What Wikipedia Says

Wikipedia’s Definitions of Kayak and Kayaking are helpful.

Difference between Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaking is generally differentiated from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. In a kayak the paddler faces forward, legs in front, using a double bladed paddle. In a canoe, the paddler faces forward and sits or kneels in the boat, using a single bladed paddle.


The word kayak comes from the Inuit language. Kayaks are at least 4,000 years old. They were originally developed by indigenous Arctic 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. These first kayaks were constructed from stitched seal or other animal skins stretched over a wooden frame (made from driftwood, since many of their habitats were treeless).

This is a great historical kayak photo found on Wikipedia:

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatables, also known as the ducky, can usually be transported by hand using a carry bag. They are made of hypalon (a kind of neoprene), Nytrylon (a rubberized fabric), pvc, or polyurethane coated cloth. They can be inflated with foot, hand or electric pumps. Multiple compartments in all but the least expensive increase safety. They generally use low pressure air, almost always below 3 psi.

While many inflatables are non-rigid, essentially pointed rafts, best suited for use on rivers and calm water, the higher end inflatables are designed to be hardy, seaworthy vessels. Recently some manufacturers have added an internal frame ((folding-style) to a multi-section inflatable sit-on-top to produce a seaworthy boat.

The appeal of inflatable kayaks is their portability, their durability (they don’t dent), and their easy storage. In addition, inflatable kayaks generally are stable, have a small turning radius and are easy to master, although some models take more effort to paddle and are slower than traditional kayaks.

Current Twitter conversations with the word “kayaking”