What is kayaking?
Kayaking is one of the fastest growing outdoor adventure sports; it is extremely diverse in that it appeals to individuals with a wide range of abilities and interests. The process of Kayaking involves moving a kayak across challenging waters that can vary due to weather conditions and environmental elements.
Kayaks are a versatile vessel that can vary in terms of size and weight; some Kayaks are more suited to certain journeys than others. There are six main parts to a kayak, these are:
• Stern – this is the rear of the boat
• Bow – this is the front of the boat
• Chine – this is the curve located between the bottom and the sides of a kayak
• Hull – this is the bottom of the kayak
• Rocker – the amount of curve from bow to stern that sits above the waterline
• Flare – angle of the sides, outward from the hull
Sea Kayaks are long, robust and have vast amount of interior and exterior cargo space. They feature flat hulls, solid chines and are wide, providing them with a real sense of flare. This makes them more complicated to maneuver, but very fast on a straight line. Sea kayaks can also glide a greater distance per stroke, making them more efficient than shorter, sportier kayaks.
White water kayaks
White water kayaks are significantly shorter and a little less stable but are much easier to maneuver. They are also more robust and designed to stand up to the harsh treatment and beatings that white water rapids can offer. Usually around 8 to 9 feet in length with rounded hulls; they have minimal flare and softer chines. This makes them great for performing rolls and tricks because less of the kayak touches the water.
These aren’t too different from the white water kayaks. One key difference is the rocker. Surf kayaks only have a rocker on the bow side; the stern is completely flat, similar to a surfboard. A lot of surf kayaks also feature fins like a surfboard.
What are the benefits of kayaking?
Improves physical health & well being
Kayaking is a very low impact activity that can improve your strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness. The great thing about this activity is that it is done in the water, so any resistance from the water doesn’t cause strain on your muscles like lifting weights and other forms of exercises do. Some of the many health benefits of kayaking include:
• Improved cardiovascular fitness levels.
• An increase in muscle strength, especially in the shoulders, back, chest and arms.
• An increase in leg and torso strength due to the fact that the strength needed to power a kayak comes primarily from applying pressure with your legs and rotating the torso.
• A lowered risk of wear and tear on muscle tissues and joints, as paddling is a low impact activity.
• Kayaking can be very therapeutic and meditative, a great way to reduce stress levels.
• An enjoyable activity that promotes weight loss.