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Different Canoes and Kayaks over the Centuries

Welcome to the great sport of Paddling.

 

Canoeing and Kayaking has been around for a long time starting some 4000 years ago with canoes built by North American Inuits. The Inuit created two kinds of canoes, both of which had whalebone or wooden frames and were covered with animal skins, generally those from whales or seals. The kayak, a boat used only by the male Inuit, is completely enclosed except for an opening for the occupant. The, used only by the female, is what we class as an open canoe.

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Today however canoes and kayaks are made from lots of different materials and designs. This has allowed the sport to diversify from just one or two activities on the water to many. The following list is not definitive but is designed to give you a flavour of the different ways you can enjoy the sport.

Materials:

Materials used in modern designs modern kayaks are usually made from Rotationally Molded Plastic (Rotomold

), Fiberglass or Kevlar, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.

         Rotomold  very durable and ideal for kayaking over rocks; it is the most widely used material and the cheapest.

         Fiberglass  lighter, but requires much more careful handling and is more costly to produce.

         Kevlar  lighter and stronger than than fiberglass (it is the same material used in bulletproof vests) but the most expensive.

         Royalex  many whitewater canoes are now made using this composite material which has an outer layer of vinyl and ABS with an inner layer of ABS foam, bonded by heat treatment.

Other materials which can be used are wood, and even concrete boats have been made.

 

The Rob Roy, this boat was designed and used extensively in the 1800s to explore the rivers and waterways of Great Britain and Europe. One of these journeys has been documented in a book called the One Thousand Miles in a Rob Roy This was made from wood???????

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Sprint: The world of sprinting is quite varied these races can be over 200m, 500m, 1000m, and "long distance racing" such as 2 km or 6 km although there is a seperate class for Marathon. Thes races are competed in a number of different craft starting with the Kayak:K-1: single seat kayak, K-2: double seated kayak, K-4: four-seated kayak. These are very long and slim boats that are extreamly unstable and take some skill in keeping them upright.
Then come the Sprint Canoe and come as C-1: single kneeling canoe, C-2: double kneeling canoe, and C-4: four-person kneeling canoe.

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Slalom: Competitors are timed in completing a descent down the rapids of a whitewater course, in the process steering their canoes or kayaks through "gates" (a pair of suspended poles about 1 m apart), including going up against the flow, across the flow, and surfing the standing waves of the rapids. Again, there are both kayak and canoe classes: Kayak " K-1: single kayak Canoe " C-1: solo canoe " C-2: tandem canoe

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Marathon Longer distance races over mostly flatwater courses, possibly including one or more portages. Course lengths typically vary from a few miles to the epic 125-mile (201 km) Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon on the Thames. The types of boat are mainly K2 racing boats, with K1s being used over the 4 day race.

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Canoe polo A fast-action competitive goal-scoring ball game on water, between two teams of 5 players.

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Whitewater racing (also known as Wild Water Racing) Competitors race specialised canoes or kayaks down a whitewater river (typically class II to IV whitewater is used)

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Canoe sailing Racing a canoe using sail power. There are a number of different classes and races for competitors around the world.

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Dragon boat Since the 1970s racing of the traditional Chinese Dragon Boats has been organized. In general there are about 18-20 paddlers per boat, plus a drummer and a helmsman.

 

It originated from the Pearl River Delta region of China's southern Guangdong Province out of teak wood to various designs and sizes. In other parts of China different woods are used to build these traditional watercraft.

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Playboating (or Rodeo) A form of canoeing or kayaking where the competitor performs tricks and stunts in standing waves such as front and back surfing, flatspins, cartwheels, and blunts, and receives points for the variety of moves performed within a fixed time. Points are also awarded for style.

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Extreme racing A form of canoeing competition involving racing down dangerous whitewater rivers (often with many grade V rapids and typically requiring excellent river running skills).

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Outrigger canoeing Racing of traditional Pacific Ocean outrigger canoes. Very popular in Hawaii. Races include both short distance sprint races and long distance races. OC-1 & OC-2 Out rigger Canoes

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Surf ski The canoeing equivalent of surfing, but in a specialised surf kayak. Points are scored for the variety and quality of moves performed on a wave. Also whitewater kayakers and playboaters often surf non-competitively. Races for the fastest time in open water with waves are also done. Paddling a long (about 22'), slim racing craft on the sea. Able to handle going in and out of breaking waves, but not for manoeuvring on breaking waves. The paddler sits in a bucket style seat and uses a kayak-like paddle. Most common races are long distance in the open ocean where they can catch swells and get the feeling of skiing the ocean. Paddling a small, manoeuvrable craft (surf ski) a little like a bigger surfboard, amongst the breaking waves of the sea or ocean, variously sliding down the face of the wave or performing tricks on the face of a breaking wave. Close affinity to surfing. The paddler sits on top of the ski and can be strapped in. Competition is based on points for tricks and style.

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Small-craft Sailing Developed by kayak enthusiasts, small-craft sails enhance the paddling experience for canoeists too. Small-craft sails such as the WindPaddleeither augment the effort of paddling or effectively eliminate the need for paddling. They are great for touring, and have established a strong following with recreational canoeists, sea kayakers, expedition paddlers and adventure racers.

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Whitewater Paddling down whitewater rivers for fun, recreation, or getting away from it all. Can vary from short local trips on easy grade rivers, to extreme expeditions on raging torrents in remote locations for many days carrying all equipment. Whitewater Kayaking is probably the most popular form of canoeing (as the word is used in Europe).

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Sea kayak - recreational (touring) Kayaking on the sea. Includes everything from short day trips to year-long expeditions, may include paddling on heavy seas, in surf, or in tidal currents, and usually requires navigational skills.

Canoe camping, Touring, Tripping, or Cruising combines canoeing/kayaking with camping. In some countries, these forms of paddling may come under the national canoeing organisations, but they are not universally accepted as canoeing, even though they involve propelling a small craft with a paddle.

Rafting One or a group of people paddle a small or large inflatable raft down a wild water river. Has much in common with White Water Touring.

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Military Craft

 

The types of canoes used by the commandos (Cockleshell heroes) during the 2nd World War were very heavy and made from a wooden colasable frame covered in canvas.

 

 

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