A Kayak is a type of self propelled boat that is usually powered by a seated passenger using a double bladed paddle. There is some evidence that kayaks were used as far back as 4000 years ago. They were first built by Eskimos for use in fishing and hunting. The name kayak actually means "man-boat" or "hunting boat." It generally has a covered cockpit and includes a waterproof splash shield around the passenger. This closed cockpit keeps water from entering, and a kayak that overturns can be righted without water getting inside.

Today, there are many types of kayaks and they are designed for different purposes. Racing kayaks are very thin and need to move rapidly forward to have any stability. White water kayaks are very watertight and also extremely maneuverable for steering through rapids. The Ocean kayak tends to be designed for straight ahead motion and typically has higher sides and a more uplifted bow to deal with waves.

The Date Activity

Some kayaks are designed for two passengers. They could have two separate cockpits or one large enough for both passengers to sit with room to paddle. This is a high energy activity, but can also be an exciting type of date activity. It is perfect for couples who are looking for something physical and who enjoy the outdoors. Kayaks share much in common with canoes, but are generally lighter and handle better in rapids.

Sea kayaking has become very popular as well. Florida kayaking is generally sea kayaking, although there are inland waterways there also. California kayaking is also a combination of sea and river opportunities. A certain amount of care should be exercised in selecting the kayaking location. Most rivers have guides that rate the rapids on a difficulty scale, and local guides and lifeguards can supply information on sea hazards. Despite the fact that the kayak is stable, and easily righted if it does tip, proper floatation devices are a must.

On Your Own / With Friends

Kayaking clubs are popular in many larger cities. They offer group outings and sponsor races and other type of competitions for the kayak fan. Although a kayak can seem to be a very safe type of watercraft especially on calmer water, it is still a water activity. There is really no type of water activity that is completely safe when you are all alone. The presence of even one other person can be the difference between life and death in an emergency. So, find another outlet for your solo urges, and find a friend, a date, or a group to enjoy kayaking.

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