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Encyclopedia > Sea kayaking

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A Sea Kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on the open waters of the ocean. Typically a seaworthy small boat with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spraydeck. The sport of sea kayaking combines much of the appeal of hill-walking with a maritime aspect, few access issues and an almost infinite area to enjoy. For the Dutch rock band of the same name see Kayak (band) Two whitewater kayakers running the Numbers section of the Arkansas River. ... For activities involving paddles, see canoeing. ... A spraydeck is a flexible cover for a boat, in particular for a kayak or a canoe. ...



A sea kayak constructed from plywood, epoxy and fibreglass
A sea kayak constructed from plywood, epoxy and fibreglass

Modern sea kayaks come in a bewildering array of materials and designs. Along with the common fiberglass, rotomoulded polyethylene and kevlar, there are more exotic materials, such as carbon fiber and Royalex, and hand-built systems, such as skin on frame (canvas, dacron or other fabric over a lattice-like framework) and "stressed skin" plywood. Designs are divided into categories based on the shape from bow to stern and on the shape of the hull in cross-section. Overall shapes are:

  • Symmetrical: the widest part of the boat is exactly halfway between bow and stern.
  • Fish form: the widest part is forward of the midpoint.
  • Swede form: the widest part is aft (in back) of the midpoint.

Hull shapes are categorized as:

  • Chine: hard chine, medium chine, soft chine
  • Flat bottom
  • Semi-round bottom or, even, round bottom.
  • Shallow V-bottom
  • Combinations of the above.


Sea-kayak paddles, and the associated paddling styles, fall into two basic classifications: The NOUN paddle is a tool, originally a boat propulsion implement for mixing or pushing against liquids, typically in order to propel a boat. ...

  • European: two roughly spoon-shaped blades at either end of a cylindrical shaft. This paddle style was developed for fast acceleration and sudden maneuvering in Whitewater kayaking, and then back-ported to sea-kayaking. Euro paddles can be made of aluminum, plastic or even wood, but the best are usually formed of more expensive materials like carbon-fiber for lightness. Often the two blades are feathered, or set at an angle relative to each other (both for ergonomic efficiency, and so that as one blade moves backwards through the water, the opposite blade moving forward through the air presents its edge, rather than its face).
A European style kayak paddle, (a) top view, (b) axial view
A European style kayak paddle, (a) top view, (b) axial view
  • Greenland: a long, narrow, flattened wooden plank with a cylindrical grip only in the center, something like two elongated cricket bats joined at the base of their handles. This is the traditional paddle style of Inuit kayak hunters, originally owing mainly to constraints of their materials (primarily driftwood). Greenland paddle blades are usually not feathered. Greenland paddling technique involves more movement of the paddle in the paddler's hands, and a much larger variety of techniques for righting a capsized kayak using combinations of body and paddle movements, several of which rely on the added buoyancy of the wooden paddle. Some Greenland paddling techniques are also intimately linked with Greeland kayak designs and other elements of Greenland-style equipment and conditions, but Greenland-style paddles are also sometimes used by paddlers in otherwise modern kayaks.
A Greenland style kayak paddle
A Greenland style kayak paddle

Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling a kayak on a moving body of water, typically a river. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A cricket bat is used by the batsmen in the sport of cricket. ...


Sea Kayaking at Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Australia
Sea Kayaking at Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Australia

Modern sea kayaks are designed to carry large amounts of equipment and unsupported expeditions of two weeks or more are conducted in hostile environments such as the arctic. In November 2005 the first kayak circumnavigation of South Georgia in the Southern Atlantic was completed in 18 days, a distance of 600Km. Expedition kayaks are designed to handle best whilst loaded and it may be necessary to ballast a boat on shorter trips. It is considered best practice to paddle with at least one other person, normally two, although very experienced paddlers do attempt open water crossings unaccompanied. Weekend trips with overnight camping is popular amongst recreational kayakers and many people combine kayaking with watching wildlife. There is a strong culture of self-sufficiency amongst sea kayakers and extensive safety equipment such as towing lines, repair kits and survival gear is routinely carried.

See Also

  Results from FactBites:
Sea kayak at AllExperts (1430 words)
Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spraydeck.
The word "kayak" comes from a native word meaning "hunter's boat", and native Aleuts and Inuit used them to hunt on inland lakes, rivers and the sea, and were made of seal skins and frames from collected driftwood, as the areas where kayaks originated are treeless.
The width of a kayak impacts the cargo capacity, the maximum size of the cockpit (and thus the size of the paddler in that cockpit), and (to a degree that depends on the design of the hull) the stability.
Sea Kayaking in Tobago with Tobago Sea Kayak Experience (416 words)
Sea Kayaking in Tobago is fast catching on as the hottest way for young and old alike to experience the natural beauty of Tobago's shorelines.
Tobago Sea Kayak Experience is located on Man O War Bay in Charlotteville, one of the most beautiful areas of the island, rich in natural history.
Sea Kayaking in Tobago is one of the best ways to observe nature up close and personal.
  More results at FactBites »



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