Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. It is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is a low-to-the-water, canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation. Most kayaks have closed decks, although sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity as well.
Types of kayaks
"Sit on top" kayaks place the paddler in an open, shallowly-concave deck above the water level. "Cockpit style" involves sitting with the legs and hips inside the kayak hull with a spray deck or "spray skirt" that creates a water-resistant seal around the waist. "Inflatables" are a hybrid of the two previous configurations; these boats have an open deck, but the paddler sits below the level of the deck. "Tandems" are configured for multiple paddlers, in contrast to the single person designs featured by most kayaks. Tandems can be used by two or even three paddlers.
Ecotour guide stands on a kayak spotting dolphins and manatees, around Lido Key
Ecotourism based on kayak trips is gaining in popularity. In warm-water vacation destinations such as Sarasota Keys, guided kayak trips take kayakers on a tour of the local ecosystem. Kayakers can watch dolphins breach and manatees eat sea grass, in shallow bay water.
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Supported by a grant from Norway through the Norway Grants.