As diverse as the people who love the sport, kayaking is suitable for everybody regardless of their abilities, age, and preferences. The experiences can range from peaceful to adrenaline-filled adventures depending on where you are kayaking.
Here are the different types of kayaking you can explore depending on what you want.
This is the most common type of kayaking, especially among younger peddlers and beginners. It mostly happens in gentle rivers, protected lakes, and other flat or safe water bodies. Kayaks for recreational
kayaking are usually 9-12 feet long and relatively wide, making them easy to operate even with basic skills.
The wide structure also makes them more comfortable and decreases the chances of capsizing. While recreational kayaks are the best, you can also use a sit-on-top kayak that requires no climbing.
Many people confuse recreational kayaking with kayak touring, but they are vastly different. While both involve kayaking in calm water bodies, kayak touring involves paddling for long distances.
This is the best way to see a country or new scenery while fully immersed in nature. To graduate from recreational kayaking to kayak touring, you must learn how to peddle for long hours, have an increased ability to control the boat, and learnt how to get in and out without struggling.
It is also essential to buy your boat because people handle rent for long distances. Touring kayaks are usually long, allowing them to track perfectly, handle waves, and cover longer distances quickly.
While people may confuse them with sea kayaks
, touring kayaks have only one sealed bulkhead behind the peddler. They also have an open bow area.
Also referred to as ocean kayaking, sea kayaking happens in seas, oceans, or other open and unpredictable water bodies. To go sea kayaking, you must have advanced skills to operate and steer the boat for proper wave handling.
The experiences are usually different for different peddlers depending on the conditions in the water body. Before setting out, look at the weather forecast to avoid dealing with strong winds and serious waves. It would help if you also asked about sea surfing rules when kayaking in a new place or have a local guide.
Sea kayaks are usually between 10 and 18 feet long, but you can get a tandem craft that can be as long as 26 feet. The width is usually 21 inches, but some go up to 36 inches.
They come with two sealed bulkheads, one behind the seats and the other in front of the peddler’s feet in the bow.
When people think of kayaking, this is the type of kayaking they think about. It occurs in rough waters, rivers with rapids, or other whitewater bodies. It requires intense skills, concentration, and understanding of the waters you want to kayak in.
Because of this, it is recommended only for skilled and experienced kayakers. You can determine the level of difficulty you will experience in the water body through the whitewater classification systems.
You can choose river running, playboating
, creeking, or squirt boating, depending on your skills and how difficult you want the challenges to be.
Also known as rodeo or freestyle kayaking, this type of whitewater kayaking is perfect if you want a playful kayaking experience. It involves remaining in one spot identified as the playspot and performing different challenging moves as water rampages around you.
Because of the moves that often involve spins and flips, you and your kayak can become airborne, so you must have skills and safety equipment.
This is another form of whitewater kayaking that uses currents on and under the water surface. Squirt kayaking requires you to use a unique kayak with minimum volume while allowing you to float.
Because of its low volume, the boat is usually submerged up to 80%. They also have a shallow profile, meaning minimal leg room. You can perform your tricks in flat water and eddy lines, with the most common tricks being cartwheels and the mystery move, which requires you to use the water currently to submerge yourself completely.
This kayaking usually takes place as a one-day trip meant to help you gain more experience and give you the opportunity to kayak in a new river. Unlike other types of kayaking, river running can expose you to different river conditions. This requires that you combine your navigation and peddling abilities.
Kayaks used for this sport are unique and allow you to navigate different river conditions. Their design allows them to catch eddies and achieve down-river speed.
Also known as creak boating, treetop boating, or steep creeking, this is a form of whitewater kayaking where you must descend very steep and low-volume whitewater. It is the most extreme and dangerous form of kayaking, meaning you must carry extra safety gear.
Some skills you need include catching eddies, controlling speed, using the rocks, boat scouting, and using your hands to prevent getting pinned.
Creak boats generally have more volume in their stern to maintain you over the water. That also helps prevent the stern from getting caught between the rocks or holes after waterfalls or ledges.
They have more space to allow you to carry rescue or additional kayaking gear
. While creeking mostly happens as a game, you and your friends can do it as a recreational activity.
This is one of the best ways to combine fishing and kayaking. It is also a better chance to catch bigger fish as the slender kayak allows you to get to places anglers in big boats can't.Fishing kayaks
are usually more stable than other types, have attachments to secure your fishing rods, and have anchors to remain in one place. They also draw little water and are low to the water, making their movements quiet to sneak up on the fish.
You can also use a sit-on-top kayak that is wide, stable and comes with adjustable, comfortable seats. It is also perfect for standing.
As the name suggests, this is surfing using a kayak. It happens in the ocean but uses kayaks similar to whitewater kayaks. Like several other kayaking types, you need special training, instruction, and skills to pull this off without hurting yourself.
The common kayaks people use include international-class surf kayaks, high-performance surf kayaks, and wave skis.
While most kayaking activities happen in the water, this kayaking is relatively new to snow sports and kayaking arenas. Also known as snow boating, it involves descending a snow slope, mostly in ski areas or resorts.
You can choose a creek boat or playboat depending on the type of kayaking you want to do and the slope degree. Creek boats have ample rocker for quick turns and dull ends that prevent vertical pins. They also have chines along the bottom for perfect curving controls when making turns.
Playboats, on the other hand, are very flat, making it easier to plane on the snow after hitting a certain speed.
If you are just getting into kayaking
, you must research the different types of kayaking to ensure you are safe. It would help if you also bought the highest quality kayak suitable for the kayaking form you want to participate in.
Research the perfect kayaking spots to prevent unexpected accidents and obstacles and carry the right equipment.
Kayaking is one of the fastest-growing water sports, where peddlers use double-bladed oars to peddle small boats called kayaks. These boats are usually long and slender, with a small hole in the middle through which you get in. They have a space in front that allows you to stretch your legs forward.