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WikiProject Kayaking (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
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This article has comments here.

What function does the John Roy MacGregor text serve?[edit]

I can't work out what the text about John Roy MacGregor in the Design section is for. Is it meant to be a citation for the previous paragraph? It sticks out weirdly at the moment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spoonriver (talkcontribs) 04:34, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Sit on Kayaks[edit]

The last paragraph of this text is confusing and seems to reflect another agenda. It is also not accurate. "Contrary to popular belief, the sit-on-top kayak hull is not self bailing... " - The crew compartment on many is self bailing. The actual hull isn't, but I've never seen any belief (popular or otherwise) that it is. This leaves the reader with the suggestion that sit-on kayaks are not self bailing, when most are (well, at least in terms of the parts that might actually fill with water). "Furthermore, the sit-on-top hull cannot be molded in a way that would assure water tightness, and water may get in through various holes in its hull..." - Again, some are. Several models use hatches that are not open to the hull and the hull is effectively sealed - certainly beyond the point where the hull could "fill with water" let alone suddenly. Most would not allow more than a few ml to enter the hull even if completely submerged for an extended period unless the hull or fittings were damaged Matbennett (talk) 16:37, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

@Matbennett: I agree with most of what you said. You should be bold and remove any unsourced and inaccurate statements, be careful to back up anything new with good sources to avoid annoying anyone! Jamesmcmahon0 (talk) 18:13, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Touring Kayaks[edit]

There should be a paragraph on Tourhing Kayaks, I am thinking. Cheers! —Preceding unsigned comment added by PeteHoffswell (talkcontribs)

Touring kayaks are usually synonymous with Sea kayaks. We should probably highlight that terminology issue. -- Gnetwerker 06:18, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Technically a sea kayak is a seaworthy touring kayak, and they can be used very well on lakes, oceans and even (big) rivers. --Kanoniem (talk) 13:32, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Too many external links[edit]

There's too many external links I reckon. In fact really it should be websites about kayaks, rather than about Kayaking right? And there's lots of location specific websites listed there. Could probably take those out -- Nojer2 13:09, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree-- we should go through and cull the more commercial links (I'm surprised-- thought I'd see a bunch of commercial links. Maybe we could move some into the specialty area articles?).
At the same time, I didn't realise there was an article called Kayaking. It should probably be changed to a link to here. After all, two-thirds of it is not on Kayaking, but on Kayaks. -- Mwanner | Talk 13:38, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
OK, I merged Kayaking here, but at the cost of picking up two more ext links (sorry). I'm not ready to start sorting them out just yet, but I'll try to get back to it. -- Mwanner | Talk 14:13, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I removed the following external links for the following reasons: although non-profit, the purpose of the website is to enroll people in classes that they charge for. The National Student Rodeo (UK) website promotes a particular event. While that event may be important enough to have it's own Wikipedia article, it's probably not of interest to people seeking general information on kayaks. I moved the following links to list of kayak clubs:,Northeast Paddlers Message Board, American Whitewater Association. I also removed the spam header. MadDreamChant 17:39, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

British usage of the terms Canoe and/vs Kayak[edit]

I added in the following fragment the other week.

  covered variant of a canoe, and in fact called a canoe in England,

And then it was changed to something along the lines of "often called a canoe by the uninitiated"

I don't know what the basis was for removing that piece of information. It is invariably called a canoe in england, by the the very initiated. I would like to know if the person who removed that information has been to England.

I have no interest in Kayaking. I was actually just showing a guy in my office how wikipedia works. He is kayak mad, as a lot of people are here, or as they call it "canoe mad". Even the external links for britain refer to it as a canoe.

I am putting it back, with a note to read these comments, in order to renew the faith of my office colleague in wikipedia. I am going to put a note beside saying not to revert that change without responding to this commment.

It is true that over the world, exept for the areas where natives use kayaks, the word canoe, or corresponding word in local languages, generally cover both canoes and kayaks in everyday speaking. Though I have learned to handle a kayak before I learned to cykle, (as I live in an island) we used to call it a canoe. The "canoe", however, we refered to as a "Canadian" or an "Indian canoe", with a slight sneer, as they are not fit for open sea. Only later when I got involved in a kayak club (mainly because my daughters began with flatwater racing) I began to distinguish between the words, as they are different classes in racing.

(A flatwater racing canoe, c1, c2 or c4, is a rather bizarre floating object)

May I suggest that the sentence is moved to "canoe", as something like "In everyday language canoe may refere to both canoes and kayaks (see kayak)but means strictly only the open type of native origin" ? Preferrably written by someone with better mastering of the English language... rgds. --Islander(Scandinavia) 09:52, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it should say "uninitiated", but the British usage is very confusing. In North America, were both the canoe form and kayak form originated, they are distinguished both by most normal speakers and of course by experts. As the article explains, canoes have a substantially different hull shape than kayaks. I think we need to highlight the difference, but use canoe distinctly for the balance of the article. -- Gnetwerker 17:43, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Of course I'm aware of the difference, but since it in many parts of the world is unclear, it's our duty to tell how it should be, isn't it? I don't know where it came from that here in Scandinavia kayaks were called canoes when I was a kid, but it's quite a statement though, that all canoes and kayaks would have originated in North America. Kayaks were "invented" simultanously around the Polar Sea, both in Greenland and Siberia, as was the Canoe (see Umiak), and everywhere on Earth where there is water, people have made doughouts, (which I understand are broadly also named canoes) since stone age. --Islander(Scandinavia) 22:36, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't mean to start a fight. After I wrote the above I checked the article and its treatment of the British usage seems fine. Of course watercraft of various sorts originated all over the world. However, the flat-bottomed hull shape (originally implemented in birch-bark and similar materials), as distinct from the dugout hull shapes seems to have originated in North America. You are right to include Greenland (which is not strictly speaking NA) as a co-originator of the kayak form, along with the Inuit people who were mostly in what is now US Alaska and Canada. At least that is what the reference works I have say. Not to pick, but Northern Europeans, notably to Norse, did not have these hull forms for small boats, but were of course experts with larger vessels. The Irish had skin boats but of different hull form, etc. -- Gnetwerker 00:03, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I can agree that the boat type that nowadays throughout the so called "Western culture" are called canoes, are built according to what basically was the design of the Indians of North America. The Norse naturally had smaller boats before they begun to build larger ones, but since the weather along the Norwegian coast is very rough, the "canoe"-type couldn't be used there. In Denmark though, has been found also remnants of skin boats, and in the Baltic sea dugouts were common apparently still in the middle ages.
The main thing now is to get the distinction clear in the article, without pointing anybody as "uninitiated". My point is that it isn't only in the Brittish Islands where the difference may be blurred in everyday language, so it could be more in general terms. Othervise I think we are more or less of the same opinion. rgds. --Islander(Scandinavia) 10:05, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi I agree that in the UK, "Canoe" is used as the generic form. It is to the hull form that we should return to in the definition of the generic type. Canoes are the larger category under which kayaks fall, while all kayaks are canoes, not all canoes are kayaks. The form is the "Vesica Piscis" (look it up, it's the intersection overlap of two circles), and this is a root type from which sub-types can be derived. From the generic hull type we have derivatives like "Canoe Yawl" (A quarter ton sailing boat - see John Macgregor refs.), Open Canadian Canoe, Eskimo Canoe (Kayak). Also, The International Canoe Federation (Wildwater Slalom) uses the Olympic sport of "Canoeing". Within Canoeing Sport are "Kayak"(K1) and "Canadian" (C1, C2)classes - C for 'Canadian', not 'canoe'. Let me try to get people to refer to a "Canoe" as any small craft of traditional origin "Pointed at both ends, powered by manual paddle(s)that is portable by the crew". We then have the "North American Canoe" (Name Please? How about Canoena??), and the "Greenland/Eskimo Canoe" (Otherwise known as "Kayak") Canoe Form therefore has the following derived types:- Canoe::Canoena (My made-up name to act as a placeholder. NA means North American here) and also Canoe::Kayak. Naming Nightmare over: With "Canoe" as the root, the ICF (International Canoe Federation, BCU (British Canoe Union) can keep their original names retaining the generic meaning of the word Canoe. I'm afraid it's the inevitable knowitall neophytes who fancy they have discovered some original naming error. (References: Dunnett Alastair M, Quest by Canoe: Glasgow to Skye, 1950 The Voyage Alone in the Yawl Rob Roy, by John MacGregor (Dover Publications, 2001; 214 pages; reprint of 1954 edition; abridged edition, originally published 1867). "Rob Roy" John Macgregor founder of the Royal Canoe Club. 15:15, 13 October 2007 (UTC)Dave Cuthill (Forth Canoe Club estd. 1934).

Folding Kayaks[edit]

I'd like to move most of the section on Folding kayaks to the (newly remodeled) Sea kayak page. All folding kayaks are sea kayaks, so I think this is justified. Thoughts/objections? -- Gnetwerker 23:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe add alink to surfski?

Kayak vs. Sea Kayak vs ...[edit]

There is a lot of confusion and redundancy among the various kayaking pages. The History section here and the one in Sea Kayak overlap, but contain some distinct and some inconsistent information. I would like to re-organize all of the kayaking pages, and want to float some ideas and get some feedback here first. Disclosure: I am primarily a sea kayaker, though I did a fair bit of whitewater kayaking in the 1970s, when it was a very different sport than today.

One idea is to move most/all of the History to this page (Kayak), and then have two overview sections, one by type of construction, and one by use, with the second one primarily pointing to the more-specific pages. If a page doesn't exist, we could either stub it or include the info here. We would cover the primary design issues (which are covered in more detail in Sea kayak) here, and perhaps re-iterate key points in the individual sub-articles.

Another idea is to bulk this page up with most of the info on specific kinds of boats and redirect the individual boat pages here. I think this might lead to too large a page, but felt I should suggest it. There are probably other ideas as well. If you care, let's hear from you! -- Gnetwerker 23:17, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Sounds like a decent reorganisation to me (mainly the putting most of the history on one page), I'm all for it. Shogun 03:26, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

While removing vandalism I noticed this edit. Quite a bit of material has been replaced but I'm unsure as to the best way to merge it back in. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 02:40, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Good catcb. A big part of the problem with all this historical info is that none of it is sourced. I am going to go look for one of George Dyson's old books and see if I can get some facts, but this is unlikely to happen in a hurry. The best approach might be to paste it here and haggle over it for a while, though it seems to be mostly anons doing the hacking. -- Gnetwerker 06:58, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Here's the removed text:

Skin on frame kayaks[edit]

Often an umbrella term for several types of kayaks, Skin on Frame boats are primarily considered a more traditional boat in design, materials, construction, and technique. They are often the lightest kayaks, and traditionally made of driftwood pegged or lashed together and stretched seal skin, as those were the most readily available materials in the arctic regions. Today, the seal skin is usually replaced with canvas or nylon cloth covered with paint, neoprene, or a hypalon rubber coating.

The Dutch were some of the first Europeans to take interest in the indigenous American boat design, spelling the name for these Inuit & Aleut boats, Qajaq. This spelling of the word kayak has evolved to be synonymous with “traditional kayak” and often encompasses three subcategories of boats:

Baidarkas, from the Alaskan & Aleutian seas, are a much older design. Their more rounded shape and high number of chines give them an almost Blimp-like appearance. West Greenland kayaks have fewer chines and are more angular in shape, with gunwales rising to a point at the bow and stern. East Greenland kayaks appear similar to the West Greenland style, but are often more snugly fitted to the paddler and possess a steeper angle between gunwale and stem which lend maneuverability.

End of removed text.

The one thing that looks really odd in the newly inserted text is the paragraph that starts: "The Greenland Inuit were well known kayakers..." It appears to say that they got their skills from the European explorers, which does not seem likely. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 14:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

After careful consideration I edited the skin on frame section . One can endlessly categorize kayak types therefore I broke them down into the two main groups , multi-chine and single chine. As a student of native kayaks for the last 12 years I hope my contribution is of value. November 22, 2006


There is no page for creeking and several refs to it amoung the kayaking pages. Anybody care to define what creeking is? GhostInTheKayak 17:03, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Creeking is broadly defined as high gradient, low volume (flow) whitewater paddling. Interpretation of this varies widely depending on peoples location and experience so any more detail is likely to be contentious. (talk) 15:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

"Skin Jacket"[edit]

The skin jacket referred to was called a Tuilik, usually made of seal skin. It was loose, had a hood, and came down below the waist. Lacing was used to tighten it around the head, wrists and cockpit.

I can find no source whatever that the paddler was "sewn in" (and thus could not escape in a capsize). It IS true that most eskimos could NOT swim (which would have been useless anyway, in the icy cold waters). Now it was certainly important that the kayak and paddler stay dry and that was indeed the purpose of the Tuilik.

Accordingly the Tuilik was securely laced to the cockpit coaming. But it was not sewn - in an emergency, the lacing could easily be untied. Unless the author can document otherwise, I believe this should be corrected.


I know that some sea kayakers who do a lot of long distance kayaking have found that sails are an invaluable accessory. I was thinking of including it in the Sea Kayak section. I'm not sure if it should be listed as a standard accessory or perhaps a separate section is required. Just like there is debate about rudders, many people consider sails to be not "pure" kayaking. Comments? Riscy

I think it would be a valuable addition to the article Sea kayaking, with a one-line mention in the sea kayak section here. -- Gnetwerker 16:26, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


While it's a entertaining picture (and somewhat relaxing...), this isn't really an image that contributes much to the article, as you can hardly see the kayak in it. Fun, but not encyclopedic, so I removed it. Tijuana Brass¡Épa! 22:31, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, if you click on the picture you get a larger and fairly decent photo of a sit-on-top. We could increase the size of the included photo to make it clearer, but for now I have reverted. -- Gnetwerker 23:40, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Tijuana Brass, that photo doesn't contribute much. Also it does not actually appear to be a sit-on-top, just someone sitting with their feet outside the hull of a closed kayak. -Shogun 01:15, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'm a dumb-ass. I looked at the edit history, and then picked the wrong image to (assume) Tijuana had removed. He was right, I was wrong. I have fixed my error. Sorry (I was looking at the image next to the sit-on-top paragraph). -- Gnetwerker 05:26, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


Purhaps a section needs to be made about multisport kayaks, or more generally racing kayaks that arent specifically for flat water like K1s are.

Multi-hull kayaks[edit]

Recently a section on multi-hulled and outrigger kayaks was added, and I find the section problematic. The kayak hull form dates to the early northern people, and has a distinct evolution than that of the polynesian outrigger canoe (both distinct from the North American native canoe). The confusion is not made easier by the British habit of calling kayaks "canoes". On top of this we now have a section on modern multi-hull boats which often owe very little to the kayak heritage other than the name. While there are indeed outrigger kayaks (that is, kayaks with added proas), including sailing kayaks, these are very different boats from dual-shell rowing boats.

I would tend to define the kayak as: "a vessel with a narrow beam compared to its length, in which the paddler sits (rather than kneels), and which is propelled by a double-bladed paddle". This finesses the issue of whitewater kayaks, which owe some of their heritage to canoes and in the modern day can probably be thought of as a distinct class of boat from traditional (sea) kayaks, but eliminates things like cata-rafts.

I'm not trying to exclude mention of kayaks with outriggers and proas, but I don't want to add to the kayak vs. canoe confusion that is already rampant here. Opinions? -- Gnetwerker 22:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

By definition, a kayak is what the overwhelming majority of people who know the word use it for. It is clear that for most contemporary people 'kayak' is a word that describes a multitude of small boat designs that are very different from the original Inuit or Eskimo kayaks. Let us bear in mind that nearly all modern kayaks are designed with CAD software and made using polymer resins, and that one out of three kayaks sold today is a sit-on-top (SOT), which basically means that it's not a real vessel but in fact a board, and therefor the paddler cannot sit in it but rather sits on top of it. I would argue that a SOT is technically a 'paddle board', but such argument would be essentially moot simply because everybody uses the word 'kayak' to describe SOTs. If nearly all people toady would look at a motorized kayak and describe it as a 'kayak' than it is one, and similarly, if practically anybody looking at a short and chubby whitewater kayak sees a 'kayak' than a kayak it is. Same simple logic is applicable for all types of designs, whether inflatable, multi-hull, pedal driven, sailed etc. It is the contemporary usage of the word that counts in dictionaries and encyclopedias - not the narowest possible, archaic definition. Without such broad approach both dictionaries and encyclopedias would lose most of their practical value. It is easier and it makes more sense to define traditional sea-kayaks and kayaks having similar built and proportions as 'traditional style' designs rather than put artificial limits on reality as it is perceived by paddlers, manfacturers and media. In other words - if everybody says it's a kayak than a kayak it is.

Standing Kayaks[edit]

The section for "standing kayaks" is merely an ad for the Wavewalk Catamaran and should be eliminated from "kayak" as the boat is not a kayak. "Wavewalking" is a direct reference to said company, and "paddle skiing" is another term invented by the company. The whole "standing kayak" section is completely inappropriate and should be eliminated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:01, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Eskimo vs Inuit[edit]

There are three Eskimo groups in North America. These are the Inuit in north eastern Canada, the Inupiaq in northern Alaska and down the Bering Sea Coast to Norton Sound and the Yup'ik on the Bering Sea coast out to the tip of the Aleutian Penninsula and on the Bering Sea islands. All of these groups used kayaks. For this reason it might be more correct to use the term Eskimo in the article rather than Inuit. The use of Inuit in the article excludes these other groups and reinfores the stereotypical misconception that all Eskimos are Inuit. 16:32, 23 November 2006 (UTC)Tlaloc

I think this is, in general, a useful edit (also the addition of the Bering Sea). I am currently trying to find a copy of Peterson's long out-of-print "Skin Boats of Greenland", the original modern work on native kayaks, to get an original reference. I think this is much more useful that the edits by a different anon who keeps massively rewriting the skin boats section to be Siberia-centric. There is little verifiable evidence for that position. -- Gnetwerker 02:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I am the "anonymous" editor of the skin boats section. Also I am hardly re-writing the section to be Siberian-centric only to say that kayaks were developed first in Siberia. A small point but why not be accurate?

If kayaks didn't originate in Siberia where did they ? How did people migrate to North America ? The long held belief that people walked across a Bering Strait land bridge is increasingly being challenged by knowledgeable people who consider the first wave of migrants traveled by boat, likely umiaks and kayaks together. These people would have had a long tradition of watercraft for travel and subsistence hunting.

For a serious look into online information regarding Eskimo kayaks I suggest and clicking on THE KAYAK - A Study in Typology and Cultural History by Jarmo Kankaanpää —Preceding unsigned comment added by Transitfour (talkcontribs)

If the Eskimo migrated to America by boat, it was more probably by using Umiaks, and not Kayaks, as the former boat/canoe does carry a lot more people and load. The kayak is more of a specialised hunting vessel, even if it can carry a couple of persons if really necessary. The main point is that in order to set the origin of kayaks in Siberia you have to be able to cite a verifiable source that says the same thing. Otherwise it is better to say nothing as to the origin of the kayak. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mossig (talkcontribs)

Dec 5 , 2006 - I see the origins section has been updated to include Asian origins. Very sensible!

Without a doubt umiaks were essential in the peopling of North America. There are several historic mentions of umiaks and kayaks being used together in Greenland for moving villages from one area to another. Perhaps the same procedure was followed in the human migration to North America. Kayaks can travel farther in one day than a umiak can so they serve as useful scouting craft for finding the safest route and come across more game than a umiak can. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Transitfour (talkcontribs)

There is absolutely no evidence to support this position. The last significant migration to North America is considered to have occurred between 7,000 - 10,000 years ago (there may have been earlier migrations as long ago as 35,000 years). There is no evidence of boat-making or use of any kind (or much evidence at all) by these people. The oldest "hard" archeological evidence of kayaks is only about 2000 years old, with circumstantial evidence stretching that date back perhaps another 2000 years. It is not verifiable either scientifically or for wikipedia purposes that the kayak "originated" anywhere in particular. The earliest European contact with kayaks was in Greenland, and this is the heritage from which modern kayaks predominantly derive. -- Gnetwerker 22:22, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

The article states that the Ainu were one of the groups to invent the Kayak. Is there any evidence for this? Or is this just another supposition based on the genetic evidence that the North American indians were their descendents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The article states that the Ainu were one of the groups which used the kayak, which is true. It does not say who or where it was invented, as we have no historical documentation of that. Mossig 01:38, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
As the article is, at this point, almost completely unsourced, I suggest we be permissive about things that are collective (such as historical users) and exclusive about things which are exclusionary (such as the "originator" culture). In the absence of sources, my suggestion is that this is most defensible. I have several contemporary books about kayaing, but I am reluctant to use them as sources here because they are only using the historical sources in passing. I don't have the time or energy at this stage to find a library that has some of these rare historical texts. That said, the North American/Greenland history is well-documented in these contemporary sources, while the Ainu contribution is not. -- Gnetwerker 02:36, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Then you have to look into Japanese sources. All I know is that kayaks are a part of Ainu culture as presented in Japan, and that the worlds (allegedly) only surviving three-person kayak is from the Ainu people. It is on display at the Ainu museum on Hokkaido Mossig 11:21, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Canoe v. kayak in wind[edit]

Someone removed the following statement from the article, calling it POV. "One advantage to a kayak is that with a canoe's high bow, it is harder to paddle against the wind. Since Kayaks do not have such high sides, it is easier to paddle on a windy day." As someone who is fond of canoes and kayaks, I would have to say that the statement is simply true-- a canoe puts a whole lot more boat above the waterline and in the way of high winds. So I have re-added it, pending further discussion. -- Mwanner | Talk 13:39, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

My canoe, as opposed to kayak, experince is limited, however uncited it it still POV so have added a fact tag. Also the start of the article is possiably not the apropreate place for this infomation, shuffeld a bit. --Nate1481 13:53, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Separate pages for "Kayak" and "Kayaking"[edit]

I believe we need to create a sperate page for "Kayaking" as opposed to one general page. The article is way too long, and "Kayak" should be an article about "Kayaks" in their physical form, whereas "Kayaking" describes putting the object to use. See the Canoe article, I believe we need to do something similar here. If you want to help or are interested in Kayaking, please considering joining the Kayaking WikiProject. Bennyboyz3000 07:58, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Pedal kayaks are NOT kayaks[edit]

Take a look at the section. Perhaps whoever added this section has not read the definition of a kayak? Allow me to quote the definition of a kayak (per the kayak page): A kayak is a small human-powered boat. It typically has a covered deck, and a cockpit covered by a spraydeck. It is propelled by a double-bladed paddle by a sitting paddler.. I believe this is a good enough reason in itself to omit this section, such boats should remain under the Pedal boat article, as that is exactly what they are. Kayaks are propelled by paddles, not pedals. I will remove the section in a couple of days if there is sufficient consensus, or no-one cares. Bennyboyz3000 11:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Any object gets its name from the way most people describe it. If the vast majority of people who see a pedal driven kayak think they see a 'kayak' and use the word 'kayak' to remember and describe what they saw then by definition that thing is a kayak, and more specifically - a pedal driven kayak. It is pointless to try to stick to the archaic definition of kayak as a 'native, skin-on-frame boat..etc.'.or a somehow broader defibition that fits less than 10% of kayaks on the market today. The days when such definitions were applicable or even somehow useful are long gone.

Umiak remarks[edit]

the remarks about an Umiak are not quite clear and doubtful: 1. an Umiak was called a women's boat in later times when it was not used (much) anymore for hunting but mainly for transportation. Because of this designation, it was thought that Umiak meant women's boat, but it is probable this was not what the word Umiak meant. 2. the Umiak is in fact a larger open boat, which could also be described as a sea canoe. 3. if a kayak started out as a decked over umiak, I would like to know some sources for that, because I don't know anything about the use of decked Umiaks. I do know of open kayaks like canoes though. Dirk Barends (Steekpeddel on nl.wikipedia)

Help with "clapitus" article[edit]

I've found the word "clapitus" in several kayaking articles on the Internet, and created a stub article Clapitus.

There is no documentation on the origin of the word anywhere -- it's not in any dictionaries I can find, and there's no description of its origin in the articles I found.

So if some kayaking enthusiasts could look into where this word came from -- ideally identifying its first oral, and published use -- the Clapitus article (and Wiktionary, which I haven't dealt with) could use your services.

It looks to me like a (possibly humorous) pseudo-Latinization of waves "clapping" together -- but that's only my speculation.

Thanks —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC).


Actually, kayak, or qajaq, does not mean "man's boat". Qaja, in Inuktitut, seems to mean "flowing water", as in a river or tidal movement. Qajau means to be carried along by flowing water. Qajaq then becomes some sort of "flowing water conveyance." A canoe is a qajariaq. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

One of the things about the English language is that it includes common usage. My dictionary, which is a little old I admit, defines Kayak as an Inuit Canoe, using Canoe as a generic term. This may not be technicaly correct according to the origins of the word with tribes who first used the terms, but we can hardly start tracing back all the words in the English language and recorrecting them the the correct Latin/Saxon/Nordic/Celtic... usage. Really many of the modern Kayak's have little similarity to the skin covered Innuit versions, but there is still this insistance to correct people when they call them a cannoe, usually on a false pretext, as the tribal origins are not always known. I suspect that modern English dictionaries probably include the broader usage of Kayak now used, but in English (perhaps not American English), canoe is the generic term in common usage, so you can be both canoeing and kayaking at the same time.

I threw out a whole bunch of links, moved some to other articles, but there is still enough left to do.Mfranck 15:44, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


Undid some vandalism, a whole section was replaced with junk text. 10:44, 23 May 2009 (talk) (38,949 bytes) (→Design) (undo) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Changlinn (talkcontribs)

New external link?[edit]

I'm a Wikipedia newbie. I put a sea kayak website online this morning. I think you may like it. If you do, I'd be very happy for it to be included in the "external website" section. KayakNicholas (talk) 14:31, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Replied on user's talk page JamesBWatson (talk) 14:46, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
JamesBWatson - Thank you for editing, I think however you removed many useful links. Many of the links you removed covered aspects of kayaking which, after reviewing the Kayarchy Site (which seems qute good), are not fully covered by that single page. I think some of the pages are perhaps duplicated by the Kayarchy Site, but it certainly does not cover all aspects of the kayak. It says itself, and I quote "...mainly for users of Greenland-style sea kayaks...". There are many kayak users whom do not fall into this category, therefore I will undo your edit, but also include the Kayarchy link. I write as an avid kayaker, who, were I to be looking for information, would find many of the deleted links useful. There are, perhaps, some of those links, which could be deleted. WestCoast222 (talk) 04:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Prices and refs[edit]

This article is starving for references to support its claims. I hope all you 'yakers out there will help out. I left the info on prices and other commercial stuff in, but I don't really think it belongs in an encyclopedia. It's not a product catalog. Comments on the changes I did make are welcome. Happy paddling...Lfstevens (talk) 01:47, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Link to Inflatable Boats Outlet[edit]

I've just removed the link to the Inflatable Boats Outlet. It was just advertising, and as far as I'm aware, that's not allowed.

There are a number of "articles" on the website, but I would dispute some of the advice given in these articles. For instance, 230cm paddle might be ok for inflatables (I don't know), but in a Canoe Polo/Whitewater/Sprint/Slalom (mainstream) boats, it's about 30 cm too long for the average paddler. This is not qualified on the website. For this reason, I don't think the link is justified.

In any case, the link should be above the ICF/BCU etc!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alex Chamberlain (talkcontribs) 08:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

No Inuits on the Bering sea[edit]

According to the article: "Kayaks (Inuktitut: qajaq, Inuktitut syllabics: ᖃᔭᖅ) were originally developed by indigenous Inuit people, who used the boats to hunt on inland lakes, rivers and coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic, Bering Sea and North Pacific oceans."

The Eskimo people that live on the arctic coast of Canada and Alaska from the Mackenzie delta down to Norton Sound on the Bearing Sea are Inupiaqs. The Bearing sea Eskimos that live from Norton sound down to the end of the Aleutian peninsula and on the Bearing sea island are Yup'iks. There are also eastern Siberian Eskimos. The Aleuts, who live on the Aleutian Islands are Eskimos. The Alutiiq, who live on Kodiak Island are also Eskimos and are sometimes called Pacific Yup'ks. There are not now or have there ever been any Inuit on the Bering Sea and North Pacific oceans, nor on the Arctic coast of western Canada or Alaska. Inuits are Eskimos but Eskimos are not Inuits. The Inuit use kayaks but there is absolutely no evidence that they invented the kayak any more than any other Eskimo group. Other groups used kayaks as well but used other words for it; for example the Aleuts called it "Iqyax" see baidarka. This sentence is factually incorrect and promotes the stereotype that all Eskimos are Inuit. I propose that this be rewritten to remove the ignorance and replace it with fact. Senor Cuete (talk) 02:55, 16 March 2012 (UTC)Senor Cuete

Kayak vs Canoe in the UK[edit]

@Malick78: and I are having a little disagreement about how to include the fact that in the UK canoe/canoeing is sometimes used to refer to a kayak/kayaking. From my experience canoe is used to refer to a kayak quite often by people who have little to no paddlesport experience and infrequently by those who do. However I would say the canoeing vs kayaking replacement is used a bit more often. Malick78 is indeed right that paddlesport organizations in the UK (throughout the world?) use canoeing as an umbrella term, in my opinion this is not quite the same as using canoe instead of kayak as in that sense it is referring to all forms of paddlesport.

Basically, what should be included in this article? It is an article about kayaks not kayaking. If we include some or all of the above (changed or not) what goes in the lead so that it is concise without misrepresenting or confusing the issue?

Thoughts and input would be appreciated. Jamesmcmahon0 (talk) 08:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't see how British ignorance or slang adds to the article. Senor Cuete (talk) 23:56, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I can confirm that in South Africa the canoeing is as an umbrella term, if that helps. Mattpbarry (talk) 01:30, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm a British Canoe Union Level 2 Coach, and can confirm that in the UK, a canoe is a boat that is pointed at both ends and propelled by paddles. Under that heading, there are "open" canoes and kayaks. This is neither slang nor ignorance as the person above asserts. It has its roots in the earliest recreational boats in the UK, constructed by the likes of "Rob Roy" MacGregor, which were a hybrid of canoe and kayak design. The American usage of canoes and kayaks as separate entities is gaining ground here, and the British Canoe Union, our national governing body, changed the name of its training manual from Canoeing Handbook to Canoe and Kayak Handbook a decade or so ago. Nevertheless, the use of "canoeing" to cover both disciplines is still heard, especially amongst us older paddlers. Alansplodge (talk) 18:41, 3 October 2014 (UTC)


Kajukki is a completely unreferenced substub that looks unsalvageable. I even suspect that the implied connection to kayak is spurious. For kajukki, with its u, probably not in origin the same word as kajakki, looks like a loan from a Turkic word for "boat". As this paper demonstrates, Turkish kayık (from older kay-guk, from Proto-Turkic *kad-guk or the like), "Eskimo" qayaq and (Atkan) Aleut iqya-x̣ are all unrelated and their similarity is completely accidental. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:55, 6 March 2015 (UTC)