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Kayaks appeared for the first time in Alaska, where eskimos used the canoes they built to travel through lakes searching for food. Today, kayak is known as one of the most entertaining and fun sports in the world, which can be practiced in any lake or in the sea.
In Chile, where there are thousands of kilometers of coast and tens of lakes in the interior, kayak is practically new, but more people take the chance to get on a kayak and ride the waves. People like it because it allows them to get to know the surroundings, enjoy the scenery, and ride with security and in contact with nature.
The most popular discipline is sea kayak, although river kayak is also practiced. The latter is faster and uses a shorter kayak.
To practice this sport you need a kayak or canoe, a set of rows, compass, proper clothing, a whistle, flashlight and a spray skirt. Travel agencies have all the proper equipment and take groups to the location they have chosen to kayak. They also have guides and instructors, who teach people how to use the kayak, which has pedals in its interior. You need to learn how to use the pedal and coordinate it with the rows.
It is also necessary to know how to swim, because sometimes the kayak turns over. Being in good physical shape is mandatory as well, because the pedal work and rowing can be extremely exhausting. If you have allergies or some chronic illness, you should let the guide know before, just as a precaution.
The Torres del Paine National Park is the best place to go to practice kayak in Patagonia. There are rivers and lakes, one next to the other, so it is not necessary to make long trips to a new place if you didn?t like the one you were in or if you just want to try a different location. The most popular place is Rio Sarmiento, although you can kayak in almost every single lake in the Park.
Another important point is Puerto Natales, where travel agencies coordinate trips to rivers and lakes nearby. The most important there is the Señoret.
For the practice of river kayak, the Bio-Bio and the Futaleufu rivers, which are known for their rapids used by rafters, are also places where you can practice this sport. River kayak is faster, and more dangerous than sea kayak, but the trips are shorter and you ride on a shorter kayak.