The first kayaks were made thousands of years ago by the Inuit, the inhabitants of Greenland, Northern Russia, Alaska and Northern Canada (Eskimos). They were primarily used for hunting and fishing, kayak literally means “hunter’s boat”.
Choosing the right Kayak and equipment.
There are various types and sizes of kayaks. Lake, Sea , Sit in, Sit-on-top, Single or Tandem. (e.g. Sea /Touring Kayaks: sit in, safe, travels quickly, plastic or composite, longer than recreational kayaks (10+), multiple compartments.)
The right size kayak for your weight is one with a maximum capacity rating that's about 125 pounds more than your body weight. Another rule of thumb is to find out the manufacturer's maximum capacity rating and reduce it by about 30-
It has 3 main parts: shaft, power face: this is the side of paddle blade that catches water on forward stroke. back face, for the back/other side of paddle blade
Almost any paddle will do for casual paddling but try and take the time to make sure that your paddle is the right size for you. Paddles vary in length from 180 cm (7’) to 260 cm (8.5’). Blades come in variety of sizes and shapes.
The ideal distance between your hand positions on the paddle is a bit more than your shoulder width. If your hands are too close to each other, there will be no power behind your stroke. If they’re spaced too far, your stroke will be powerful, but you will tire out much faster.
An easy way to figure out where to place your hands is by resting your paddle on your head. Place your hands so that your elbows form a 90-degree angle.
A rudder is used for stability. It is a fin bolted to the stern of the kayak and operated by foot pedals. The rudder is a long, narrow fin-like blade that extends down into the water off the stern end of a kayak. It can be moved side to side thereby affecting the flow of water along the blade, applying a force to the blade that turns the boat in the direction of that force (rudder angled to the right, boat turns to right). A rudder is designed to be deployed fully, and can be swept side to side by operating foot pedals in the cockpit.
A skeg is a fin that is centered on the keel of a boat, either fully back at the stern or slightly forward of the stern – along the aft section of the keel. Some skegs are retractable (swung up and housed within the hull when not deployed); others are incorporated into the design of the keel. A movable skeg can be deployed part way or fully up/down - but not sideways.
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