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Trip and Gear Advice from Guide4Home

Kayaks, Family Leisure

Once the preserve of Inuit and Aleut hunters, kayaks have traversed the world and developed in a way that few could have predicted even fifty years ago. From treacherous descents of class V rapids to hazardous crossings of the Atlantic, the versatility of the humble kayak has astounded the world time and time again. These little self propelled crafts have taken on the biggest seas and white waters of the world and lived to tell the tale.

Kayaks are some of the most flexible and affordable boats around and can be adapted for almost any water conditions. In the last few decades these adaptations and design developments have transformed kayaking and kayak design, making the sport more accessible to recreational boaters and whitewater challenges less dangerous for the adrenaline junkies.

Kayak design today

Today’s kayaks vary considerably in shape and size - from simple recreational kayaks made for good stability and tracking, to sit on top fishing and diving kayaks with space for scuba tanks and bait buckets, specially adapted touring kayaks, super slim-lined racing kayaks, and the short stubby hulls of today’s whitewater craft.

The fastest growing sector of the kayaking market is whitewater paddling, new designs and technologies splintering this market niche into those who wish to run the rapids and those who wish to play in them. Specialized playboats with concave bows and sterns allow paddlers to do controlled vertical cartwheels in the roughest of rapids while slalom boats negotiate the pits and pools in double time.

But kayaking isn’t all about the adrenaline rush. Long distance touring and river running brings paddlers into remote areas that motor boats could never reach, the swift, silent strokes allowing unequalled wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities. Fishermen have jumped at the possibility of getting away from the shore without the expense of buying a motor boat and sales of sit on top fishing kayaks have soared.

Getting started in kayaking

The relative affordability of kayaking gear is one of its great advantages. You can get into the sport cheaply and move on up to more expensive gear if you get smitten by the kayaking bug. International trips are one of the highlights of kayaking with endless opportunities for paddling silently by breaching whales or massive glistening icebergs.

What is there not to like? Kayaking offers a no impact way to stay fit, an affordable, eco-friendly form of boating and the opportunity to see nature at her own speed. Most kayakers have only one regret – that they didn’t get into the sport sooner. What are you waiting for?





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