Inuit developed kayaking many years ago as a means of hunting. Now kayaking has become a part of the Olympics. Sea kayaking is a paddling sport on open water of ocean, lake, or bay. Sea kayaks are small boats whose deck is covered. They have the ability to incorporate a spray deck. Sea kayaks are used for marine journeys. One, two, or three paddlers can accommodate in it along with space for food, water, camping gear, and other things. Sea kayaking is also known as ocean kayaking.
Design Of Sea Kayaks
The latest sea kayaks are available in various sizes, designs, and material suiting to the needs of users. Modern kayaks have features of traditional kayaks, but rigid and folding kayaks are somewhat different.
Sit On Top Kayak: these boats do not have an enclosed cockpit but have features of other sea kayaks.
Recreational Kayaks: these boats have large cockpits and wide beams.
Surf Skis: these boats are long and narrow and are used in breaking waves.
Inflatable kayaks: these boats have rigid frame with inflatable sponsons.
Size Of Sea Kayak
The size of sea kayak varies between 12 and 24 feet long. The width of kayaks ranges between 18 and 28 inches. Some boats, like surf skis, may be narrower. The kayak length affects both the cargo capacity and the tracking ability of the kayak. Tracking ability is the ability with which the kayak travels in a straight line. It is easy to paddle a long kayak but difficult to turn it. The kayak width affects the capacity of cargo (for both paddlers and gears), the maximum cockpit size, and the stability (which, to a certain degree, depends on the hull design).
Hardshell kayaks are now made from polyethylene, fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon fiber, royalex (exotic materials), and plywood (hand-made system). Skin kayaks are made from wood or aluminum frames covered with Dacron, canvas, or other fabrics, along with inflatable tubes known as sponsons.
Bow, Stern And Deck
There are several design approaches for the bow, deck, and stern of a kayak. Kayaks with upturned bows aim to achieve better wave shedding ability and better wave performance. Others achieve this through the bow’s increased buoyancy. Unobstructed-stern-deck kayaks ease types of self-rescue. A sea kayak has one or more hatches to easily access the internal storage space of the kayak. Kayak decks have attachment points for deck lines as an aid in self-rescue.
Apart from this, sea kayaks may have a rudder or a skeg, a form of tracking aid and steering gear. Usually, rudders are attached at the stern and operated through wires. Skegs are straight blades that are used for straight paddling against wind.