A kayak is a small boat that is driven by manpower. It typically has a covered deck, and a cockpit covered by a spraydeck. It is propelled by a double-bladed paddle by a sitting paddler. The kayak was used by the native Ainu, Inuit, Aleut and Eskimo hunters in sub-Arctic regions of northeastern Asia, North America and Greenland. Modern kayaks come in a wide variety of designs and materials for specialized purposes.
Kayaks typically are built for one, two or occasionally three paddlers who sit facing forward in one or more cockpits below the deck of the boat. The spray skirt or similar waterproof garment attaches securely to the edges of the cockpit, so that no water from waves or spray may enter the boat. Therefore, in most styles the boat can roll upright again without it filling with water or ejecting the paddler.
Kayaks differ distinctly in design and history from canoes, which are craft propelled by single-bladed paddles by a kneeling paddler, although some modern canoes may be difficult for a non-expert to distinguish from a kayak. Kayaks are often called canoes in Great Britain and Ireland.
Other websites[change | change source]
- USA Canoe and Kayak The National Governing Body of Kayaking in the USA
- WaveTalk.com Archived 2007-01-02 at the Wayback Machine A collection of articles about traditional and modern kayak design, ergonomics and biomechanics of kayaking and various kayak applications.
- Kayak design Archived 2006-12-05 at the Wayback Machine A series of articles about kayak and paddle design.
- The Kayaking Journal
- Qajaq USA, A non-profit committed to promoting Greenland style kayaking
- British Canoe Union The National Governing Body of Kayaking in the UK
- Wikipaddle Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine - kayak and canoe wiki - focus is on places to paddle.
- KayakWiki Archived 2006-12-14 at the Wayback Machine - A wiki focused primarily on kayak techniques and construction
- International Human Powered Vehicle Association website - information on peddle kayaks