A little about Kayaking

Because I love kayaking I thought I would throw in some Kayaking information in this site and not just stick to 100% backpacking stuffs.

I started my outdoor adventure career with backpacking so I certainly love it, but when you can throw a kayak in the water and in essence “backpack” and boat, I believe it is the best of both worlds.

So let’s start with the basics and I will just continue to make more Kayaking posts on the days that I feel I want to talk about this awesome sport.

A lot of people who look at kayakers from the shore of a whitewater river or even in the ocean think they are seeing something amazing.

People have the notion that kayaking is hard.

If you watch their faces as kayakers go by they are amazed at one of my most favorite things to do with is the eskimo roll.

It’s one of the fears of a beginner kayaker. What do you do if you flip upside down? Won’t you drown?

You can always pop out of your kayak but the better way is to learn to roll a kayak.

I have taught so many people how to roll in my kayaking years that I can safely say that anyone can learn to roll and just like riding a bike, it does take practice.

The funny thing is that the eskimo roll can be learned in a night session by some kayakers while it might take two or three sessions for someone else to learn it.

I have literally taught someone in 30 minutes and they went on from that lesson to practice perfecting the roll which is important especially if you decide to venture into the world of whitewater.

You need to have a strong roll that is almost second nature to stay calm in some whitewater situations.

Kayaking goes way back to the early 1900’s as a sport in of itself. Prior to that native americans had been using kayaks for centuries.

It was in 1905 that a German student (Alfred Heurich) created a folding kayak out of bamboo and sailing cloth to paddle the Isar River which is near Munich Germany.

Shortly after that stint, in 1907, a man named Johann Klepper (another German) worked with Heurich and perfected a design that he later began to produce to sell in retail. That company that was formed continues to make folding kayaks to this day! Crazy huh?

Kayaks were known (and in some respects are still known) as the craft of an adventurer. Going on adventures across big water and to North Pole expeditions, kayakers publicized the kayak in a way that made others believe that only the most adventurous people used them.

Then, in the 1930’s the kayak fell into the sporting range and they began to be commercially manufactured for sport.
These were all still folding kayaks.

In the 1950’s the rigid form of the Kayak came along (the one you are probably familiar with) and took over.

The very first kayaks were of lightweight fiberglass (these among the most expensive today but not practical for some types of kayaking) and by the 1980’s most kayaks were being made of plastics that were molded into all sorts of streamlined shapes and sizes.

…to be continued….

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