is a relatively recent type of active activity or extreme sport on the water with the use of a small one-seat (less often two-seater) kayak boat.


is a type of single rowing boat (kayaks) that is widespread among the Eskimos, Aleuts and other peoples of the Arctic. It was made from skins stretched on a skeleton made of bone or wood. Modern kayaks, manufactured industrially from heavy-duty materials, are divided into several types:

kojaki for rodeo, park and play, freestyle – sharp and sharp contours, flat nose and fodder provide these boats with better interaction with incoming water, and also facilitate the performance of rodeo elements. This type of kayak is among the most expensive because of the constant updating of the model range, due to the rapid development of freestyle.

Kayaks for rafting

(English river running) are distinguished by smoother contours, designed to minimize the impact of water entering the ship, to reduce diving and to accelerate the ascent. For the extreme alloy, shorter boats (from 230 to 260 cm in length), for the expeditionary boat, will be longer (up to 3 meters).

Kayaks for playing alloy

(English river play, freerclasse) are suitable for freestyle and for alloy, as they have moderately sharp contours and a relatively large volume.

Sea kayaks (English sea kayak), adapted for travel on open water areas (oceans, seas, lakes, reservoirs, flat rivers), are most often equipped with steering and sail. They are characterized by less maneuverability, but greater capacity, stability on the course and speed.

All kinds of kayaking can be divided into several groups:

Sea touring recreational kayaking

– trips and walks conducted in specialized high-speed and steady kayaks along the calm surface of lakes, plain rivers or sea bays.

Whitewater kayaking

(English “kayaking on white (stormy) water”) – moving on a kayak along a rough stream (mountain river, flat rivers, coastal relief or artificially created canal), full of obstacles. There are such types of whitewater kayaking:
1. Rodeo (freestyle) – performing tricks and acrobatic figures on a kayak using inhomogeneities of the water flow (most often in the “barrel” – this is the area of ​​foam counterflow behind the drain or on the shaft (standing wave in the river bed )). This kind of kayaking regularly hosts various competitions, championships of Europe and the world. The main task of the athlete is to accomplish the maximum possible number of elements (“mov”, from the English “move” – ​​within 30-45 seconds). The assessment takes into account the complexity and entertainment of each element, as well as the variability (variety of figures) of the speech as a whole.
2. Alloy – overcoming on kayaks of technically difficult obstacles or sections of rivers.

Expeditionary alloy

– most often conducted in a remote and uninhabited area, therefore, assumes a long journey without any escort (all necessary equipment is transported in kayaks). Most often the route is designed so that before the athletes do not get very complicated obstacles, as the possibility of insurance is limited, and to provide assistance in case of failure is extremely difficult, and sometimes simply impossible.Competitions in this sport (“extreme races”, “adrenaline races”) are conducted on sections of the river of a high level of complexity, taking into account both the time of passage of the route and those or other actions of the participant or team;

Extreme alloy

– the passage of areas of increased complexity on empty kayaks in the presence of a support group that makes insurance;

Game alloy

(playboating, playbotting) – an alloy for small relatively simple sections of rivers on empty boats, sometimes performed with rodeo elements;


(raft raft) is an alloy on a raft (a kind of inflatable boat), carried out on rough and more calm rivers, lakes, streams.


is one of the sports disciplines, divided into several types:
Rowing slalom – since 1992 the Olympic sport. Athletes go through the designated route in a fast stream for as short a period of time;
Canoeing and kayaking is an Olympic sport, which consists in rowing at a speed in a straight line, on smooth water;
High-speed descent – rafting on the speed of a section of turbulent water, downstream. Competitions for this kind of sport are held in areas of the river of moderate complexity, the winner is the one who first crossed the specified route. The limitations of the trajectory, as in rowing slalom, are absent;
Canopó – is a water polo on kayaks, held in the pool between two teams;
Snowshaking – descent on plastic boats along the snow-covered slope.

A clever and strong person, equipped with expensive equipment, easily overcome any obstacle during kayak rafting.

Undoubtedly, the athlete’s physical data and the quality of the equipment are significant values, but it should be remembered that obstacles are not overcome at the expense of the vessel’s capabilities, but at the expense of the skills of the oarsman who have found him in the process of prolonged and persistent training. To become a good kayaker, giving study of the art of behavior in rough water two or three weeks a year, is simply impossible.

If you are going to do kayaking, be sure to get ready for many days of long trips.

Not necessary. Some kinds of kayaking (for example, rodeo or freestyle) do not have any relation to water tourism (although the skills, equipment, and kayaks are used the same), but they allow you to enjoy the overcoming of obstacles in turbulent water to people who can not or desire for a long time to break away from all the benefits of civilization.

A person who has no experience and skill can not even dream of participating in the rafting through rough water.

This is not true. In Nepal, Turkey and other countries, tourists are offered to go rafting (one of the varieties of kayaking). A customer who has paid a certain amount receives equipment and can feel all the charms of the rafting along the turbulent river. However, the knowledge and skills of the tourist do not play a special role, since the behavior of the raft is almost completely controlled by the guide sitting at the stern of the ship. The oar in the client’s hands serves only as a means of amusement and a way to evoke in the delighted tourist a deep sense of one’s own worth and involvement in what is happening.

Training on kayaking is carried out only in open water, best of all – on rivers that abound with steep turns, waterfalls, etc.

No, sports clubs, associations and kayaking federations organize swimming pool training from November to April. It was at this time, under the guidance of experienced instructors, a beginner sportsman has the opportunity to get acquainted with all the subtleties of this sport. Only after this, you can start training in open water.

Outfit for kayaking classes consists of many items and is extremely expensive.

Indeed, people professionally engaged in kayaking (however, like any other sport) spend a lot on purchasing equipment. However, beginning athletes do not need it.Those who will be engaged in the pool will need three things:
– a kayak, choosing which one should not at all give preference to the boats of the last model, because they will be out of date before your training ends. Any kayak used, the price of which usually ranges from 300 to 500 cu. for the beginning it will do;
– paddle. As in the case of a kayak, it is not necessary to rush to acquire a super-strong dollar thing for 150-200. Any used oar in the price range from 40 to 70 USD. you will be suitable (after all, in the trainings, there are different incidents, and such a model will not be so miserable as standing 3-4 times more expensive);
– skirt (apron). At the initial stage, when there is a study of rowing in a straight line and turns, this part of the gear is of no use to you. But to perform an Eskimo coup, a skirt is simply necessary. In this case, keep in mind that expensive skirts have a model range, i.e. fit under a certain kayak. Cheap (40-60 USD) will have to try on or ask sellers the question of the compatibility of the skirt you chose and the type of boat that you purchased.
When the time comes to start training in open water, you will have to purchase some more mandatory items of equipment:
– helmet. It does not matter where the training will take place – on a stormy mountain river or a quiet lake in front of your house – a helmet is necessary in any case. On its purchase, you will spend from 30 to 50 cu. (Of course, if you do not decide to acquire a super-expensive model for extreme cases, the price of which varies from 60 to 120 cu)
– a life jacket is a specialized model for kayaking. Inexpensive option will cost you 50-80 cu.
– wetsuit. Since water in rivers (especially mountain rivers) is rarely warm, one should prefer neoprene semi-overalls (pants), the cost is from 80 to 200, a waterproof jacket (draytop, 50-150 ye), under which you usually wear thermal underwear, a shirt of thin neoprene or polora. Also you need neoprene sneakers, the cost of which will be from 20 to 60 cu.

Instead of a specialized helmet for kayaking, the motorcycle helmet is suitable at first.

The helmet is exactly the part of the outfit on which you should not save. In the extreme case, you can use hockey, but not motorcycle, construction or any other.

We should give preference to domestic equipment for kayaking – it is both better and cheaper.

Unfortunately, kayaking equipment in Russia and CIS countries is produced in very small quantities, therefore it is almost impossible to find it in stores. New kayaks and expensive models of equipment of famous firms are brought only under the order. Outfitters and kayaks used can be searched on the Internet or in places where they teach kayaking.

Kayaking is extremely traumatic.

Like any extreme sport, kayaking carries a potential danger, but, firstly, it is not so great – after all, according to statistics, for example, people controlling motorcycles, are injured much more often than kayakers. And secondly, by observing certain rules, you can reduce the risk of an accident to almost zero. So:
1. You should start classes under the guidance of an experienced instructor, especially if you chose an alloy, not a rodeo.
2. For outdoor activities, you should purchase specialized equipment that corresponds to the season, water temperature, route difficulty, etc.
3. The condition of the equipment must be checked before each launch to the water, and not just at the beginning of the hike.
4. The kayaker should avoid situations of increased risk (solo alloy, alloy in flood conditions or unfavorable weather conditions, in a state of extreme fatigue, etc.) or at least be aware that such actions may entail negative, and sometimes irreparable consequences.Therefore, experienced kayakers first pass the route along the river bank on foot, carefully examining the obstacles and comparing them with the level of their own preparation to develop a plan for further action.

If the kayaker made a mistake, he must pass the same section of the track again to fix it.

Indeed, sometimes mistakes create a sense of fear and insecurity. Folk wisdom says that for a complete victory over fear one should immediately correct the failure – during a repeated attempt to overcome the same obstacle. However, you should not hurry, because in the event of a second failure, you just fix the fear and unreasonably reduce the self-esteem. To achieve success, it is necessary, first, to fully restore the forces spent on combating the obstacle. Secondly, it takes time to realize your mistakes, to develop an action plan that nullifies the repetition of the previous defeat. Only in the event that you can mentally “scroll” in your head all your further actions aimed at correcting the missed miss, it is worth repeating the attempt to overcome the difficult area. If the uncertainty does not leave you for a long time, you can apply one more way: to return to what you have the best way. And only when you see that your skills have not gone anywhere, raise the self-esteem to the appropriate level and regain confidence in yourself – you can safely start mastering a new complex element of kayaking.

On an alloy of an increased level of complexity, you need only take the newest and most modern equipment.

This is not quite true. In the event that the level of complexity of the future trip is quite high for you, you should give preference to proven equipment that has proved its reliability (especially for a kayak).

The most difficult parts of the route should be planned at the beginning of the journey (when the athlete is full of strength) or at the end (when the experience enriches the kayaker many times and ensures one hundred percent success).

No, the passage of rivers that are full of obstacles of an increased level of complexity is best planned for the middle of the trip, when there is a maximum rolling-out and fatigue has not yet accumulated. At the beginning of the voyage, you should give preference to the alloys of the average difficulty level, and at the end to postpone something extremely interesting, but not particularly complicated.

To engage in kayaking in rough water, you will have to go to Siberia, the Urals, Transbaikalia or Nepal.

Not necessary. Near some large cities of the CIS countries, where many kayakers are concentrated, there are playspots (play-offs) – places suitable for freestyle. Most of them function only in the spring during high water.
In Russia it is the Msta river (Borovichi town), r. Tosna (settlement Sologubovka, 40 km from St. Petersburg), r. Vuoksa (Losevo village, 90 km from St. Petersburg).
In Karelia and on the Kola Peninsula, there are many rivers and rapids suitable for freestyle as well as for rafting: Shuya (settlement of Matrosy in 30 km from Petrozavodsk), waterfalls of Kivach (the river Suna), Kumi (the Voynitsa river), waterfalls on the river. Titovka and Kolvitsa.
In Ukraine, 80 km from Kharkov, an artificial barrel suitable for rodeo (the so called “hohlobochka”) is installed on the outlet channel of the Zmievskaya GRES cooling system. Seasonality – September-May, in the summer, skiing is difficult, because the water is too hot (30-35 degrees Celsius).
In the Carpathians, there are a lot of relatively simple rivers (Prut, Tisa, Cheremosh), quite suitable for learning the basics of freestyle and rafting. The disadvantage is the limited seasonality (late April-early May).
There are a lot of rivers of different levels of complexity (Aksaut, Belaya, Kuban, Zelenchuk, Mzymta, etc.) in the Caucasus.
In Europe, excellent conditions for freestyle, game and extreme rafting are created in Norway, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France.
Turkey also provides kayakers to test their strength on rivers of varying difficulty levels.

Kayak and canoe are not much different from each other.

These types of boats differ in the way they land and row.In the kayak rower sits at the bottom of the boat and rowing with a double-bladed paddle, in a canoe – kneeling, rowing with a single-blade paddle on one side. Beginners should take into account that the number of kayakers and canoeists is roughly the same as 100: 1, and as demand creates supply – difficulties with finding a good coach and a choice of equipment for a canoeist several times more.

Demountable kayaks are easier to transport, and composite ones are lightweight, so for alloys or freestyle they are the most acceptable.

When choosing the material from which a kayak is made, it is necessary to take into account not only the ease of transportation and the low weight of the structure, but also (which is especially important) its strength and durability. After dismountable boats, consisting of a carcass and a shell, do not differ rigidity and high strength, because for alloys are of little use. Ships made of fiberglass (composite) are also not used because of brittleness, but can be successfully applied in rowing slalom. If an athlete plans an alloy or freestyle, he must choose a kayak, which is a solid monolithic structure made of high molecular weight polyethylene, resistant to abrasion, shocks and scratches.

The category of complexity of the river is easy to determine – in fact, all the streams studied by athletes or tourists are classified.

Indeed, the classification of flows takes place. However, it should be noted that in different countries you may encounter different understandings of the term “level of complexity”. For example, the international classification puts first the technical complexity of the river section (obstacles, the ability to determine the line of motion and the consequences of its non-compliance). The Russian classification categorizes complexity, taking into account such factors as the population of the district, the difficulty of the group’s transfer, the length of the route, and only the technical complexity of the section of the river planned for passage. In addition, the international scale is stricter than the Russian one for categories 1-2, therefore, some of the obstacles described in the Russian classification as “very difficult” would fall into the category of “super difficult” in the international classification.

Lake and sea kayaks can not be equipped with skirts – because they do not travel by stormy water, which means that the liquid will not enter the interior.

Perhaps you are not going to carry out an Eskimo coup in your kayak, but from a sudden storm or heavy rain, which is quite capable of quickly filling a boat with water, you are not insured at all. It is for such a case in the equipping of a lake and sea kayak that the skirt (apron) should be present.

Neoprene skirt is extremely durable and resistant to external influences.

This is true, but some substances act on this material destructively. For example, sea salt and chlorine can damage neoprene, so after use in the pool or sea water, the skirt must be rinsed in clean water. Keep the skirt only in a clean condition, in a cold, dry and dark place, as the rubber is unstable to UV rays.

For kayaking, any sports life jacket is suitable.

Wrong opinion. For various sports, life jackets are developed that have different properties and meet certain parameters. For example, a tight and inelastic, not having a large armhole for making movements with hands, a vest for water skiing for kayaking is completely inappropriate – it does not provide sufficient mobility and comfort. The life jacket for a kayaker does not constrain the freedom of movement, is short (so as not to interfere with the skirt). People engaged in water tourism, usually prefer short pockets equipped with pockets of bright colors, equipped with retroreflective ribbons. For rafting, life jackets of a slightly larger size are designed, equipped with a large floating collar, which makes it possible to hold the person’s head above the water even when he lost consciousness due to a trauma.There are also life jackets for insurers and rescuers, equipped with a towing carbine, a stroporose, a stall, and so on. In addition, it should be remembered that over time, life jackets lose some of their buoyancy. If after you squeeze the life jacket, the foam in it does not open – it’s time to replace it.

Paddle for kaying should be selected short, with a wide blade.

This is indeed the case, however, when choosing first, pay attention to the strength of the oar. Unreliable structures, quite suitable for lake tourism, are not suitable for rough water at all. The length of the paddle depends on the width of your boat. Long paddles are usually used on smooth water, since they allow you to develop a great speed, while on the stormy one, where the main thing is maneuverability, they prefer short oars. However, there are exceptions to this rule – wide inflatable kayaks and sit-on-top boats have to be equipped with longer oars. The blade of the oars for kayakers and canoeists is somewhat larger than that of the oars for smooth water, but it should be remembered that this type of construction, allowing more effort to be developed on the strokes, will require more energy for the stroke. If the blade tapers to the edge, the strokes will have to be done more often, but the effort will be spent less. To save a lot of energy during the stroking will also help to reduce the weight of the paddles, but as a rule, lighter designs are much more expensive than heavy ones.

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