable of confidently sailing on the course on waves and in the counter wind. Even with minor damage, they stay afloat for a long time and are quickly repaired in camping conditions.

Assembly of such kayaks, if you have skills, takes no more than 40 minutes. These are models with increased comfort, designed for long-term hiking on spacious reservoirs and rivers of medium complexity.

  • Solid kayaks

Solid kayaks are made of polyethylene, strong plastic, high strength composite materials. They are characterized by high durability and longevity. They are invulnerable boats, which are widely used for rowing slalom and river rafting of high complexity.

Especially popular among solid models are polyethylene kayaks, which are lightweight and repairable, which are available in various versions, can be used for tourist trips by sea, sailing, under the engine, complemented by steering, fins, steg, can have a flat or keeled bottom. Kayaks with cast hull can quickly gain high speed, can withstand powerful blows, the influence of aggressive environments, sharp temperature changes and are stored outside for a long time under a canopy.

  • Canoe frame inflatable kayaks

Frame inflatable kayaks are designed to make frame kayaks lighter, more floating and adapted to the alloy on the rough water. These models have a frame, shell and inflatable elements located between the frame and “skin”. Previously, cylinders were put into the shell, in modern models they are integrated into it. These are movable, maneuverable, swivel and obedient in the management of kayaks, and the framework of which includes less elements than the frame of collapsible boats.

In inflatable frame kayaks, cylinders and shells are usually made of PVC, sometimes with polyurethane reinforcement. In case of damage, they can be repaired quickly with the help of varnish gluing. In recent developments, manufacturers of such kayaks use two cylinders that are separated by a sealed membrane. Such kayaks are almost insoluble.

  • Inflatable kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are made of a dense multilayer material PVC. Cylinders of such boats are pumped to three atmospheres, which makes them rigid and fast.

Inflatable models are produced with the use of innovative technologies of gluing and welding seams, which allow to create different forms of cylinders, changing the contours of kayaks. They can have a protruding down inflatable bottom, which in some cases is reinforced by inlays, closed or open deck, spacious luggage compartments, hinges from the outside of the body for cargo transportation. Cylinders often have airtight lintels in the center and are enclosed in a waterproof fabric jacket.

Such kayaks are complemented by a bow and stern stem, a self-removing system, inflatable seats with the possibility of blowing, cross struts. They have high stability and low draft, are able to move freely in shallow water, overgrown with reeds and are suitable for rafting on rivers of high complexity.

Kayak features

Turning is harder than it looks

You only think that the kayak is light and swivel. Maybe it accelerates better than other rowing boats and goes well against the current, but in turns it is a naughty thing that requires the whole team. Before swimming, practice turning, using the rower in the bow and stern at the same time. A kayak is not similar to an ordinary boat, neither in behavior, nor in turn, nor in comfort.

Parity of forces

A beginner needs to be able to save energy and work in teams. Do not wave your oar too often. It is desirable that everyone has the same rowing efficiency. Otherwise, due to lack of coordination, more effort to row with his right hand at the right side of the kayak waving zigzags all over the river.

About covers

All electronics – phones, cameras – must be packaged in various kinds of waterproof cases. It is also ideal to have a separate hermetic bag for things. After all, in the stern is accepted to load backpacks and plant the heaviest kayak. As a result, any water that will be in your kayak, goes to the stern and backpack with things will definitely get wet.

Spare clothes

It is desirable to have spare clothes and shoes when traveling on kayaks. Pants are guaranteed to get wet. Socks, shoes – all this will be wet with great probability. Therefore, we change wet things to dry. Do not forget to pack your clothes in bags.

Sitting under the ass

Buy a special seat under the foamy butt. This improves the comfort of travel. However, it is very important that you take the time to choose the right kayak and paddle for your specific purposes. It is also very important that you buy both the right clothes and at least the necessary minimum of kayak protective equipment to prepare for the new sport.

Finally, once you have all your equipment together and at least have an idea of what you are doing, you may want to consider taking both a basic kayaking course and a self-resuscitation course with a competent instructor, because both classes will be very useful. Increase your confidence and allow yourself to relax and enjoy the trip.

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