White water kayaks
White water kayaks are designed to have greater manoeuvrability. To achieve this they are generally much shorter than a touring kayak between 121 and 304 cm long, have more rounded bottoms and turned up ends to negotiate rapids more easily.
The recreational kayak is designed to be stable in calm waters such as lakes and slow moving rivers, making them ideal for nature lovers, fishermen and photographers. Their stability comes from a generally wider beam (width) than other kayak forms; the larger cockpit makes for easier entry and exit.
A kayak’s dimensions have a major impact on the handling characteristics. A longer kayak will tend to keep to a straight line, while the shorter variation will have a greater turning ability. A wider kayak will have more stability than a narrower version, but will require more effort to paddle because of the greater water resistance.
The hull shape also impacts handling characteristics. A symmetrical hull, which has the same shape for the front and back will handle better in white water while an asymmetrical hull will track well.
A rounded hull will give you better speed than the V shaped hull or flat hull, but the latter is more stable. The lengthwise shape of a hull is usually known as the rocker. The more curvature in the hull at the keel line, the easier the kayak will be to turn.
Even the shape of the hull where the bottom meets the sides which is known as the chine, affects performance. A smooth transition, known as a soft chine, will give improved speed, while a sharp transition or hard chine gives better tracking and helps when encountering a wave or turning.
More and more people each year are taking up kayaking as a hobby or recreational sport. Kayaking is a fresh air experience fitting the activity levels that you want and can provide hours or even days of fun for the entire family. Anybody can enjoy kayaking, since the sport has so many different facets.