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The History of Traditional Kayaks
The History of Traditional Kayaks
by P Nelson
Paddlin

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Kayaks date back to nearly 4000 years ago. Kayaks were developed and used by the Ainu, Alut and Eskimos primarily for hunting and fishing expeditions on inland lakes, coastal waters and rivers that were surrounding the land they lived on. The original kayaks were built with a wooden frame which was then covered with stretched animal skin and had an opening in the center.

Traditionally the skin used to cover this wooden was that of seal. Some kayaks had double and triple cockpits as they were also used for transporting passengers.

As time has evolved, so have kayaks and their uses. There are many types of kayaks available in today's market place and the type of vessel you need to buy will depend on the type of kayaking you have in mind: recreational, fishing, touring and whitewater.

In today's market place, there are different types of structures: hard shell kayaks that are made of either wood, fiber glass, or carbon; folding boats which fold so that they are easier to transport; and inflatable kayaks which generally tend the be the least expensive option and have the advantage of being extremely portable, and versatile and can be stored practically anywhere.

The one thing to keep in mind is there is not a single kayak that can meet all of your needs. Before you buy a kayak you need to think about what you want to do with. You will require a different kind of kayak if you plan on paddling on calm water than if you are paddling on open water. In addition when selecting your vessel, think about these questions:

  • How far will you paddle? Will it be a day trip or will you plan on camping somewhere?
  • What is your level of skills?
  • Do you plan on paddling alone or with other people?
  • How will you transport it and store it?


    Kayaking is a terrific stress reliever and a low aerobic yet effective sport and is very accessible for all age groups. In addition the affordability and quality of kayaks on the market place definitely make it more accessible to a wider population.

    Kayaking is increasingly becoming one of the most popular sports in North America. This sport is equally popular with both men and women. It is a sport that can be done alone or in tandem with other folks and it can also be combined with other passions such as fishing or camping.






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