“The kayak is far and away the best one-man boat in existence.” Fridtjof Nansen, polar explorer, Norwegian diplomat and Nobel prize-winner. He was talking about the classic Greenland kayak. The sit-on-top kayak is very popular too, because a total beginner can climb on and go paddling.
A sea kayak is :
- fast. A classic sea kayak can easily go faster and further than a hiker on foot, fast enough to go against a current.
- quick to get ready. Put it on your car, drive to a beautiful place, launch and go.
- light. Just carry it down the beach, or hook it up in the roof of your garage, or even take it up in the elevator to a city-centre apartment.
- slim. A sea kayak will take you through a reed bed, into a cave, up a narrow river, or between a tide race and the cliffs.
- beautiful. More than one sculptor has kept a Greenland kayak for inspiration in the studio.
- affordable. A good one can take thirty or forty years of hard use, and you can make a tough and lovely sea kayak for next to nothing.
- it's great for wildlife. A sea kayak is low, fast and silent so you see nature up close. No flapping sails, squeaking oars or engine noise.
- .... but most of all, a sea kayak is seaworthy. A trained sea kayaker in the right kayak can cope with waves, surf and wind from the Arctic to the tropics. When you're experienced, you can do things that would make a sailor or powerboater's jaw drop. Kayakers often like to go where there aren't any sailboats or powerboats.