The kayak is a unique water vessel that has for many years been used for functions which other water vessels could not be used. The main reason why the kayak is superior in many avenues as compared to other water vessels lies in the exceptional design of the kayak.
The original kayak was first made by the Inuit people. This is a community that depended on hunting for food in very treacherous waters where capsizing or falling off the boat almost always meant certain death. The community therefore needed a water vessel that they could use while being confident of their safety.
The kayak was the water vessel that the Inuit were finally able to make and it was able to provide the safety levels that the community was comfortable with.
The kayak that the Inuit came up with was made of a rigid frame made of light whale bones or drift wood. This frame was then covered by stretched seal skins that were sewn together with the seams being made water proof using whale fat. The hollow vessel had only one small opening on top of the kayak. This was the pilot’s cockpit.
The pilot of the original kayak sat with his lower body and legs buried in the hollow of the kayak. The pilot’s upper torso and head were left exposed on the kayak. The kayaker wore a skirt at his waist and the skirt was fastened to the kayak to make it water tight such that no water could get into the kayak even when the kayak capsized.
In this type of kayak, in the event of capsizing, the kayaker can use his or her body to roll the kayak back to the upright position and thereby escape drowning all the while not leaving the kayak.
The sit in design of the original kayak is still being used today as can be seen in kayak designs such as the Sun Dolphin Aruba. This sit in kayaks are very good when one wants to sail through rough waters or when one wants to avoid getting wet from the spray of the water especially in chilly conditions such as in the arctic regions.
Sit in kayaks are also good for sporting action since they are easy to control and maneuver. This is because the cozy fit that the pilot has allows him to use his entire body to control the craft especially when turning the craft in sharp angles.
With time other kayak models have been developed including the sit on top kayak. The sit on top kayak unlike the sit in kayak has the pilot sitting on the kayak with his whole body exposed. This is a design that is very popular with recreational users since it is easier to embark and disembark from and it also provides the passenger with more freedom atop the kayak.
Another evolutional kayak design is the inflatable kayak. This kayak design has become very popular due to its portability advantage and also due to its low cost which is convenient for recreational users. An example of a good recreational inflatable kayak is the intex challenger K1 kayak.