Sports & Utility Boats Program (SUB)
Interested in kayaking, but want to know more before you get started? Here's a quick introduction to where to use a kayak and what kind of boats you'll find.
A kayak is a small boat with a deck that is propelled by a
two blade paddle by someone sitting, unlike a canoe which is open and propelled
by a single blade paddle by someone kneeling. Kayaks are designed for one person
or two and sometimes more.
Kayaking is a growing sport, and various types of kayaks are used for different kinds of water, including:
Kayaks are manufactured for a variety of materials,
including plastic, wood, fiberglass and kevlar. There are also inflatable
kayaks, folding kayaks, and do-it-yourself kayak kits.
A simple kayak can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, usually starting at about $500. More expensive kayaks can cost several thousand dollars, with lots of options in the $1,200-2,000 range. Paddles range from about $40 to hundreds of dollars.
Back Band: (back rest) Provides support for the lower back while kayaking and helps with erect posture in the boat. Located behind the seat, and usually made of padded fabric, plastic or foam.
Bulkhead: A cross-sectional wall inside a kayak made of composite, plastic or foam. Bulkheads provide structural support and cross-sectional bulkheads create watertight compartments for buoyancy and storage.
Coaming: The rim of the cockpit.
Cockpit: The enclosed central compartment of a kayak, in which the paddler sits.
Deck: The top part of a kayak that keeps the hull from filling with water.
Foot Pegs: (also known as foot braces) Adjustable structures inside the cockpit on which kayakers place the balls of their feet.
Roll: The technique of righting a capsized kayak while still inside.
Sit-On-Top: (SOT) A kayak without a cockpit, sit-on-tops are usually self-bailing with various seat and foot brace configurations. Many are for recreational use, but some are designed for touring and racing.
Spray Skirt: A neoprene or nylon skirt worn by a kayaker that attaches to the rim (coaming) of the cockpit to keep water out.
Thigh Braces: (or Knee) Braces usually found in whitewater and touring kayaks, these structures inside the cockpit give the paddler important points of contact for boat control.
Wet Exit: Coming out of a capsized kayak
- Vessel Examinations
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Division Chief - Vessel
Send email to DVC-VE
Branch Chief - Sports &
Utility Boats Program
Send email to BC-VES
Pages prepared by: Robert Daraio, DVC-VE 2006
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