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Kayaks

Kayaks (from the Inuktitut 'qajaq') were first developed by the peoples who live in the Arctic regions of North America (Alaska, Canada and Greenland). In fact most of the diverse peoples living across this large area used kayaks of one form or another relied on kayaks for hunting. These boats we used for hunting and fishing on inland lakes, rivers and the coastal waters. These early kayaks were generally constructed from animal skins (e.g. seals) stiched together and stretched tightly over a wooden frame. Archaeological evidence suggests that the first kayaks were made over 4000 years ago.

The word "kayak" translates roughly as 'man's boat' or 'hunter's boat'. Traditionally kayaks were very personal boats and were built by the man who would use them. This meant that it was fitted exactly to his measurements. They also included a spray deck which consisted of a skin jacket, which was laced to the kayak. This waterproof seal made possible the 'eskimo roll'. Exiting the boats was inadvisable in the environment as the waters were too cold to survive for more than a few minutes. Because of this, very few of the people who ever used kayaks could swim, meaning rolling the kayak upright was an essential skill.

Contemporary spraydecks are made of a waterproof synthetic material, which stretches around the cockpit rim and is tight against the body of the paddler. It can be released with a swift tug on a strap at the front of the cockpit. This is to allow safe and easy exit from the kayak, even when upside down (in kayaking parlance it doesn't count as capsizing unless you actually leave the boat).

The modern kayaks owe their origins principly to these traditional boats. Until the 1950's Wooden boats or a kayak made from fabric stretched over wooden frames. This changed with the genesis of the fiberglass kayak. From the 1970s 'rotomolded plastic' was used for kayaks, making smaller, stronger and studier designs possible.

Kayak Kayak Guide Information on the choosing the right kayak A S Watersports has to offer.
Recreational Kayak Recreational Kayaks

Kayak paddles suitable for general and recreational kayaking use.

Touring Kayak Touring Kayaks Lightweight, comfortable kayak paddles designed to be used all day long.
White Water Kayak White Water Kayak Paddles Strong, short kayak paddles designed for the punishment of rough water.

If you require more information please contact the shop on 01392 219600 or sales@aswatersports.co.uk

Buy Books and DVD's about kayaking from our online shop.

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OUR SHOP
1 Terracina Court
Haven Road
Exeter
Devon.
EX2 8DP
Tel: 01392 219600
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Sat: 9.30 - 17.00
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