I guess these fall into the fairly broad category along with water skiing, fast cars, and fast boats that were fun when I was a good few years younger.
No "fast women" in that list !!!? does that mean they are still fun ?
Not sure we are talking about the same kinds of kayaks though. Oh for a picture or two, this would be easier
There are basically three kinds of canoe/kayak;
The sit in one you mention, with two pointy ends is the classic kayak (or often "canoe" in the UK just to confuse everyone ). The paddler uses a single long paddle with blades at both ends. Paddler is sitting in an enclosed cockpit in the middle. These things are strictly for use by people who have been trained properly. Fishing from them presents a lot of problems and dangers but some people manage it. Eskimos have done it for long enough i guess.
Then theres what in the UK is called a "Canadian canoe" (Just "canoe" over your way) which ,in my imagination anyway, is the classic "Red Indian" canoe. Its still double ended but open and basically a thin dingy. Its paddled using a short paddle with a blade at one end only. Paddler usually sits at the back. I believe these are used a lot for FW fishing in the states but not something you'd want to take to sea at all. Quite popular up here for camping trips and the like as they can carry a ton of beer, ermm, I mean "supplies".
The last, and newest design, is the "Sit on top" or "Recreational" kayak. These things look very much like the traditional "sit in" kayak from a distance and are paddled in the same way. Instead of an enclosed cockpit the top of the hull is moulded into a seating area, usually with an area to stow gear just behind the paddler. Its these things that are being used by some anglers and divers now.
Not sure which of the last two you saw with the dad and his two lads. Your proberly none the wiser after this post either . Confusing myself here...