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Whitewater kayaking is kayaking taken to an extreme. This is basically the combination of whitewater rafting, except that you are in a kayak instead of a raft. This sport has been gaining popularity in recent years, and has even been included in the Summer Olympics of 2004.
Whitewater kayaking is definitely not for the faint of heart, as it generally involves some of the roughest rivers around. People who go whitewater kayaking should have a lot of experience kayaking in rivers and rough water. They should also make sure that they know exactly what type of kayak they need to use.
The kayaks used for whitewater kayaking generally need to be sturdier than most other kayaks due to the beating that they will probably get from being in the river. Two person kayaks are not used for whitewater kayaking because it's too dangerous to have more than one person in the kayak while going over whitewater. The single person kayaks themselves can vary between whether or not they're short or long - this generally depends on what aspects of the kayak the person kayaking wants to emphasize.
There are several different types of whitewater kayaking as well. If you're just going to be whitewater kayaking for fun, then you're more than likely just going to be something called "river running." What this means is that you take your kayak and go down a whitewater river. These rivers are generally not the roughest, and there are sometimes some flat parts as well as rapids. River running can either be a day excursion, or it might be a week long adventure down a river. This is a great choice for somebody experienced in kayaking.
Some people find that it's fun to participate in playboating or rodeo. Basically what this entails is staying near the same part of a river and using the same rapids to do tricks. This is a much harder part of whitewater kayaking, so it's less likely that you'll find somebody who knows how to do it.
The last thing that people usually think of when they think of whitewater kayaking is what is known as "creeking". This is the most extreme type of whitewater kayaking, and involves taking a kayak through some of the roughest whitewater in the entire world. This type of kayaking is usually done as a part of some sort of competition, or by people who are looking for an extreme whitewater kayaking experience.
No matter what type of whitewater kayaking you're looking into starting, make sure that you're prepared for what you'll be doing. Since whitewater kayaking is an extreme form of kayaking, you need to be sure that you're following all of the safety advice, and that you have all of the necessary kayaking equipment.
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.kayakhelp.com. Please visit his complete kayaking guide for all skills and ages.
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