Kayaking is one of the many great summer hobbies enjoyed by all ages. Dating back to hundreds of years ago, it didn’t always serve as a pastime. The act of kayaking started in the arctic in North America with the Inuit and Aleut tribe; kayaks were made of driftwood or made by stretching animal skins over frames of whalebone. The larger kayaks they used were called umiaqs— some were as long as 60 feet. The smaller kayaks were used for hunting. Interestingly enough, the word ‘kayak’ means hunter’s boat. With kayaks, the Inuits could easily sneak up on animals near the shoreline or in the water.
Of course now in the 21st century, people use kayaking as an outing with family and friends or a type of exercise. There are many different areas to go kayaking depending on your interests. People can kayak on intense mountain rivers with white water splashing in your face, or on a peaceful river or lake. Just as there are different sceneries to kayak, there are also different types of kayaks. If you want a fast pace, choose a kayak that is long and narrow. For easy turns, have a kayak that is short and wide. The inside of the kayak varies as well. Some have you sit inside a cockpit with legs extended in front of you; others have a seat in the cockpit, like a canoe. The oars also come in different sizes depending on your height; if you are short, a shorter and lighter oar will suffice. Wider and taller kayaks probably will require a longer paddle.
Keep in mind that wider blades touch the water more, which grants you a faster speed, but they also have more resistance so you would have to work harder. A narrower blade requires more strokes but the work is less.
If kayaking sounds like something you would enjoy, you are in luck. Cumberland county citizens have the opportunity to kayak on Lake Rim during the Lake Rim Kayak Tour. This is something Lake Rim strives to do once a month during the warmer months.
The tour is an activity everyone can enjoy-beginner or experienced. There is an introductory lesson available before the tour that teaches the basics. Amber Williams, park ranger coordinator, talks about the soothing effect the tour has.
“It is very relaxing; you can even forget you are in Fayetteville. It’s so nice and peaceful to be surrounded by nature,” she said.
The recommended age is 10 years and up with a participating adult. Remember, no professional skills are necessary!
“This is a great way to try something new,” Williams said.
The tour usually lasts about an hour and a half long and wraps around Lake Rim. Space is limited, so grab your spot as soon as possible. Register at Lake Rim Park the day before the tour.
The tour is Friday, July 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The fee is $15. Go ahead and mark your calendars for next month’s tour, Friday, August 2 at 5:30-7 p.m.
Photo: The Kyak Tour at Lake Rim is fun for the whole family.