Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog



Kayaking is one of the most exciting, enjoyable of outdoor sports. Each year, millions of people worldwide set out for a kayaking adventure.

But even the most enthusiastic kayaking enthusiast may not know these fun and interesting kayaking facts.

Kayaking Oahu — How It Got Its Name

The term “kayak” actually comes from the First Nation people’s word for “hunter’s boat”. The first kayaks were believed to have been used by the First Nation’s people in what is now northern Canada and the state of Alaska.

The Inuit, Yup’ik, and Aleut used kayaks for hunting orcas, seals, and other sea animals, which they used for fuel, food, and clothing.

The original kayaks were made of seal or other animal skins stretched over whalebone or wood frames. Today’s kayaks use the same design, although plastics and vinyl have replaced animal skins.

Kayaking Oahu — Olympic Sport

Did you know that kayaking has been an Olympic sport for nearly 100 years? The first Olympic kayaking competitions were held during the Summer Games of 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Fun Fact: The country with the most Olympic medals for kayaking is Hungary.

Kayaks also have been used during wartime. US Marines, British OSS officers, and Canadian commandos used two-man kayaks known as “kleppers” while performing secret missions during World War II.

Kayaking Oahu — Record-Setting Kayaks

The world record for the most kayaks to ever “raft up” together is was set in 2011 in New York harbor, when 1,902 kayaks were lashed together.

The record for the tallest kayak drop was set in 2009 by US extreme sports kayaker Tyler Bradt, who intentionally fell 189 feet over Palouse Falls, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

And the first person to ever kayak across the Atlantic Ocean was Franz Romer, a World War I veteran, who made the trip from Lisbon, Portugal, to Puerto Rico, in 1928 at the age of 29.