post-title Differences between canoe and kayak May 19, 2018 yes no Categories: Kayaking, Sports Life

Differences between canoe and kayak

Differences between canoe and kayak

Both canoeing and kayaking are popular paddle sports. They are the activities that enhance and maintain physical health for players. Besides sport, they could be done for leisure or travel purposes. You can paddle in flat water or whitewater.

Differences between canoe and kayak

People usually have confusion between canoe and kayak so here are basic differences between them:

  • Canoe: is an open vessel where people either sit on benches or kneel down. It is  used with a single-bladed paddle
  • Kayak: is an enclosed vessel where people usually sit on the floor of the boat with their leg straight out of them. They use a double-bladed paddle.

Exceptions still exist: depending on the use, some canoes may be enclosed and some kayaks may be open.

Paddling activities

The craft is usually designed to meet the demands of the intended environment. There are different types of canoeing and kayaking activities including:

  • Flatwater creation: This is the most popular imagination when people think of paddle canoeing or kayaking. You can take down a calm river, enjoy the beautiful view or explore lake system while paddling.
  • Sea kayaking: paddling in the sea. It has become a famous water sport in some countries.
  • Sailing: canoe or kayak have a good match with sail
  • Surf kayaking: a kayak for surfing purpose is often equipped with up to four fins.
  • Sprint racing is a sport held on calm water.
  • Canoe polo: two teams including five players must compete to gain the highest score by using a water polo ball.
  • Slalom: is a competitive sport including steering around obstacles in the fastest time possible.
  • Ocean racing: The race is held in whitewater. Excellent skill and fitness are required for this activity
  • Marathon racing: is a very long race down a river.
  • Wildwater: is the competitive discipline to negotiate a stretch of river speedily.
  • Freestyle: is a whitewater canoe discipline where people can perform a wide range of acrobatic tricks and maneuvers on a river feature

Health benefits

Canoeing and kayaking are the activities that bring some specific health benefits including:

  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve joint flexibility since paddling is a low impact activity that protects the joints from wear and tear.
  • Increase muscle strength, especially those in the back, arms, shoulders, legs, and chest.
  • Increase torso and leg strength, as the strength taken to control the craft, comes mainly from rotating torso.

Besides this, kayaking and canoeing can be tranquil and thoughtful depending on where and how you paddle. Paddling is also a great way to enjoy waterways.

Preparation for paddling

Some basic tips for beginners:

  • Join a club: Reading is a way to get some useful information, whereas practical experience will give some techniques to avoid injuries and know some water safety issues. Join local club is a great way to practice. Contact Canoeing Victoria for further information.
  • Be a good swimmer: make sure you are good at swimming.since paddling requires some extreme skills in the water,
  • Try before buying: paddling could be an expensive sport. Borrowing or hiring equipment at first is recommended.

Kit requirements

Depending on the type of paddling, there are some specific requirements for a kit. However, a basic kit should have:

  • canoe or kayak
  • appropriate paddle
  • personal floatation device (PFD).
  • appropriate clothing
  • helmet
  • wetsuit and wetsuit booties
  • spraydeck which helps to keep water out of the craft.

In addition, there are some useful items you should take when paddling

  • first aid kit
  • repair kit
  • water for drinking
  • high energy food
  • dry clothes
  • telephone

Extra equipment for sea kayaking

Safety equipment is required because of the risks of sea kayaking. In addition to the basic kit and items above, a sea kayaker should have:

  • waterproof torch
  • bilge pump and bailing device
  • spare paddle
  • distress signal devices
  • compass
  • marine radio.


Some suggestions for paddling sport:

  • Join a local club and learn to paddle from experienced teachers.
  • Know how to use your first aid kit and take a course if needed.
  • Make sure your preparation and skills are good enough before paddling.
  • Put reflective tape or fluorescent paint on the helmet, life jacket, and canoe or kayak to be visible.
  • Always wear personal floatation device and helmet.
  • Get information about potential weather issues in the waterway before paddling.
  • Check weather conditions before paddling.
  • Do not paddle alone. Tell someone about your paddling plan.
  • Dress for the conditions. Apply 30+ SPF sunscreen (or higher) to your skin.
  • Take enough water to drink to avoid dehydration.
  • Keep your equipment in good condition


  • Both canoeing and kayaking possibly mean paddling a small craft through the water.
  • Joining a local club is highly recommended for beginners, contact Canoeing Victoria for more details.
  • Make sure you have a good preparation and skill before paddling.


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