What is a kayak? Eskimo and sports kayak

Sport and fitness

The term "kayak" is associated in most people withan original national vehicle on the water surface. This is true, but the technical principles of the construction of this boat are now widespread all over the world and partly unified. That is, in order to understand what a kayak is, it is first of all necessary to turn to the traditions of the peoples of the Arctic, but at the same time to consider a modern kayak in which constructive features of the boat are repeated.

What is a kayak?

what is a kayak

To date, there are many versions andmodifications of this tool, but they all fit into the category of rowing boats. The tradition of producing exactly such a design went from the Aleuts and Eskimos. In answering the question about what a kayak is, it is also important to note that it can be single, double and triple. The models manufactured by the industrial method finally formulated the principles of making the boat's base as a frame-and-inflatable structure. The kayak case has a rather complex device, and depending on the modification its parameters can be adjusted in accordance with the purpose. In the simplest versions, the kayak is a bypass structure with several arches knitted with a base of plastic, wood or other materials.

Eskimo kayak

inflatable kayak

This is a classic Arctic indigenous boat,from which modern kayaks and kayaks have taken place. The photo shown above illustrates the traditional Eskimo boat. As materials for the manufacture of such products, skin of seals and walruses are used, which later on the skeletons of boats. The basis is the construction of wood or bones. The Eastern Eskimos also use the whalebone to form the framework. All joints, fasteners and sewing sites are made from the veins of marine animals.

If we consider the question of what iskayak from Eskimos from the point of view of functional application, first of all it will be a question of hunting and fishing. It is for these purposes that national boats in the Arctic have been used and are still in use today. However, outside the region, the kayak has other uses.

Sports Kayak

Sports models with Eskimo unitesOnly the shape and some structural elements. Differences are due to the nature of the application. A kayak of sporting purpose is used in water tourism. With the help of such a tool, you can perform rowing slalom, swim in rough rivers, participate in water rodeo, etc. Accordingly, traditional methods of making a structure for such a boat are not suitable. Manufacturers use for this purpose more durable materials, such as polypropylene, polyvinylchloride and carbon fiber. New technologies allow the boat to provide high strength, but without a significant increase in weight. As a result, optimum characteristics are achieved that allow safe operation of kayaks. A photo with an example of such a model is presented below.

kayaks pictures

Inflatable models

Kayaks of this modification are the most modern, provide convenience in operation and are inexpensive. There are two types of kayaks:

  • Models with a two-layer construction. In this case, the boat has a skeleton in the form of a dense shell of polyvinyl chloride and plug-in cylinders, due to which the boat was called inflatable;
  • Monoballonic versions. Such an inflatable kayak does not have internal integrated cylinders. Their function is performed by the polyvinylchloride fabric itself, which contains a gas mixture.

Models of this category are also used in sports rafting, in expeditions, for fishing purposes and quiet family rest.

boat kayak

Differences from kayaks and canoes

Although kayak is often referred to as a kayak group,A rigid classification of this does not allow. In this case, you should consider the capacity of this boat. In the classical view, a kayak is a double kayak - this is a kayak, which, meanwhile, is manufactured only in an industrial way. That is, Eskimo boats can not be called kayaks. Differences from canoes are more important. Firstly, such a boat does not use two-lobed oars, which is typical for kayaks and kayaks. Secondly, there is a difference in the position of the oarsman. On the canoe there are practically no rules regarding the convenience of the situation - a person can sit on the seat or on the knees. In turn, the kayak suggests that the rower will sit on the buttocks.

Features of operation

Every time you use a kayak usermust perform several operations, including assembly and disassembly and drying. And this is not to mention the need to perform repair procedures that can take place after the application of the boat. For example, an inflatable kayak may require correction of the position of cylinders with air or the restoration of a damaged area in PVC. But in the case of using frame-inflatable models, the user has not less. The main difficulties are associated with the assembly process, but the regularity of repair in this case is not less than that of inflatable analogs. This is due precisely to the complexity of the design, violations in which are not uncommon - especially in the hard mode of operation.

Oars for a kayak

kayak double

While the focus is on selecting and evaluatingtechnical and operational capabilities of the boat is given to its design, much depends on the oars. Kayaks use modern kayak models. One of the key selection criteria is right-handed and left-handed paddles. Next, the very shape of the blades is taken into account - there are symmetrical and asymmetric versions. The first variety requires more strength from the oarsman, but is cheaper. The complex shape that the asymmetrical paddle for a kayak possesses allows you to row longer and saves the energy of the user. But these models are more expensive.

In order not to lose in technical subtleties whenthe choice of this accessory, should initially be guided by model lines, designed for specific types of kayaking. For example, if a kayak boat is used for walking without extreme, it can be a recreational oar. To make expeditions, you should prefer touring models, while for rowing and slalom sport modifications will do.


oar for a kayak

An unusual kind of kayak, its constructionalFeatures and functionalities were formed in the Arctic. This happened at a time when there were no technological materials like PVC and carbon fiber in the form of carbon. However, the question of what a kayak is nowadays means a broader view of this boat. Suffice it to recall the variety of kayak application areas - from fishing to sport slalom. Of course, it is the tasks that face the boat, and determine the technology of its production. So, if before the manufacturers improved the characteristics of the kayak only by introducing more practical and reliable materials, today the design of the kayak is also changing. Ultimately, the boat acquires high strength, durability, and provides an adequate level of safety for the paddler. It should be noted that along with the modernization of boats, the requirements for equipment both in terms of reliability, and in terms of its functionality and practicality are also increasing.

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