The word kayak means "hunter's boat" but today, kayaks are mainly used for recreation and sport. As the environments and uses of kayaks are vastly different around the world, paddlers have many options to consider when selecting a kayak. To choose the right kayak for you, you must first know how you want to use the kayak and where you want to use the kayak. If you are renting from paddleOKI, then we have already matched our kayaks to the surroundings of Oak Island, NC. This means our kayaks are perfect for the ocean, waterway or navigating the creeks and marshes. Whether you want to catch a wave on a Ocean Kayak or paddle through the marsh in a Sit-In Kayak, paddleOKI has the right kayak for you.
History of Kayaking
The Inuit and Aleut tribes of Arctic North America were the first people to build and use kayaks about 5000 years ago. There were two basic types of kayaks at this point: one was built with light driftwood, while the others were made by stretching animal skins over frames made of whalebone. The tribe members used whale fat to waterproof the vessels. The kayak found its way to Europe in the early to mid-1800s as a soft-sided frame boat, and German and French men soon began kayaking for sport. In 1931, a man named Adolf Anderle became the first person to kayak down the Salzachofen Gorge, credited as the birth of modern white-water kayaking. The International Scale of River Difficulty was established not long after to classify how dangerous a river's rapids were and the same classification system is still used today. In 1936, the Olympics included kayak races in the Berlin games. The United States began to get on board at this point and the Green and Colorado rivers were conquered two years later. In recent years, there has been an increase in production of sit on top kayaks suitable for sea use. This has resulted in a new market for paddlers and the versatility of a sit on top kayak brings new recreational opportunities like surfing and fishing. While the shapes and variations of kayaks have evolved through the years, so have the materials used to make kayaks. Today, you will see "rigid" fiberglass kayaks which came on the scene in the 1950s and were the standard until polyethylene plastic took over in the 1980s. So while kayaks are no longer made of whalebone and whale fat, kayaks are still great for hunting and fishing or the many other recreational activities such as exercising, surfing, whitewater kayaking, bird watching, or just relaxing on a nice summer evening while watching the sunset here on beautiful Oak Island, North Carolina!
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