Kayaks are a great type of boat to own if you enjoy being on the water. Many kayaks can be rented or purchased and are quite affordable. A kayak is usually a small, flat watercraft that is usually propelled primarily by a single, double-sided paddle. The word kayak comes from the Greenlandic term kayak, which means “to row.”
There are a number of different types of kayaks to choose from including freestanding models, which can be self-propelled, two kayaks that are towed by another vessel such as a fishing kayak. Some kayaks have outriggers that allow them to be steered while in the water, while others do not. A traditional kayak is generally a straight hulled one with an open cockpit and a set of paddle paddles on each paddle that enable the user to propel the kayak forward or stop it from moving. Some indigenous people used kayaks to transport their produce to market and to fish in the seas, although most modern kayaks are basically the same as those used on the open waters of the North Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean.
The original kayak was a narrow boat with no rudder and no paddle, although the kayaks of today may have a variety of additional features such as a rudder or a jib-style center console along with a variety of footrests, oars and oarlocks. Kayaks are usually constructed of wood or plastic and they are made in different sizes with some meant for less heavy use than others. Smaller kayaks are often used for recreation or touring while larger ones, such as Alaskan Kingfish kayaks, are meant to travel long distances. They can range in length from thirty to ninety feet and can weigh anywhere from five to nine tons. Many kayaks today come with a variety of accessories such as waterproof liners, cargo racks and even hydraulic trim kits that raise or lower the kayak as it is steered by the paddler. Many kayaks also feature a rudder that is located behind the cockpit in front of the paddleboard.