Rachel Keech, Kenya Banks, and Jonathan |
Throughout the history of mankind outdoor activities have played integral roles in everyday life. In today’s modernized society, people spend more time indoors than ever before. Many of the outdoor activities that are still participated in today are chosen for recreational purposes but a surprising number of them have more practical roots. A great number of the outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, and skiing that people engage in nowadays mainly just for fun were historically used to obtain food, scout out potential dwelling places, and travel long distances.
One outdoor activity with historically significant roots is kayaking. The name “kayak” literally means “hunter’s boat.” The first kayaks were built by the people of the Arctic regions of Asia, North America, and Greenland who designed the long, thin boats mainly for the purpose of hunting seals and walruses. (Adamson, 2004)
Eventually this design spread and was adapted into many different variations that were specifically suited to the needs of the people of various regions. Structure and materials used to construct early kayaks varied greatly between regions. In some areas the wooden frames of the boats were covered with skins of animals such as seals while in others they were made with cloth materials. (Robinson, 2001) In some areas it was common to line the insides of kayaks with seal bladders filled with air to buoy the boats and make them very unlikely to sink. (Adamson, 2004) It was not until the 1950’s that fiberglass was introduced and began serving as the main kayak building material until the mid-80’s when plastic became the textile of choice. (Robinson, 2001)
Recreational interest in kayaks began to spark in the mid-1800 when John MacGregor founded the Canoe Club. This organization popularized canoeing and kayaking as a sport and inspired the first regatta in 1873. By... [continues]
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