Around the globe, sea kayak is used by marine travelers for sailing for short period of time or small distances. They serve for the purpose of supplying water, food and other necessary items. As a sea kayak is a small paddler boat, only two or sometimes three paddlers can fit on it. Today, sea kayaking is also known as ocean kayaking and is enjoyed by many, as sea kayak adventures sport, as well as for marine purposes.
There is an evidence found by archaeologists that kayaks are at least 4000 years old. The ancient name of sea kayak originally came from Aleut name called 'Iqyak'. Originally, Eskimos designed kayak and used it for hunting seals and walrus. Initially, sea kayaks were found in areas like northern Canada, Alaska, and southwest Greenland.
In ancient times, kayaks were built from wooden frame and sinew or baleen were used to tie. Kayak was covered with skin of living animals like sea lion or seals. In the 1950s, Klepper kayak made from wooden and fabric material on wooden frames were extensively used, but later boats made from fiberglass were introduced in 1984 called Rotomolded plastic kayaks.
Sea kayaks are used in many ways. Earlier sea kayaks were used for hunting purpose, but today it is usually used in sports. Sea kayaking is used by many for recreational purpose by taking a relaxing journey on rivers and lakes and river rafting.
Most importantly many use sea kayaks as a sport with high waters and also for fishing. In resort areas, kayaking tours are organized as a tourist attraction to entertain the visitors; and specialized guide directs the visitors to enjoy kayaking on the sea. Some use sea fishing kayak for boat tours also.
Designs and Types
Modern days sea kayaks are built in wide ranges of materials, size, and designs to cater the needs of different users. The usual length of kayak is between 12 feet and 24 feet and its width differs from 18 inches to 32 inches; for a maximum of two or three paddlers.
In order to get stiffness in sea kayak, they are made from fiberglass, carbon kevlar, or rotomolded polyethylene material. Also, kayaks are built from other materials like foam core, carbon fibers, and wooden plywood. Even kayaks build from wood or aluminum frames covered with dacron, canvas, and sponsors are available. Sea Kayaks are made in two different designs namely Folding kayaks and Rigid kayaks.
These kayaks are built in a traditional way, that is, its design is same to skin-on-frame kayaks, where the seal skin is covered for frame. These kayaks are used by native people. In modern days folding kayaks, frame of aluminum, and synthetic waterproof fabrics are used and these can be disassembled and carried for journey.
These kayaks are same in design as folded kayak but the materials used are stronger. Usually fiberglass, carbon fibers and rotomolded plastic materials are used where an internal frame is not required. These days, for surfing against the waves and recreational purposes, different kayaks like sit-on-top kayak that does not have closed-in seats and surf ski, that is narrow and longer in size, are built.
Largely the performance of the sea kayaks ranks upon the different ranges of hull designs in which they are available. Sea kayaks come in different lengths where the smaller size boats are better in changing position as compared to boats in longer size, because they move faster and straight. Also, the constancy as well as speed and power to take to an edge depends on the beam width of sea kayak.
Sea kayak gets guiding gear in the form of rudders or skegs, where rudders are retractile for landings on beach. The best models of sea kayaks use skegs that have straight blades that fall from a well in the bottom of the boat. While there are strong winds approaching in the water from opposite direction, both rudders and skegs mainly help in smooth paddling through the water.
Sea kayaking trips are a fulfilling experience in the vast ocean all by yourself and are an adventurous experience for lifetime. But be sure to take required precautions for your safety.