Even the most avid kayakers may not know these 8 interesting facts about their favorite sport:
1 - The name “Kayak” means “hunter’s boat” as kayaks were originally invented by the Inuit, Yup’Ik, and the Aleut for hunting. They were made of seal or other animal skin stretched over wood or whale bone. Kayaks are very quiet which made them ideal for sneaking up on prey.
2 - Kayaking received the honor of Olympic status when it became an official Olympic sport, along with canoeing, at the summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
3 - “Kleppers” (two man kayaks) have been used in special missions of insertion or extraction by the US Marines, British Commandos and The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command during war.
4 - The Country with the most Olympic medals in kayaking is Hungary.
5 - The world record for the most kayaks to ever “raft up” together is 1902 kayaks! It happened in Inlet, New York in 2011.
6 - As kayaking has evolved, there have become different types of kayaks, depending on their intended use. Some different types of kayaks include:
“Sit on tops,” are as the name suggests, a type of kayak where the paddler sits on top of the kayak in an open area.
“Cockpit style” is the more conventional style kayak where the paddler sits inside the kayak with his/her hips and legs inside the hull. A spray skirt may also be used to create a barrier against splashing water.
“Inflatables” are a type of kayak that are a mixture of a “sit on top” and a “cockpit style” kayak. They have an open deck but the paddler sits below the deck.
“Tandems” are made for more than one paddler. Some tandems can have up to 3 or 4 paddlers per kayak.
7 - The world record for the highest waterfall drop in kayak (189 feet) is held by American extreme kayaker, Tyler Bradt. Tyler kayaked over Palouse Falls in 2009, earning him the record title.
8 - The first person to cross the Atlantic ocean in a kayak was 29-year-old WW1 veteran, Franz Romer. In 1928, the German-born kayaker left Lisbon, Portugal and traveled 4,000 miles to arrive in Puerto Rico.
Kayaking is growing in popularity in Newfoundland and Labrador. With non-profit groups such as Paddle NL promoting the sport, teaching beginners and inciting interest, it is sure to increase even more. If you are interested in giving this exciting sport a try, come join us on our annual Woody Island Resort Kayaking trip! Kayaking in Newfoundland is something everyone has to try at least once and our trip has proven to be very popular over the years (we even had Martha Stewart join us on our kayaking trip in 1997)! Every year we take guests on a two day, two night kayaking trip. Explore the coastline in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland where you will see waterfalls, birds, and beautiful scenery. This is kayaking Newfoundland style, so we stop for a "boil up" on the beach and then at the end of the day, we will provide you with homecooked meals and live entertainment for you to enjoy!