Kayaking is one of the best ways to travel the waterways. You can paddle through so many different venues, such as lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and oceans. It’s a great way to emerge yourself in new adventure along with nature. But how did it all begin?
The word kayak, itself, means “hunter’s boat.” These boats were first invented thousands of years ago by the Inuit, formerly known as the Eskimo. They used them to catch food by sneaking up on their prey from the water’s edge. This was when kayaks were made from lumps of drift wood or whale bone wrapped up in animal skins. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when the introduction of fiberglass kayaks came about and now today most boats are made from tough polyethylene plastic.
Early kayak design varied according to the specific needs of inhabitants of particular regions. For instance, early kayaks designed by those surrounding the Bering Straight created wider, shorter kayaks. This kayak design provided a large area for storing game and supplies, and it was more stable on rough water than the longer, more slender kayaks designed for speed by the Aleuts. Kayaks were designed to remain upright on rough waters, and the design of the kayak enabled kayak users to right themselves if turned over by rough frigid waters that would otherwise prove deadly in an open craft.
Today, you can see many of the different styles of kayaks used for the different regions, just like they did many years ago, to take on many different conditions and environments. The most common type of kayak you’re likely to see is a traditional, closed cockpit model where the paddler sits inside the boat and is sealed in using a skirt, which seals the opening so water doesn’t splash inside the craft. Kayak technology design has come on quite a bit over the last few millennia and now you can also get inflatable boats, tandem kayaks so you can paddle with a buddy, and sit-on models where you perch in a little dip on top of the kayak.
GeoSeekers offers trips in the ocean as well as the surrounding sounds and inlets around Tybee and Savannah. The 13 foot kayaks provided by GeoSeekers allows for a nice easy paddle and is perfect for the ocean conditions. The length makes it harder to flip or roll over. There is also extra space for gear to go on weekend camping expeditions that will stay dry along the way. GeoSeekers also provides skirts, paddles, and life vests for all trips (the use of a skirt being optional).
Scared to Kayak?
So kayaking has crossed your mind, maybe something you’d consider trying but can’t bring yourself to actually go out and do because of a variety of reasons where you may be scared? One of the most common fears for those considering this sport is fear that they’ll capsize and get stuck inside of the kayak. What most don’t realize is that the vast majority of modern kayaks are very stable and are actually much harder to capsize than most canoes, which are considered to be the substitute to kayaking. However, capsizing is still possible and being aware of the possibility will keep you alert. Regardless, you should make a habit of wearing a life jacket and always paddle with a buddy.
A good starter for those afraid of being trapped inside a kayak would be to consider a sit-on-top kayak. This type of kayak is considered to be more stable and completely eliminates the chance of the paddler becoming trapped inside.
This doesn’t mean that sit-in kayaks are dangerous and cause one to be trapped inside; you just need to know how to address the situation if you do happen to roll-over. Number one rule is to stay calm and do not panic. While staying calm, you can push yourself out of the kayak using your hands while relaxing your legs. Once you have exited the kayak, you can safely float to the surface.
Another concern for those considering kayaking is that they have never done it before and don’t feel like they can master the paddling technique that makes gliding through the water seem so flawless. At first, a beginner kayaker may struggle with the new sport, but the key is to not give up and continue practicing.
GeoSeekers offers a beginner program that helps those combat their fears through a two-day easy training program and then a third day to take on the ocean with a guided tour. If you have any concerns regarding kayaking, do not hesitate to contact us and we can help answer your questions.