Snow Kayaking

Firstly goes against anything I would write about on this site since it’s something I’m not actively enjoying myself, although the sport that is SNow kayaking seems like it could be something very fun to explore, and that’s what I intend to do today with you all.

What is snow kayaking?

Known as snow kayaking, or as I’ve just learned; snow boating to some.

Is essential the act of riding in a kayak down a snowy slope.

These kayaks are exactly the same I or anybody else would use on the water; such as the Sevylor Ottawa, Sevylor Wabash, or the Sevylor Alameda for instance – with little to no modifications.

The kayakers are generally racing down the hill meaning this is something that you wouldn’t necessarily do out of pure relaxation; like general kayaking is done for.

As I can imagine hurling down the side of a hill or a mountain oat rapid speeds probably isn’t too relaxing but the amount of adrenaline that pumps through your body will be second to none.

Probably the one true difference between paddling on the water and surfing downhill in a kayak is that you won’t be needing PFD’s to keep you safe; you’ll be equipped with a helmet as well as knee and elbow pads to help keep you safe.

History of Snow Boating

The sport has, to my knowledge, has been around since 2002 when the first official race was held in Austria by a group of avid kayakers – no doubt the participants were people who wanted something a little more exciting than an everyday paddle on a lake.

There was, in fact, a world championship held in 2007 in Austria too, where a local Austrian (no surprise there) was crowned champion and again a different Austrian was also crowned the following year.

Types of Kayaks for Snow Kayaking

Snow kayakers tend to favor either a creek boat or a paly boat, depending on the current perfect or experience they have with water kayaking – this choice is like always; personal preference.

But can also heavily depend on the sort of slope they plan on racing down.

Creek Boats

Creek boats, which are typically used for ‘calm hobbies’ like bird watching, fishing, and any other hobby that requires you not to disturb the environment.

Designed longer than play boats, the high volume design around the cockpit is done this way to ensure you resurface quickly if by any chance you would submerge in the water.

With ample rockers on either end of the hull, you are capable of doing quick turns other boats would not allow you to do; with additional curves on the bottom, which allow the kayaker to have better control when turning.

All of these things considered, make this type of kayak a great choice for downhill riding in the snow and has been a favorite for world champion athletes since the inception of snow boating.

creek boat

Play Boats

There are many types of playboats, just like creek boats, it all depends on what sort of activity you’d be getting up to. These boats are used for performing tricks in a single position – known as the ‘play spot’

Although they have used to surf waves, which is generally something you wouldn’t do in any other kayak in my opinion.

It’s as if these kayaks were designed for snow boating because even the origins of the playboat mean that you’re performing some high adrenalin task when you’re in one.

These sorts of boats have a lot less volume and their decks tend to be a lot more squishy – this is to help the boat to sink underwater when riding waves or performing tricks as mentioned 0- this helps the boat to sink under the snow too.

At first, this may not seem a benefit but because of its flat design, it is able to plant on both water and snow that it can reach greater speeds.

Some athletes use wax on the bottom of their boat to ensure that they can surpass a typical speed that you would not be able to overcome without it – it probably doesn’t need to be mentioned but this wax will help out with the speed of a kayak due to wax’s slipper smooth characteristics.

Snow Boating Equipment

Just like when piloting a normal kayak, you’re going to want to use a two-bladed paddle to help control yourself, balance and turns are all important factors.

Just like when you’re on the water, you’re going to want to be in control at all times whilst sliding on the snow.

On top of your tools, you’re going to want protective equipment to ensure your safety too; as well as clothes at are properly insulated so you can stay warm.

Wearing thick jackets, perhaps wind and waterproof due to high altitudes and melting snow will be a great idea.

On top of these clothes, you should wear knee and elbow pads to keep them protected as well as a helmet.

To get the proper protection, make sure everything fits snug so that you can move properly but so that you can also be well defined against the elements.

Also, eye gear is a great choice against wind and any fragments of snow that would be coming off your kayak when you’re racing downhill, although these are optional (as they are in almost all competitive snow kayaking events) I’d recommend using them as it seems like everyone who even does this activity for fun uses some form of protective eyewear.

Summary

Snow boating sounds AWESOME.

Perhaps it’s one thing that needs to be added to the bucket list.

But at the very least I know more about the topic and it is certainly something that is very interesting and probably just as fun to do as it is to watch.

I hope you guys learned something too!

Anyway, that will be all for today,

Arthur.