Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A kayak is a small human-powered boat that traditionally has a covered deck, and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler who strokes a double-bladed paddle. The cockpit is covered by a spraydeck (skirt) that keeps the inside of the boat (and the paddler's lower body) dry. The spraydeck or similar waterproof covering attaches securely to the edges of the cockpit, preventing the entry of water from waves or spray, and making it possible, in some boats, to roll the kayak, capsizing and righting the boat without it filling with water or ejecting the passenger. Some modern kayaks eliminate cockpits, seating the paddler(s) on top of the boat or replace paddles with other propulsion methods.
Man sitting with legs covered in boat that tapers to a point at each end holding long, pointed, wooden pole
Inuit seal hunter in a kayak, armed with a harpoon

The kayak was invented and first used by the native Ainu, Aleut and Eskimo hunters in sub-Arctic regions of northeastern Asia, North America and Greenland. In some parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom, kayaks are referred to as canoes and vice versa. Inuit/Eskimo Kayaks are a type of a generic class of boat of Canoe Shape. Continental European and British canoeing clubs and associations of the 19th Century used craft similar to kayaks, but referred to them as canoes. This explains the naming of the International and National Governing bodies of the sport of Canoeing.


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