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The sheer pleasure of gliding over calm waters on a lake is hard to resist by most water sport lovers. Besides offering a challenge of taming the white waters, kayaking can be an exciting adventure to any water sports enthusiast. Moreover, this sport is the best way to com close to the nature.

A small human-powered boat, kayak typically has a covered deck and a cockpit. The cockpit is covered by a spraydeck, which is also known as a skirt. Going back in its history, the native Ainu, Aleut and Eskimo hunters in sub-Arctic regions of northeastern Asia, North America and Greenland have been known to use Kayak. They used the boats to hunt on inland lakes, rivers and the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. The first kayaks were known to be made using stitched animal skins such as seal. The skin was stretched over a wooden frame made from collected driftwood. The word "kayak" means "man's boat" or "hunter's boat". As it was in the old times, Kayak is still propelled by a double-bladed paddle in the hands of a sitting paddler

Today, in modern times, kayaks have evolved into numerous specialized types. One can come across a wide variety of designs and materials for specialized purposes in kayaks. In some countries like UK, kayaks are referred to as canoes and vice versa. Some of the specialized Kayaks are:

Sea kayaks

These are specifically designed for travel by one or two paddlers on open water. These include open-deck "sit-on-top" kayaks, recreational kayaks, and collapsible "skin-on-frame" boats.

Whitewater kayaks

These are highly maneuverable boats, usually for a single paddler. Including specialized boats as playboats and slalom kayaks, the racers combine flat water racing speed with extra stability in open water.

Surf skis

These are specialized narrow and long boats designed for speed, and usually require substantial skill to achieve stability. Used for racing, surfing breaking waves and surf-zone rescues, they have extremely narrow hulls.

Traditional kayaks can typically accommodate one, two or occasionally three paddlers. They sit facing forward in one or more cockpits below the deck of the boat. Each year, more and more people are taking up kayaking as a hobby or recreational sport, while they are on a vacation. Unlike other sports, kayaking fits the activity level that one wants. Providing hours or even days of fun for entire families - or just for one person, its no surprising that this sport is charting high in popularity.

Anybody at any age, with any level of skills can enjoy kayaking. The sport has so many different facets. Its great fun while you're on vacation if you go kayak touring. The more adventurous and brave can experiment with some extreme kayaking activities, like the whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, or even kayak racing. Kayaking keeps a person fit, and is an eco-friendly water sport. As these boats are tapered at their ends to cut through water easily, this unique feature makes them highly efficient in all kinds of water bodies. Plus, it's more fun to share your experience with another person!

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