Kayaks as we know them now have evolved from those developed over perhaps thousands of years by the Innuit peoples of the Arctic regions.
They were fast and sea worthy craft made out of drift wood and animal skins. They had to be quick as a hunting or fishing craft and sea worthy to handle freezing cold waters. Europeans quickly adapted the designs using wooden and rubber / canvas skins. Klepper was one of the first to develop this design. There followed all wood and then composite construction and finally plastics. The use of the double bladed paddle is one of the defining characteristics of kayaks today although the design of the craft may have modified over recent times.
This article is the introduction to KAYAKS on this website.
Meridian Kayak designs, produces and distributes a range of kayak or paddle craft to Australia and the world.
Our range of sea kayaks have been designed especially for the recreational paddler in mind. In particular is our Cygnet Sea Kayak
For most of us just getting out on the water is a great way to rejuvenate, re-create and experience the sheer pleasures of being outdoors. especially on the water. (or in the water).
Recreational paddling can be anything from an hour or so just dipping the paddle to extended multi day expeditions with your self or a group of like minded people. Paddling on glassy waters to challenging yourself in fearsome white water rapids or mountainous open water seas.
Whatever your personal tastes there is a multitude of places to go, things to learn and do along the way. As such there is a multitude of recreational kayaks designed to suit just your needs.
Of all the types of kayaks available today perhaps one of the most advanced have been in the design and development of sports kayaks.
From recreational padding to Olympic competition levels, the sport of kayaking has many disciplines and as such many more designs and developments. Skills and agility to flat out racing. Water polo, rapid racing, slalom, sprint, marathon. The ways that people engage in sport is absolutely amazing. This category attempts to collate article and information about the sport of kayaks.
Canoe Ocean Racing consists of long distance surfski, sea kayak and sea touring races. A surfski is the fastest boat over long distances on ocean swells, with the only flatwater boat able to go faster being an Olympic-standard canoe sprint boat.
Surfskis originated in Australia in the 1900s when two brothers, Harry and Jack McLaren, used them around their family’s oyster beds on Lake Innes in New South Wales. They would also use their custom-made boats to surf the beaches at nearby Port Macquarie. The speed and versatility of the boats made them ideal for lifesaving, and in 1946 surfski became a part of the lifesaving competition programme.
The challenges canoe ocean racing can face include large waves driven by the wind, cyclone generated ground swells and paddling in wind speeds of more than 20 knots. (ICF https://www.canoeicf.com/disciplines/canoe-ocean-racing )
Meridian Kayak's new sit on / open cockpit sea kayaks are idea for the recreational paddler to get involved in this exciting sport.
Today there is something very romantic about wooden boats. While wooden boats have been around for centuries and have largely been replaced by the technological marvels of steel, cement, fibreglass and plastic the continuation of traditional wooden boat building techniques never fails to enthrall and delight any person who has at least a passing interest in boats.
This category is devoted to the pursuit of aesthetic beauty in designing and crafting wooden kayaks.