Kayaking on the Hudson

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kayak Basics - Parts of a Kayak

If you want to get a kayak, you need to know some basic terminology:
Parts of a Kayak

Length & width – Just like it sounds (width is at the widest point)
Beam – same as width
Bow – front of the kayak
Stern – rear of the kayak
Fore – Front
Aft – Rear
Hull – entire bottom of the kayak
Bulkheads – interior walls in the kayak that create a sealed, air tight compartment
Hatches – access to these compartments
Cockpit – area where you sit in the kayak
Footpegs – you rest/brace your feet on them
Rudder- blade at the back of the kayak that helps you steer.  You control it with the footpegs.
Skeg- blade that hangs under the kayak (like the fin on a surfboard) that helps keep the kayak straight.
Cockpit Combing – Rim around the cockpit that is used to hold a spray-skirt on.
Rocker – the amount of curvature in the hull.  A boat with a lot of rocker is shaped like a banana
pfd – Personal Flotation Device = life vest.  Not part of the kayak, but you should wear one every time you go paddling.
(for a bigger view of the picture above, click on Parts of a Kayak on the right menu)

See you on the water,
Don Urmston
Email me directly with any questions:

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