Kayaking is the use of a kayak to move across a mass of water. Before acquiring a kayak for leisure, touring purposes or as a sport it is necessary to consider a couple of pertinent factors including the mode of transport to be used to get to the venue of kayaking, the type of water mass that the kayak will be used on, the intention for kayaking, the duration of time that will be spent on the kayak and the number of kayaking partners if any.
There is a need to understand different parts of the boat, this usually differs from one kayak. For example, the design of the stern which is the rear part of the vessel, the front part called the bow, the design of the bottom part of the kayak known as the hull and the chine. Below we will look at some of the types of kayaks available in the market;
White water kayaks
These types of kayaks are mostly used in rivers, creeks or streams where turbulent rapids are common. The rapids, which are also referred to as white waters, are rated according to their difficulty level so as to guide the paddlers appropriately. These kayaks are built without a keel and are particularly easy to maneuver in white waters.
Sit on top kayaks
Sit on top kayaks are multipurpose kayaks which can be used for a variety of purposes like recreation, fishing and diving. The kayaks vary in size, colors, design and the materials used to manufacture the kayak some of the common materials being PVC, plastic, fiberglass and hypalon. The biggest selling point of this kind of kayaks is the comfort provided to the user in contrast to the sit in kayaks which has less flexibility.
They are narrow kayaks which are very light in weight and can be quite fast when used appropriately by experienced paddlers. They are manufactured for competitive kayaking but can also be used for rigorous fitness training. Due to the design of the sports kayaks they have good tracking qualities. They are fitted with foot controlled braces making them more agile and easy to maneuver.
They are made for a relaxed paddling session on calm shallow rivers, small lakes and on ocean shores with the comfort of the user being the main focus. They are short vessels that are easy to handle and in most cases are light for easy transportation. To enhance the comfort of the user, they are fitted with comfortable seats that have supportive backrests. Recreational kayaks are also used for fishing with some of them being specifically designed with holders and hooks for carrying fishing items.
They are mainly used on large water masses like oceans and are mostly good in tracking. For easy handling when faced by huge waves they come fitted with skegs with most of them having bulkheads and reduced hatches. They have a flat stern that resembles a surf board. They are also designed with a fin. They usually have a large storage space to allow the kayaker to carry supplies.