A kayak is considered a small boat that is powered by paddle blades.
The different terms can be confusing especially since a boat is considered a watercraft made for transportation of goods, racing, fishing, or recreational cruising.
A boat is normally propelled by oars, an inboard motor, an outboard motor, or by the wind while a kayak is propelled by one or two people using a paddle blade.
So what is a kayak?
A kayak is a small boat that is used by few people. Oftentimes, only one person can use a kayak. There are different types of kayaks depending on their use. There are fishing kayaks for fishing, recreational kayaks for leisure cruises on the water, and racing kayaks.
Considering the different types of kayaks, there are different designs to look out for. Leisure kayaks tend to be lightweight and easy to maneuver. Fishing kayaks on the other hand are narrower and sleeker than the other types for easy maneuverability even in tight spaces.
Don’t forget a floating device! Better safe than sorry. It is important to find and strap up in a personal flotation device when you go kayaking.
Pack plenty of snacks and remember to stay hydrated: You don’t want to reach the middle of your kayaking journey and realize that the food supplies you carried are done! That will be a very unhappy, stomach-grumbling trip back to the shore! Also, you need to pack enough water or fluids to keep hydrated.
Don’t forget to throw in some sunscreen and a change of clothes: We don’t want you sweating like crazy or getting burnt up when the sun decides to come up as you kayak. A vest may do you the world of good if you are feeling hot. You may also want to add a sunhat just in case.
Pay close attention to your body: You don’t want to push yourself while kayaking. This is why it is better to take someone with you. This way, if you get tired or need to eat then the other person can take over paddling.
What about kayaks and canoes?
Kayaks are often confused for canoes in conversations. Although they have plenty of similarities, they have differences as well. Besides both vessels being forms of water transportation, both kayaks and canoes are both powered by one or more people. In terms of design, both vessels are long and slim.
Now let’s consider the differences. In terms of maneuverability, a canoe is more maneuverable than a kayak on the water. In terms of how high or low they are on the water, canoes it higher on the water than kayaks.
In terms of heaviness, canoes are heavier and bigger than kayaks. They boost a wide frame and open-top while kayaks boost a closed design and slim frame. This is not a major difference however since you may come cross kayaks that also have an open-top but the opening is not as wide as that of a canoe. Normally, the cockpit on the “open-top” kayak is closed.
Much as both vessels use paddles, kayaks paddles are double-bladed while for canoes, you get to use single-blade paddles. The canoe blades are also shorter than the kayak blades.
In terms of storage space, canoes generally have more storage space compared to kayaks. This makes them great for long-distance journeys. You get to pack plenty of essential and possibly non-essential items. Their downside though is that they are not ideal to be used in open seas as a storm can tip them over and getting back into them can be next to impossible!