Kayak Glossary And Definitions

Class I – VI—This is a rating system for whitewater, the currents and how difficult it is to kayak in these waters.


Cockpit—This is the place where the kayaker is seated during kayak trips, each style of kayak has a different size cockpit, while some are rather large and comfortable others are very snug.


Hatch—The hatch is a part of the kayak where supplies can be stored where they will be kept dry from the water. This is where emergency supplies and camp equipment is kept.


Hull—The hull is a part of the bottom of the kayak that can be flat or as sharp of a cut as a V shape, this is what determines how easily the kayak will move though the water and how stable the kayak will be when in the water.


Kayak – A kayak is a watercraft that has a similar shape to a canoe; it has an enclosed top with a cockpit. There are many styles of the kayak that are made for different types of water some of these are the touring kayak, the whitewater kayak, the sit-on-top, the surf kayak and the recreational kayak.


Paddle—A kayak paddle can be made from wood, aluminum or alloy, these are the instrument that is used to move the kayak through the water and should be fitted to the person paddling in size and weight.


Personal Floatation Device—This is commonly known as a lifejacket, these are a necessary part of kayaking and are constructed in different levels of protection.


Rules—In kayaking there are rules, these rules have to do with paddling the kayak properly, these rules are to keep from forming bad habits as well as injuries such as sprains, pulled muscles and pulled tendons. They are easy to follow as long as bad habits have not already begun.