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Free Photos of Kayaks.

Ever think where this name came from?  How was this first used?

Kayaks (Inuktitut: qajaq) were originally developed by indigenous people living in the Arctic regions, who used the boats to hunt on inland lakes, rivers and the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic, Bering Sea and North Pacific oceans. These first kayaks were constructed from stitched animal skins such as seal stretched over a wooden frame made from collected driftwood. Kayaks have been used for at least 4000 years .


The word "kayak" means "man's boat" or "hunter's boat", and native kayaks were a very personal craft, built by the man who would use them (with assistance from his wife, who would sew the skins) fitting his measures, for maximum maneuverability. A special skin jacket, Tuilik, was then laced the kayak, creaing a waterproof seal. This made the eskimo roll the preferred method of regaining posture after a capsize. The builder used found materials and anthropomorphic measurements, using his own body, to create a kayak conforming closely to his own body. For example - typically the length was three times the span of his outstretched arms. The width at the cockpit was the width of the builder's hips plus two fists (and sometimes less). The typical depth was his fist plus the outstretched thumb (hitch hiker).


Most of the Eskimo peoples from the Aleutian Island eastward to Greenland relied on the kayak for hunting a variety of prey — primarily seals, though whales and caribou were important in some areas. Skin on frame kayaks are still being used for hunting by Inuit people in Greenland. In other parts of the world homebuilders are continuing the tradition of skin on frame kayaks albeit with modern skins of canvas or synthetic fabric. Contemporary kayaks trace their origins primarily to the native boats of Alaska, northern Canada, and Southwest Greenland. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Kayaks in the Charles River, Boston, Mass.
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Kayak in the Charles River, Boston, Mass.

 

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Kayaks

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Kayaks at Lake Placid, NY
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Kayak training at Lake Placid, New York, USA
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Kayak at Lake Placid, NY
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Kayaks convention at Lake Placid, NY
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Learning to Kayak at Lake Placid, NY
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Kayaks on the Barge Canal, Merritt Island, Florida, USA
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Kayaks on shore at Orcas Island, Puget Sound, Washington
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Kayak in the Potomac River, Great Falls, Virginia
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Kayak in the Potomac River, Great Falls, Virginia
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This page updated or reviewed in March 2011