Kayaking vs Canoeing: What is the difference?


Posted on: 23 May 2018 by Evette Nixon

Kayaking vs Canoeing: What is the difference?

Some paddlers are arguing which one is the best, is it kayaking or canoeing? But, what is the difference anyway? The friendly rivalry between the two confuses a lot of water sports beginners. So, to help you out, this article shall explain the difference between the two.

What is Kayaking? 

Kayaking is one of many versatile water sports that can be enjoyed in any form of water, such as lakes, rivers, ocean, and even the surfing zones, with the following activities:
•    Touring kayaking
•    Recreational kayaking
•    Sea kayaking
•    Surf kayaking 
•    Whitewater kayaking 
•    Sports kayaking or racing kayaking
•    Inflatable kayaking

This watersport involves using oars that are double-bladed while sitting in a small boat. Even though there are several types and sizes of kayaking boat, all of them have a similar feature – they have an enclosed deck that will cover the legs.

Additionally, kayaking boats may accommodate one to three people depending on the type of boat– which by the way, are all really fun to use in the water.

What is Canoeing?

Canoeing is a water activity which involves paddling the canoe boat using a single-bladed paddle. Compared to kayaking, canoeing adopts a paddling position either by sitting or kneeling with one knee or both. 

If you are planning to have canoeing trips, you should know the following activities that it involves:
•    Recreational canoeing
•    Whitewater canoeing
•    Racing canoeing

What is the difference between the two?

1.    The Cockpit

The kayaks’ cockpit is “closed” for the paddler to sit in, while the canoes’ are “open”. Also, when the paddler sits in, the kayaks lower itself to into the water, unlike the canoe that comes out high on the water.

2.    The Seat

The canoes’ seat and the kayaks’ are different in many forms; while the canoes’ has bench-like seat, the kayaks’ are moulded to the kayaks’ bottom. Also, while the canoe paddlers are able to control the boat while sitting, kneeling with one knee, or both knees, the kayak paddlers can only sit with their legs straight and in one position. The differences of the sitting positions have a deeper meaning to it; while the canoe paddlers do the kneeling position to generate more power with every paddle strokes, the kayaking, on the other hand, takes advantage of their position to brace against each side of the kayak and to brace against the wave. 

3.    The Paddles

The canoes have a single paddle, which can be used in either one of the sides of the canoe. Also, paddlers have paddling technique which is called “J” stroke technique, allowing the paddler to control the canoe without the need to swap from either side of the canoe. The kayaking, on the other hand, uses a double paddle, where the blades are located at both sides of the paddle, allowing the paddlers to control the boat by paddling in a rhythmic technique at both sides. There are techniques to correct paddling; you may read some guide at reliable resources.

Final Verdict

So, which boat is the right for you? That depends on your water sports adventure; however, if you want to experience fun and exciting water adventure, you should try kayaking. 

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Evette Nixon

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