What is Kayaking?

What is Kayaking

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Kayaking is an outdoor sport that is the process of moving the kayak across a body of water. Kayaking is notable different from canoeing by:

  • The sitting position of the person paddling

  • The number of the blades featured on a paddle

Kayaks are low to the water, similar to canoes, yet the paddler will sit forward, with their legs facing front, and they will use a double bladed paddle to move and direct the kayak.

Kayaking can be done by anyone of any age and there are several different makes and models of kayaks available for use. Kayaks will differ depending on the intended use of the paddler. 

The different types of kayaks include:

  • Fishing

  • Sea

  • Tandem

  • Sport/Racing

  • Recreational

  • Inflatable

  • Sit-on-top

Not only are there several different types of kayaks, there are also different materials used when a kayak is made. The different materials provide specific functions and vary in cost, durability, and ease of use. 

Kayaks are traditionally made from the following materials:

  • Metal

  • Fiberglass

  • Plastic

  • Wood

  • Fabrics

  • Inflatable Fabrics

  • Carbon Fiber

Some people prefer durable and easy to maneuver kayaks. Others prefer to have a super light-weight kayak for speed or even racing. No matter which route you want to go, just ensure your kayak is durable enough for your needs or goals.

Due to the versatile materials and types of kayaks, kayaking can be done on nearly any body of water or conditions. 

Most commonly kayakers will take their kayak out on:

  • Rivers

  • Lakes

  • Creeks

  • Inlets

  • Oceans



Kayaking is not difficult to learn or to do. All you need to start off is a kayak suited to your needs and skill level and a paddle. Choose a body of water that will suit your needs and is nearby. Traveling with your kayak can be done by using racks, but if you have a large truck or an inflatable kayak you can travel with it just about anywhere.

Once you have arrived at your destination, you will need to launch the boat into the water. (Make sure you have all your gear and any water proof bags for more delicate items). After you have launched, you can begin paddling. In order to properly paddle, you will need to learn how to keep the kayak straight, otherwise you will just be spinning in circles, going nowhere.

To keep the kayak on track and in control, it is best to follow instructions from an experienced kayaker. (You could always use trial and error on your own, but you will save time and frustration if you learn from a professional). Take a look at the video below to find out exactly what to do to keep your kayak straight.






If you are just starting out, choose a body of water that is calm and flat, such as a pond, lake, or small stream. Kayaks are easier to manage when they are used on flat, calm waters and the learning curve for handling a kayak will be much smaller. After you have had a few times to practice, you can explore other options. Just remember that every body of water is different and your kayak might not be suited for such. Refer to your user’s manual or make and model number to find out exactly what your kayak is capable of.

As you gain experience with time and practice, your kayaking skills will soon be at high levels. You might find that you have outgrown your current kayak or you want something that is lighter or easier to use. Upgrading your kayak or your gear is important to do as you advance as a kayaker. This will enable you to stay challenged as a kayaker as well as be able to conquer more varieties of waters or even enter a race.

Overall, kayaking is an outdoor water sport that is becoming a more popular hobby with each passing season. Kayaking is not only great for exercise, but it is a great way to experience parts of the world that you might not have been able to see without a kayak. Just remember to find a kayak that is suitable for your needs and interests and take some time to practice before heading out on more advanced or even dangerous bodies of water.

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