Kayaking vs Canoeing – Which One is Right for You?

We all love adventure sports, and engaging in one improves physical and mental health. Engaging in challenging activities forces us to focus our energy on one thing and relieves us of our stress!

We all want to escape the stress of our daily lives and bask in the lap of nature, which provides us with healing and calmness.

Kayaking vs Canoeing
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Kayaking vs Canoeing both are priceless gifts that enable you to strengthen your bond with nature. Many people often tend to misinterpret both. There is a clear distinction between a canoe and a kayak. Even the boats used for both are different!

What is Kayaking?

Kayaking is A fun activity involving moving through water in a small water vessel with a double-bladed paddle. Kayaking allows the boat diver to maneuver through the water and propel with alternate side paddle strokes. It is a high-energy sport for racing along rushing waters.

What is Kayaking
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Spring, autumn, and summer are the perfect times for enjoying a comfortable ride. Many people go kayaking in the summer instead of the winter, as warm weather is more appreciated than cold temperatures.

What is Canoeing?

Canoeing is the paddle sport in which the rider either kneels or sits facing forward in a canoe. It can be an open or closed-deck canoe. It is a very popular sport which is played extensively around the world. You can use a single-bladed paddle for steering the canoe.

What is Canoeing
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Some recreational forms of Canoeing are canoe racing and canoe camping; others include an array of forms of Canoeing on rivers, lakes, and ponds.

What is the difference between a canoe and a kayak?

The major difference between a canoe and a kayak is the vessel itself. The canoes tend to have an open-top design in which the rower sits or kneels. People use a single-bladed paddle to propel themselves forward. The Kayaks have a closed deck where the rower sits inside with legs stretched out in the front. They use a double-ended paddle for moving forwards and backward on the water.

A kayak is a single-seater boat, and as you sit in the boat, you paddle along and tend to splash yourself while moving forward. Stable boats are used for kayaking, and the kayaking experience is damp. On the other hand, while canoeing, everyone enjoys the boat’s stability. It means that you are going to stay dry.

difference between a canoe and a kayak
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The way you sit in the boat also differs. Canoeists tend to kneel as this gives them more control over the boat. After you start, much of your weight is on your backside; however, people can get a lot of control by having their legs wide apart.

When it comes to a canoe, the steering happens at the back of the boat. You get the forward momentum and should have the strength to pull the water to turn the boat away from the paddle. For this, it is important to maintain the momentum.

Thus, it would help if you had another passenger at the front of the boat who will help you power the boat on the journey. By any chance you are going on a family trip and you happen to have younger children with you, the most apt place for them on the boat would be in the middle.

However, when it comes to Canoeing, people tend to capsize. It means to overturn. It can happen to boats. When the boat flips suddenly, it capsizes, and anything overturning in a body of water can be said to capsize. During unprecedented circumstances, people might find themselves in water. This is why it is important to wear buoyancy aids that keep you floating and safe.

You should be extra careful if you are a novice and go canoeing. If you are a beginner, you cannot self-rescue yourself, as you will need one of the guides or an experienced canoeist to empty the water of the boat and get you back in safely. This process can be done in a minute unless you stay calm and have your buoyancy aids in place. Hence, it is advisable to bring a pair of clothes just in case.

In a kayak, the user will sit with a backrest supporting their upper body. A spray deck, a flexible waterproof cover, prevents water from entering the boat. This allows the passengers to paddle successfully. Compared to canoes, kayaks tend to be a lot safer as they are well-balanced and are hard to turn over in the water. The touring kayaks that are used are suitable for the ages of 12 years plus. The children you are younger than 12 do not have the strength and are also not physically strong enough to propel these along.

One more distinguishing point that makes kayaks different from a canoe is that the kayaks tend to be significantly quicker as you have a double paddle paired with a smaller boat. This double paddle and a smaller boat make the kayaks quicker than canoes. Thus, you will end up covering a greater distance.

What gears do you need for canoes and kayaks?

A canoe tends to have an open top. This, in turn, means that the deck inside is far less protected than a kayak, which tends to be closed-top. A canoe has high sides, making it more difficult for water to enter your boat while you paddle.

As a kayak is lower, one will be a lot closer to the water than they had been in a canoe. However, if at all in rare scenarios, if water does enter a kayak, it is harder to get it out of it! Hence, many kayakers wear a spray deck to prevent the water from getting into their boat.

Final words

Canoeing and kayaking can be done as adventure sports, competitive racing, or recreational activities. There are certain differences in the equipment of both. You might be wondering which one to choose, a kayak or a canoe. For narrowing down which adventure sports to go for, you should first list the pros and cons of both of these water vessels.

After narrowing down the list, you can decide which one to go for! Regardless of your choice, you will have fun, as kayaking/canoeing is an experience within itself!

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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