ALL ABOUT SEA KAYAKS
In a day and age where most are talking about the newest features when flying first class, rappers brag about their private jets, and self driving cars wow investors while simultaneously scaring everyone else, there are sea kayaks. No fancy electronics, no smart devices, and you probably won’t pop champagne if you bring it with you to the water, Kayaks have been around for decades and still serve as a fun, adventurous yet sometimes quiet get away. Usually confused with canoes, and a little too risky to the uninitiated kayaks are a long standing recreational part of anyone who loves the outdoors, and below we'll take a look at sea kayaks origins, design, and so much more.
INVENTION AND HISTORY
Sea kayaks are a little different from recreational kayaks as they're meant for journeys lasting from a few hours all the way up to a few days. They're essentially the camping tents of the kayak world and they started out roughly 4000 years ago in Alaska, Northern Canada, and Southwest Greenland. Originally made out of light wood and animal skin, sea kayaks were built mostly out of necessity by Eskimos to create a way to catch food easier. They remained this way until the 1950's where things got a little more contemporary for kayaks. The transition to more durable materials to make sea kayaks out of like fiberglass and plastic were underway along with the recreational use aspect for kayakers.
Unlike their historical origins with the eskimos, today kayaks are designed in a plethora of ways satisfying a demand by kayakers to have kayaks with greater speeds, durability, storage capacity, and other details like wider hulls or cup holders. Instead of wood you have plastic. Instead of animal skins covering the kayak you have things like nylon. Today kayaks are designed to last and endure storage conditions.
Sea kayaks mainly come in two types rigid and folding. The big change to this landscape has been the ability to bring sit-on-top kayaks into the sea kayak's world as they were once relocated to just recreational use due to safety.
The most important changes to kayaks over time in terms of design come in the areas of hulls, stems, and sizes that affect speed.
PADDLES AND EQUIPMENT
Equipment can vary greatly by kayak as you're always going to see different sizes not only in the kayaks themselves by their hulls, sterns, deck, and more. Each piece of equipment comes into play to better change the primary and secondary ability of the kayak based on what you're looking to get out of it. With sea kayaks one probably shouldn't look for speed but rather space and stability which would involve greater hull sizes and a more spacious deck.
Paddles are a key piece of equipment for the kayaks as they are the sole mechanism for moving the boat in place. There are three main classifications for sea kayak paddles and it goes European, Greenland, and Wing. These are all usually produced with aluminum, plastic, or wood.
European paddles are meant more for speed and maneuverability as they're designed like roughly shaped shovels. Greenland paddles are usually only used as backups and have a higher transition between blade and loom while wing paddles actually resemble a wing and used more on sea kayak racing events.
When it comes to sea kayak safety there are many techniques from a boof to an eskimo roll that are meant to quickly get you in and out of your kayak in case there's dangerous or life threatening circumstances. Learning these various maneuvers are an essential part to kayaking as they can be the first step to getting you out of danger. Life jackets and other devices that have a floating element to them can also help in getting you out of a tight spot but nothing really substitutes simply going with a group of kayakers. Having multiple kayakers around is of great benefit just in case something dangerous does happen and you need quick help.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SEA KAYAKS AND KAYAKING
There are a variety of sea kayaks for beginners and experienced kayakers alike that range in abilities to best suit recreational use or fast paced paddling. Some kayaks like sea kayaks are best suited for long periods of kayaking while other models like the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 is best for some fast paced action. Then when you look at the laying side of it, there are a plethora of forms. There's kayak sailing, expedition trips, surf kayaking, sea fishing, and so much more. When it comes to sea kayaking there really is a type and model for everyone out there.
KAYAK BUYING GUIDE
Reading up on sea kayaking is great, and it's always good to become well informed before going out on the water and setting sail, but few things can replace the feeling and hands on experience that comes with actually owning a kayak. When buying your first kayak you should always know two things first, what do you aim for in terms of a kayaking experience and what will you be able to steer properly in terms of your own size and strength?
Always aim for the safest, so primary stability should be a key factor in your kayak buying decision along with choosing one that will last over time. A fast kayak isn't in your best interest right off the bat, you'll want one that you can practice for a long time.
Size is important when buying your first sea kayak because you want it to fit snug and be comfortable as you learn. Remember 'high volume' kayaks are for bigger people, so if you consider yourself of average size you may want to opt for an ordinary sized model.
By now you should be a lot more well informed about sea kayaking. From its humble beginnings with the eskimos all the way down to having models for day long expeditions, sea kayaking can be fun for the entire family!