By the mid-1800s the kayak became increasingly popular and the Europeans became interested. German and French men began kayaking for sport. In 1931, Adolf Anderle was the first person to kayak down the Salzachöfen Gorge, which is believed to be the birthplace of modern-day white-water kayaking.[6] Kayak races were introduced in the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936.
One of the most common uses of kayaks for hobbyists is whitewater kayaking. Whitewater kayaking is when a kayaker traverses down a series of rapids. The difficulty of these rapid ranges from Class I to Class VI. The difficulty of rapids often changes with water level and debris in the river. Debris that inhibits a kayakers path are often called "strainers" as they "strain" out the kayakers like a colander. There are often training camps as well as man-made structures to help train kayakers.[22]
Kayaks[3] were created thousands of years ago by the Inuit, formerly known as Eskimos, of the northern Arctic regions. They used driftwood and sometimes the skeleton of whale, to construct the frame of the kayak, and animal skin, particularly seal skin was used to create the body. The main purpose for creating the kayak, which literally translates to "hunter's boat" was for hunting and fishing.[4] The kayak's stealth capabilities allowed for the hunter to sneak up behind animals on the shoreline and successfully catch their prey.
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