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A kayak is a type of small human-powered boat. It was developed by the indigenous peoples of the arctic regions of Siberia, North America and Greenland commonly known as the Eskimo. The word "kayak" originally meant "man's boat". Construction originally was a wooden frame covered by an animal skin such as seal skin. These original kayaks were used to hunt on the open waters of the Arctic ocean.

A kayak is typically propelled with a double-ended paddle. The user or paddler sits down in the boat with feet out forward. The top of the boat is covered with a deck. The paddler sits in a hole in the cockpit which may be sealed off with a spray skirt. This makes it possible for the boat to become inverted and righted again without taking on water. This maneuver is known as an Eskimo Roll[?].

Modern kayaks fall into several categories including: whitewater, sea kayaks[?], flat-water racing, and recreational. These categories may also be subdivided. Modern kayaks are made of plastic, fiberglass, kevlar, or wood. They come in one and two person models. Some sit-on-top boats are also called kayaks and propelled with a double-ended paddle.

External links:

  • Kayakwiki (http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/guille/wiki.pl), A wiki site devoted exclusively to kayaks and kayaking

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