Kayaking, One Of The World’s Most Popular Watersports

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Kayaking is a watersport enjoyed by people all around the world. Sitting low in the water and feeling every swell and eddy has made some say it’s the closest thing you can come to swimming without getting wet! Kayaking is a very healthy pursuit that provides a great upper-body workout and plenty of cardiovascular exercise. You can kayak on just about any body of water, with most preferring to paddle along a quiet shore while some enjoy braving the wild surf or a roaring rapids!

The Inuit people of North America’s far Arctic north were the first to use the kayak as a means of travelling across water as well as a vehicle for hunting and fishing. These early kayaks were constructed from whatever they could scrounge from their harsh environment, materials like bones, animal skins, and wood. Hunting was the main source of food for these ancient tribes, and the kayak was the perfect vessel for chasing seals and catching fish, in fact, the word kayak is translated as the “hunter’s boat”!

The kayak became popular in Europe beginning in the mid-1800s as more and more people visited the New World and brought them back with them. It soon became a sport enjoyed by the French and the Germans, and kayak races are still popular to this day! Meanwhile, back in North America, the kayak remained a very practical craft for explorers to use on the icy waters of the Arctic, and eventually, the Antarctic as well!

The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany held the very first official Olympic kayak events. The kayaks in those times were still mostly made from traditional materials, but by the 1950’s those had been replaced with fiberglass, although it was quite heavy. The kayaks of today’s Olympics are made of sturdy polyethylene plastics, a lightweight material that more closely resembles the feel of the original skin and bone kayaks. The 1,000-metre and 10,000-metre kayak races are a very well-loved event with competitors hailing from all corners of the globe.

Today kayaking remains one of the world’s most popular watersports, enjoyed by boating enthusiasts young and old. When you visit the sea, lake, or river shore you are very likely going to see a number of these versatile little watercraft plying the waves, full of happy people! There are a wide variety of kayaks available on the market now, one for every kind of user. Kids and novice kayakers can enjoy splashing about in inflatable kayaks that are very forgiving and difficult to tip over. There is a model of kayak designed specifically for the fisherman that includes pole holders and a built-in ice chest for storing the catch. Couples can go paddling in tandem in kayaks built for two, a lovely way to spend the day together!

The serious adventuring types use kayaks that are quite similar to the original Inuit hunting models, designed for rough seas and choppy waters. Some brave souls even use them to shoot the high mountain rapids, an exhilarating thrill-seeker sport that provides plenty of peril, only a highly experienced kayaker should ever attempt that one!

So, what are you waiting for? Jump in a kayak and paddle away!

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