Kayaking is an outdoor recreational adventure activity that uses a kayak to move across the water. A kayak is a low boat in which the paddler sits facing forward and legs in front. Kayaking is quite different from canoeing when it comes to the sitting position of the paddler and the blades in the paddle. A double-bladed paddle is used to move across. Inflatable and sit-on-top kayaks have become increasingly popular in recent days.

Eskimos of the northern Arctic regions first created kayaks. The frame of the kayak was made using driftwood or the skeleton of whales, while the body was made using animal skin. Kayaks, literally meaning ‘hunter’s boat’, mainly served the purpose of hunting and fishing.

Around the 1740s, Russians came in contact with the Aleutians and realized that the Aleutians were able to hunt sea otters skilfully by using kayaks. Otters were a popular commodity in Europe and Asia, which led the Russians to exploit Aleutians and keep them aboard their ships to hunt. By the 1800s, kayaking gained increasing recognition, and the Europeans were intrigued by it. German and French began kayaking as a sport. Kayaking races were introduced in the Olympic Games in 1936 and thus, became officially recognized as a sport.

Kayaks are classified by their design and materials. Each model has its own advantage such as speed, performance, stability etc. Kayaks are made of various materials such as metal, wood, fibreglass, plastic, PVC, rubber and carbon fibre. The materials also provide different advantages such as strength, flexibility, durability, portability and storage requirements.

Numerous tools are required while kayaking and you can get the best gear here. First, and most important, is the kayak depending on the type of water it will be used in. Other equipments include an off-set paddle, buoyancy aid, life jacket, helmet, safety whistle, ropes, a diving knife, water shoes and appropriate clothing such as a dry suit or wet suit.

There are different types of kayak that are used depending on the type of water and the purpose. Some of them are ‘sit-on-top’ kayaks (used in non-white water), ‘cockpit style’ kayaks, ‘playboat’ kayak, inflatable kayak (used for a commercial purpose) and tandems (support two or three paddlers).

Kayaks are used for a number of outdoor activities due to their range and adaptability. Some of the activities are diving, wilderness exploration, fishing, and ecotourism. Moreover, one of the most common uses of a kayak is Whitewater kayaking. Whitewater kayaking is when the paddler goes down a series of rapids that include debris and obstacles.