The durable plastic boats of the 1980’s are still around today and some hold monetary value for the pure kayak enthusiast.
Some of them are bought for beginner kayakers while others are proudly displayed in kayaking outfitter stores.
With plastic kayaks, the kayakers began to explore and push their limits on the water even more.
Attacking the ocean wave, whitewater rivers and even waterfalls, kayaking became an extreme sports shortly after the plastic molded and durable kayaks were created.
In 1936 Kayaking became an olympic sport and by the time the Sydney Olympics rolled around (Summer of 2000) there were over 10 events in the Kayak and Canoe Events with 8 events for men and three events for women.
Names like Scott Strausbaugh and Joe Jacobi were prominent in 1992 due to their Double Canoe Slalom gold medal and have yet to make as big of an impression since Germany and Hungary picked up their games in 2000!
You don’t have to be an olympian to enjoy the sport of kayaking and today there are so many different types of kayaks out there that your options to find the most comfortable kayak to learn in are not limited.
There are some kayaks that are made that are nearly impossible to tip.
Kayaking is a great family recreation sport and it is the reason I have held on to my two touring kayaks after I had my children. I sold my white water boats but I could not part with kayaking altogether.
Children at any age can learn to kayak as long as they are properly supervised and I highly recommend they can swim.
Although you do not need to know how to swim if you have a life vest, but you should know how to swim with a life vest.
I went on a trek once with a girl who could not swim. It was on a white water river and I remember wondering why the guide was not apprehensive about allowing her to go. If he was, he didn’t show it…
Sure enough, she feel out of the boat on one of the largest and most dangerous rapids on the Gully and she panicked. Although she was floating, this girl thrashed and threw herself into such a panic that it might have been better if she bonked her head or passed out because getting her back to the boat was a nightmare.
Do NOT go on a Class 3 and 4 whitewater river if you are clueless about swimming with or without a lifevest. Please!
The one thing that might throw someone off of kayaking is the expense. A good boat will cost you at least a grand up front if it is new or a couple hundred bucks used. A lot of kayaks tend to hold a significant portion of their value too so even used kayaks may be costly.
This should not be a deterrent because once you own a kayak, you never really have to buy anything else.
All you basically need is this:
2. Life vest
3. Helmet (if you are doing more adventurous kayaking)
There are lots of other things you can accessorize with for your kayak but these are the absolute basics.
I’ll talk about the types of kayaks later.
One of the coolest things about kayaking is that once you pay for it, you are good to go on recreation for years and years to come. There are no lift tickets to buy or entry passes (sometimes there might be depending on the waterway) and you can essentially paddle anywhere in the world.