A kayak is usually a narrow, inflatable boat that is generally propelled either by a single-bladed or double-blade paddle. The word kayak comes from the Greenlandic term qajq ( IPA: [qahj] ). In ancient times, these boats were outfitted with oars to enable them to paddle successfully in even calm waters. In modern kayaking, a kayak has both a single or double blade paddle and a rudder.
Modern kayaks are used for many activities such as fishing, rafting, swimming, snorkeling and surfing. Kayaks have also been introduced into the Olympic Games and used as an alternative to bridges and canopies. In addition, kayaks are widely used as sailing vessels and in some parts of the world, they form part of inland water sports such as kayaking. Kayaks have also been used on major rivers in the Asian continent, in an attempt to imitate the experience of sailing across a river in calm waters.
Traditionally, kayaks had one large paddle with two paddles attached. As kayaks developed with different designs and different types of hull construction, these kayaks became known as sit-on-top kayaks (or SPKs), sit-on-side kayaks (or SPSs), stand-up paddle boats (SPBoats) or self-propelled kayaks (SPKPs). Today, SPGs and SPSs are generally smaller than traditional kayaks. Kayaks with two hulls are known as expedition kayaks and may carry up to five people. Most kayaks have a gearbox, although some kayaks have additional equipment such as live bait tanks or ice chests.
Today, kayak technology is changing at a rapid pace. New kayak models are designed with increased functionality in mind, including open cockpit designs that allow more head room and storage space below the kayak body. There are also hull shapes that mimic the general shape of sit-on top or sit-on-side kayaks, and those that are flat bottomed to reduce the visibility of the driver when entering or leaving the kayak. Some kayaks are designed with provision for rudder systems. Whatever the model, most kayaks are fastened to the shore with tie-down straps that prevent movement when the kayak is in motion.
Kayaks can be used for many recreational activities, but the most popular among them are river kayaks for fishing and whitewater kayaking for thrill-seekers. All types of kayak can be used for canoeing, although most people prefer river kayaks for this sport. Kayaks are also used for parasailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking. Since kayaks have good maneuverability, they can be used on most lakes, rivers and even oceans.
Today’s kayak manufacturers have seen the market for kayak accessories growing so much that there are now a lot of accessories available in different price ranges. Some of these accessories include kayak totes, kayak furniture and kayak lighting. Most kayak accessories are made from high-quality materials that are durable and easy to maintain. kayak manufacturers continue to add features to their kayaks year after year in an effort to accommodate ever-growing demand and provide users with a wide range of choices. With kayaks becoming more popular all over the world, there is no doubt that kayak manufacturing companies will continue to expand and make room for ever more options.