An adventure such as camping or a weekend hiking expedition will often include a trip down the river. The popular activity of Canoeing or Kayaking is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. You will hear others speak of their trips with enthusiasm and excitement. If you are new to the scene, you may notice there are two sides of the river… those that enjoy Canoeing and others that prefer Kayaking. Unless you are familiar with either, it will be hard to point out their specific differences.

Before embarking on your journey, you may be wondering if you would like to use a Canoe or a Kayak. Understanding the dynamics of each will help you decide which is best for your river style. An expert can tell you every detail, yet most of the information could easily get lost in translation. In the list below, you will find a breakdown of the differences between a Canoeing and a Kayaking experience to get you started.

Canoeing and Kayaking Differences

The Purpose of a Canoe is generally for a leisurely stroll down the river. Families prefer Canoes for their accommodative nature. Canoes are built to carry multiple passengers making it a favorable option if you are traveling in a group. A Kayak holds a smaller capacity with most models having one seat. You can find styles that welcome two passengers with a tradeoff in certain efficiencies.

Paddling Styles for the Canoe and Kayak are a key difference among the pair. In a Canoe, you will have your knees resting in a kneeling position most of the time. If you sit in a Canoe, be prepared to use your knees to help maintain balance. A Kayak will require you to remain seated with your legs in front you. This position is lower than that of a canoe as the paddles take the lead.

Paddle Blades are necessary whether you bring a canoe or a kayak along with you. The Paddler utilizes their Paddles as the steering wheel and accelerator. Canoes are known for a slower paced ride necessitating a single blade paddle. Kayaks use a double blade that is designed for kayakers. While both vessels are built to withstand the water, Kayaks have an edge that allows them to navigate rougher elements if you travel to a high resistance stretch.

The Speed of a Canoe tends to provide an easy-going experience. They have room to move and store things for the day such as food or supplies. The design was meant for a relaxed appeal whereas the Kayak has a dual function. Most races you see will have a Kayak in lieu of a Canoe. Kayaks can adapt to higher speeds and riskier conditions. They can go quickly when necessary and alternate to a slower pace.

Kayaks and Canoes may look similar, however their differences set them apart. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding which to purchase. Ultimately, it will depend on your individual needs, the conditions of the river and the itinerary you have planned.