Kayaking has been around for thousands of years since the Inuits (Eskimos) started to paddle in the waters with low, narrow vessels made of various materials. They used kayaks primarily for hunting and fishing. Nowadays though, kayaking is mostly a recreation and a sport. Are you or someone you know interested in getting started with Kayaking? Check out this great getting started with kayaking guide!
Kayaks were first used by the indigenous people, called the Inuits (Eskimos), who inhabited Alaska, Greenland, and northernmost parts of Russia.
These early kayaks were first constructed from various materials, chiefly driftwood, whale bones and seal skins.
Sea Quest Kayak Tours is a whale watching tour agency based in Harbor, Washington. It takes guests to a kayak tour in San Juan Islands in Washington to watch several varieties of whales — you’ll experience viewing orcas up close while kayaking in the middle of the sea!
Kayak tours are quite popular throughout the country. Many local tour operators are offering kayaking/canoeing expeditions to guests. Among the most popular places for kayaking and canoeing are Prince William Sound and Chugach National Forest in Alaska, San Juan Islands in Washington, Clearwater Canoe Trail in Lolo National Forest in Montana, and the Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada, among others.
Kayaking was officially made an Olympic sport in 1936 with the introduction of the singles and pairs 1,000 and 10,000 meters race.
Kayaks of today have become lighter but more durable and more versatile. They also come in many colors, sizes and models, leaving many choices for enthusiasts.
The “Nordkapp Kayak” was manufactured by a company called Valley Products during the 1950s. The company became known for developing and producing fiberglass kayaks, and the “Nordkapp Kayak” was designed to handle more cargo while still managing to remain tight and navigable.
Sea kayaks can also be used in lakes and bays apart from oceans. They must be seaworthy and able to be incorporated with a spray deck (a flexible cover which prevents water from entering into the kayak).
In 1905 a German named Hans Klepper invented a “foldboat,” which was the earliest known version of a foldable kayak. This altered the perception that kayak was only used for hunting, and that it could now also be used as a vessel for sports and recreation.
Modern kayaks are also designed after the ancient counterparts by the Eskimos — they should also be specifically designed according to the needs and preferences of every region. For instance, there are kayaks that are made for calm waters, and there are also sea kayaks which are generally made longer and faster. White water kayaks are also built differently to withstand the savage water currents. There are even kayaks made for children, too!