Sea kayak

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Sea Kayak Origins and Evolution:
– Sea kayaks originated from native boats in Alaska, northern Canada, and Southwest Greenland.
– Inuit hunters developed seagoing craft for hunting seals and walrus.
– Ancient Aleut kayaks were made from a wooden frame covered with sea mammal hides.
– Kayaks have been in use for at least 4000 years.
– Fiberglass boats were introduced in the 1950s, changing the market dominated by wooden and fabric kayaks.

Sea Kayak Design and Construction:
– Modern sea kayaks come in various materials, designs, and sizes.
– Primary types are rigid kayaks and folding kayaks, with recent innovations like recreational, sit-on-top, and inflatable kayaks.
– Materials include fiberglass, polyethylene, carbon-kevlar, wood, and aluminum frames with fabric covers.
– Design elements like bow, stern, and deck variations impact performance, buoyancy, and cargo capacity.
– Dimensions range from 3.7 to 7.3m in length, with widths varying from 46 to 81cm.

Sea Kayak Safety and Equipment:
– Safety in sea kayaking primarily relies on the paddler’s skills.
– Bracing techniques are crucial for maintaining an upright position.
– Safety equipment like paddle floats and extensive gear is essential for self-rescue and emergencies.
– Assistance is recommended for recovery after capsizing.
– Carrying proper safety equipment is a standard practice for sea kayakers.

Forms and Applications of Sea Kayaking:
– Sea kayaking encompasses various forms like kayak sailing, expedition trips, surf kayaking, and sea fishing.
– Kayak sailing increases offshore range and is popular among recreational and adventure kayakers.
– Expedition trips range from weekend camping to unsupported journeys lasting weeks.
– Surf kayaking requires a mix of surfing and kayaking skills and is a popular sport within the sea kayaking community.
– Sea fishing from kayaks has gained popularity, with purpose-built designs and accessories to enhance the experience.

Notable Sea Kayak Expeditions:
– Pioneering expeditions include early trans-Atlantic journeys by Inuit paddlers and significant crossings like Franz Romer’s solo Atlantic Ocean crossing in 1928.
– Notable expeditions in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s showcase achievements like circumnavigations, solo crossings, and challenging voyages.
– Key figures like Derek Hutchinson, Jon Turk, and Freya Hoffmeister have contributed to the history of sea kayaking through their remarkable expeditions.
– These expeditions have pushed the boundaries of sea kayaking, demonstrating the capabilities of modern sea kayaks and the skills of experienced paddlers.

Sea kayak (Wikipedia)

A sea kayak or touring kayak is a kayak used for the sport of paddling on open waters of lakes, bays, and oceans. Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck and the ability to incorporate a spray deck. They trade off the manoeuvrability of whitewater kayaks for higher cruising speed, cargo capacity, ease of straight-line paddling (tracking), and comfort for long journeys.

A modern sea kayak off west Wales
A sea kayak on Valdes Island, British Columbia, Canada

Sea kayaks are used around the world for marine (sea) journeys from a few hours to many weeks, and can accommodate one to three paddlers along with their camping gear, food, water, and other supplies. Solo sea kayaks are 3.0–5.5 m (10–18 ft) long, while tandem craft can be up to 8 m (26 ft) long; beam widths range from 53 cm (21 in) to 91 cm (36 in).

The term "sea kayak" may have originated with the 1981 book Sea Kayaking by John Dowd, who said, "It wasn't called sea kayaking until my book came out; it was called kayak touring or sea canoeing or canoe touring, blue-water paddling, coastal paddling, all those things".

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