Kayaks are one of the most popular water vessels in the world. Despite being a vessel that originated from a remote community in the extreme ends of the world, the kayak has come to be one of the most preferred water vessels. The kayak is very popular hugely because it can be used in various water activities. Kayaks can be used for fishing, for hunting, for travel, for recreational purposes, for sporting purposes and for military purposes.
The ability of the kayak to be used in so many application lies in the fact that kayaks can be found in different types of designs and they are made using different types of materials. Below we will look at the two basic types of kayaks; i.e. the sit in kayaks and the sit on top kayaks
Sit In kayaks
Sit in kayaks are kayaks that have maintained the shape and design of the original kayak that was made by the Inuit community in Greenland.
The original Inuit kayak was a rounded vessel that was, and is still made of a light frame made from whale bones or drift wood. The frame is then wrapped around with tight seal skins that are made water tight by seal fat. The only opening into the kayak is the cockpit where the pilot sits. The cockpit has a spray skirt that is fastened to the kayak and which the pilot tightly fastens to his body when kayaking. This skirt helps prevent water from getting into the kayak.
The sit in kayak is highly navigable and controllable. This is because the pilot can also use his body to steer the craft. As such, the sit in kayak can make very tight turns. The sit in kayak is also quite safe for the kayak and it is especially safe in the event that the craft capsizes. When the sit in kayak capsizes, the pilot can use his body to roll back the craft and restore it to its upright position without water getting into the vessel.
Due to the design of the sit in kayak, the kayak is very good in protecting the kayaker from the elements such as spray from chilly water.
Sit in kayaks are usually hard shell kayaks. They are made from different materials ranging from skins to polyethylene.
Sit on top kayaks
Sit on top kayaks are kayaks that have been introduced in the recent past. These are kayaks that are designed primarily for leisure activities.
A sit on top kayak unlike the sit in kayak allows the pilot to have his entire body exposed atop the kayak. This is a preference for most recreational users who want to have freedom to move around and they also want to enjoy natural elements, such as the sun, better.
A common type of sit on top kayaks is the inflatable kayak. Inflatable kayaks are very light and very buoyant. They are very good for beginners and they are very affordable. Inflatable sit on top kayaks are preferred as recreational kayaks due to their superiority in portability.
Sit on top kayaks are however not very good for sailing in rough water.