Summer is here which means it’s time for water sports! In this blog, I’ve highlighted my favorite river sports and included some history of their origins.
The popularity of the modern sport of SUP’ing originated in the Hawaiian Islands. In the early 1960s, the beach boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf.
The sport benefits athletes with a strong ‘core’ workout. SUP’ing is popular at warm coastal climates and resorts, and is gaining in popularity as celebrities are sampling the sport, and cross-over athletes are training with SUP. SUPs have been spotted around the globe, anywhere there is easy access to safe waters. Another reason for the rise in popularity of stand up paddleboarding is that, unlike surfing, paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. Stand up paddleboarding is also more popular with women because of their lower center of gravity, women are often more skilled at paddleboarding than men. It can be enjoyed in rivers, lakes, or oceans. This is a great summer river sport for people of all ages and athletic abilities!
Some canoes are called kayaks and when exactly a canoe can be called a kayak is difficult to determine though, and often arbitrary. Internationally, the term canoeing is used as a generic term for both forms though the terms “paddle sports” or “canoe/kayak” are also used. In North America, however, ‘canoeing’ usually refers only to canoes, as opposed to both canoes and kayaks. In modern canoe sport, canoes and kayaks are classified together, although these watercraft have different designs, and historical uses. Both canoes and kayaks may be closed-decked and other than by the minimum competition specifications (typically length and width) and seating arrangement it is difficult to differentiate most competition canoes from the equivalent competition kayaks. The most common difference is that competition kayaks are always seated and paddled with a double-bladed paddle, and competition canoes are generally kneeled and paddled with a single-bladed paddle. The most traditional and early canoes did not have seats, the paddlers merely knelt on the bottom of the boat. Canoeing and Kayaking are both enjoyable river and lake sports whether you want a relaxing trip on the water or an adventurous trip into some rapids.
Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s. It is considered an extreme sport, as it can be dangerous.
The modern raft is an inflatable boat, consisting of very durable, multi-layered rubberized (hypalon) or vinyl fabrics (PVC) with several independent air chambers.Rafts come in a few different forms. Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and or oars and typically hold 4 to 12 persons. Rafting is a great river sport which can range from a relaxing ride among mild rapids to a thrilling, even dangerous ride among Class 6 rapids.
Below are the six grades of difficulty in white water rafting. They range from simple to very dangerous and potential death or serious injuries.
Grade 1: Very small rough areas, might require slight maneuvering. (Skill Level: Very Basic)
Grade 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require some maneuvering. (Skill level: basic paddling skill)
Grade 3: Whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering. (Skill level: experienced paddling skills)
Grade 4: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed. (Skill level: whitewater experience)
Grade 5: Whitewater, large waves, large volume, possibility of large rocks and hazards, possibility of a large drop, requires precise maneuvering. (Skill level: advanced whitewater experience)
Grade 6: Class 6 rapids are considered to be so dangerous as to be effectively unnavigable on a reliably safe basis. Rafters can expect to encounter substantial whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, and/or substantial drops that will impart severe impacts beyond the structural capacities and impact ratings of almost all rafting equipment. Traversing a Class 6 rapid has a dramatically increased likelihood of ending in serious injury or death compared to lesser classes. (Skill level: successful completion of a Class 6 rapid without serious injury or death is widely considered to be a matter of great luck or extreme skill)
History and information about River Sports from http://en.wikipedia.org/