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a group of palm trees next to a body of water


Kayaking may be new to you, but it’s actually about 4,000 years old. The technique was first developed by the Inuit in North America who used kayaks made from animal skins over a whalebone frame to hunt on inland lands.

Theses first kayakers created buoyancy by stuffing seal bladders filled with air into the fore and aft sections of their kayaks.

Kayaking Today

Today’s kayaks are made from materials that are lighter than water — including fiberglass, wood, rotomolded plastic, or Kevlar. They can be used safely in any type of water environment — such as lakes, whitewater rivers, and even oceans — without fear of sinking.

Specialized kayaks are made for specific uses. For example, sea kayaks usually have longer bodies so the kayaker can cover long distances more easily while kayaks for whitewater rafting are made of high-impact plastic that can stand up to the abuse they will take when bouncing off rocks.

Kayaking for Beginners

The most common type of kayak used by beginners on sit-on-top models. That’s because they are the most stable, easiest to get in and out of, and are used for light recreational paddling and fishing.

These beginner kayaks are usually made from rotomolded plastic or fiberglass, both of which are lightweight, low-maintenance materials. Sit-on-top kayaks also have wider beams, which make them more stable so beginners find it easier to keep upright.

Due to their increased width, these types of kayaks require slightly longer paddles than other types of vessels.

Safety Equipment

Kayaking is actually one of the safest of all water sports. Still, if you are concerned about safety you should always wear a personal floatation device — also known as a life vest– whenever you are on the water.

To stay dry, many kayakers use sprayskirts that cover the opening to the cockpit. This protects the lower body and belongings in the kayak’s cabin from getting wet.