Sea Kayaking 10 Historical Facts You Didnt Know

Sea kayaking is fast gaining popularity along with the other outdoor adventure sports on the market. It is a venture that boasts a very rich history. Here are 10 interesting facts about sea kayaking and kayaks you might not have known.

1. The Eskimos started sea kayaking in the Arctic region over 4000 years ago. They built the first kayaks to enable swift and easy movement across water using little effort. By adapting to an environment of more water than land and little vegetation or land animals, the Eskimos used sea kayaks as a means of survival to hunt seals, whales and walrus for food, clothing, and shelter. Kayaks were built using animal skin stitched over frames made of wood or whale bones and waterproofed using animal lard.

2. In 1924, kayaking debuted as a demo sport in the Paris Olympics. After 12 years, it officially became an Olympic event in the 1936 Berlin Olympics as the first 10 class Canoe/Kayak Flat-water event.

3. The first solo circumnavigation of Australia via sea kayaking was achieved by Paul Caffyn in 1982. It took him 360 days to complete the expedition, encountering wild surf, cyclones and extreme forces of nature in a 9,420-mile travel. Caffyn's venture set the benchmark for contemporary kayaking expeditions.

4. It took 332 days for the first female to circumnavigate Australia in 2009 by sea kayaking. Freya Hoffmeister from Germany voyaged 13,000 km and finished the circumnavigation 28 days earlier than Paul Caffyn in 1982.

5. In 1980, Birgit Fischer was the youngest canoe winner in Olympic history at the age of 18. She accomplished a total of 12 Olympic medals by the age of 24.

6. Greg Barton was the first US Olympic gold medalist in the kayaking event in the 1988 games. At the time, he was also the only competitor to take home two gold medals for the event.

7. The first kayaking medal of Australia was won by Dennis Green and Wally Brown in the 1956 Melbourne Games. The duo won the bronze in the 10,000m kayak (K2), an event that failed to continue in the succeeding Olympic Games.