Ocean Kayaking has long been a part of the outdoor experience. Today’s modern ocean kayaks can trace their origins to the native sea craft of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. For thousands of years Eskimo hunters used these small boats to hunt seals and walrus. Archeologists have discovered kayaks that dated to be four thousand years old. However, it was only until the 1950’s that the first commercial fiberglass kayaks were manufactured. In 1984, the first molded kayaks were made and have since dominated the industry.
Some famous kayakers include Franz Romer, who crossed the Atlantic in 1928. Oscar Speck was also famous for paddling for seven years from Germany to Australia in 1932-1939. In 1977, Frank Goodman was the first to circumnavigate Cape Horn. Recently, in 2001, Peter Bray crossed the Atlantic from Canada to Ireland.
Kayaks and personal watercraft vary greatly in their design depending upon their intended use and geographic origin. Shorter boats are generally more maneuverable and longer boats are usually less. However, longer boats are generally faster than shorter ones as they travel straighter. Kayaks generally include a hatch where items and gear can be stored and protected from the water.
There are also different paddle designs, like on the Sea Eagle 395PS Deluxe Package Kayaks. European paddles have two spoon-shaped blades at either end of a long cylindrical shaft. Greenland paddles have longer narrower blades which are rounded at the ends. Lastly, there are wing paddles which shaped like a wing and actually provide lift in the water when used properly.
There are three main materials that kayaks, like the Sea Eagle 14 foot sail catamaran, are made out of. They are made of fiberglass, plastic, and carbon-kevlar. However, Some performance kayaks are made out of carbon-fiber. Other, hand built kayaks are made out of plywood covered in fiberglass. Other types of kayaks include skin-on frame kayaks which are consist of a wood or aluminum frame over which canvas or Dacron is stretched.
There are four main forms of kayaking. First, there is kayak sailing for which a special sail has been developed to enhance the experience. Second, there are expedition trips for which special ocean kayaks have been developed that are designed to store large amounts of camping equipment & gear. Thirdly, there is surf kayaking which is a sort of cross between surfboarding and kayaking. Lastly, kayaks are used for sea fishing and are equipped with various fishing gear.
Kayaks and other camping equipment vary greatly in prices. For the weekend adventurer, an entry-level plastic kayak can cost as little as $250. However, more expensive fiberglass boats can cost up to $3000. Specially built competition and racing kayaks can cost even more. The price of a kayak really depends on its purpose.