Other kayak types

There are a number of original kayak designs just waiting to be built. In the old days, nearly every region of the Inuit Arctic had their own very special kayak designs and variations. Anders often gets asked to build something special by a customer, or by a student in a kayak building class. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few types that are more often built now and then. Either with a student in a class or for a customer. They are as follows.

Double or triple kayak

Both the baidarka and the King Island kayaks can be built for two or three people. They were made this way in the old days too, and this can have its advantages. If a family or two adults are going on a trip and need a spacious kayak, this is the solution. The kayaks are fairly broad and therefore very stable. This can be an advantage when there are children in the kayak. The long waterline gives it a very high top speed and makes the kayak easy to paddle. Length varies from 590 to 680 cm (19'5'' to 22'3'') depending on whether the kayak is meant to be paddled by one or two adults. The triple kayak can also be used by two people, and the middle hatch can be used to load luggage.

Children's kayak

It used to be common to build kayaks for one's children all across the Arctic. Children quickly pick up kayaking skills, and their agility and low centre of gravity rapidly make them very adept. Children can derive a lot of pleasure from paddling a kayak made to fit their size. All the models described above can be built to scale for children or youths. For smaller children, I advise the use of outriggers so that the kayak does not capsize.

King Island kayaks

In the middle of the Bering Strait, outside Nome, Alaska, is a storm-tossed little island called King Island. Today the island is abandoned, but 70 years ago, a society of Inuits still lived here, with their special brand of culture and a unique kayak. Their kayaks were primarily used for transport and walrus hunting in some of the worst weather in the world. The kayaks are short to ensure manoeuvrability in bad weather or breakers, but still have a good cruising speed and good acceleration. This is a good kayak for paddling in storms or for surfing. It also has a large luggage capacity, which makes this type of kayak well suited for paddling trips provided you de-prioritize high top speeds. The kayak is a bit complicated to build, so it's not a building project for everyone.

East Greenland kayak

Another eye-catching type of kayak from Greenland is the one found on the East coast. The weather conditions of East Greenland were different from the west, so this kayak had a different shape. First of all, these kayaks are built with very little volume. The kayak is purposely built low and small so that it fits the paddler like a glove. The hull is special, with a single, hard chine that gives it a high degree of secondary stability. The result is a kayak that's easy to paddle, suitable for day trips and the like. It's easy to manoeuvre and is stable despite being narrow. For veteran paddlers, this kayak is ideal for sporting and Eskimo rolls. The kayak is for expert paddlers. Since it is rather difficult to build compared to other Greenlandic kayak types, it is also mainly a project for the skilled kayak builder. Many people prefer this kayak for its smooth, graceful lines. The small volume gives the kayak very low weight.