There are several major styles of kayaking, and each one of these styles has a craft unique to its own purpose. Let’s take a look at the following terms to understand just how boats work.
- Stern: This is the rear of the boat
- Bow: Front part of the boat
- Hull: This is the bottom of the kayak
- Chine: The curve between the sides and the bottom
- Rocker: The amount of curves from bow to stern that sits above the water line
- Flare: The angle of the sides, outward from the hull.
Sea kayaks or the touring kayaks are long, stable, and they have plenty of interior and exterior cargo room. They also feature flat hulls, hard chines and they are wide, giving them great flare. The only thing is, these features make them less maneuverable, but they move fast when on a straight line. They also glide further per stroke, so that they are more efficient.
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White water kayaks, on the other hand, are shorter and are less stable but they are very maneuverable. They are long-lasting and built to handle tough hits that come with exploring the white-water rapids. These kayaks are usually 8 to 9 feet long with rounded hulls, they have softer chines and minimal flare; these features help them to perform tricks and rolls because less parts of the kayak make contact with the water. Their rocker helps to keep the kayak parts away from the water. All white kayaks are made to be sit inside vessels, without the rudders.
Kayaks are made from different materials. The surf kayaks are made with, almost exclusively, fiberglass, while the white-water types are made from plastic. And this is because traditional plastic does not offer the light weight and stiffness that is obtainable in the fiberglass ones. Sea kayaks are also made from plastic as well, but they can also be made from wood. There are some newly made white-water kayaks that are built from durable and light weight Kevlar. The price of the kayak is dependent on the material that is used to build the kayak. Plastic is the most inexpensive one, but it is the heaviest. Fiberglass, which is lighter than plastic, costs about 20 per cent more than plastic. Of all the materials, Kevlar is the lightest and the strongest of them all, but this one costs twice as much as the fiberglass. When buying a kayak, weight is something that one needs to put into consideration, and this is because you will spend more time out of the water than you would in it.