Rafts and canoes were originally used to transport people and goods up and down rivers and streams. This method of transportation had been used for hundreds of years before modern technology. Whitewater paddlesports did not become a recreational sport until the 1970’s and 80’s.
The kayak was developed by arctic peoples to make seal hunting easier and more effective. Europeans eventually learned of the kayak and began using it for recreation. Over time a folding kayak model was developed, and from there we ended up with the modern kayaks and decked canoes of today.
This Greenland kayak closely resembles the original kayaks of the Arctic.