By Hanna Nilson
Kayaking is a great out-door water sport. Whether you're looking to take
a calm and relaxing trip down a scenic river or venture out into the wide
open sea - a kayak can do it all, and everything in between.
For beginners, it
might be tricky to tell the difference between kayaking and canoeing.
Indeed, they are very similar. However, knowing the differences might
help you to make a choice about your next vacation get-way.
Canoe Federation defines a kayak as a boat where the kayaker faces forward,
has their legs in front of them, and uses a double bladed paddle. While
almost all kayaks have closed decks, there are also many sit-on-top kayaks
which are actually becoming more and more popular. On the other hand,
a canoe is defined as a boat where the passenger faces forward and kneels
in the boat. Canoes also require a single bladed paddle rather than a
two bladed paddle. Since canoes are generally portrayed as open deck boats,
you may be surprised to know that a canoe can be closed deck or open deck.
In this case, one would generally have to have some canoeing or kayaking
experience to tell the difference between a closed-deck canoe and a closed-deck
As it is with canoeing,
there are several different types of kayaking styles and techniques such
as Sea or Ocean Kayaking, White Water Kayaking and Surf Kayaking. These
various kayaking skills are described below.
White Water Kayaking:
This may be otherwise known as river kayaking. White water kayaking can
be just as rough as ocean kayaking as it depends on the current's strength
or class. (See White Water Rafting
for class system). Depending on the course, river kayaking may require
a significant level of experience and navigational skill. If you're a
beginner, make sure to stay on calm waters and travel with a professional
A sea kayak is specifically designed for enduring open waters. They also
have closed decks and a spray guard or spray-deck. These boats lack in
maneuverability what they make-up for in cargo capacity, ease or straight-paddling
and comfort. These are all important qualities given that extensive sea
kayaking trips can last for weeks. Sea kayakers often combine kayaking
activities with kayak fishing, camping and site-seeing.
Surf kayaking is similar to surf board surfing, but instead, surf kayaks
are boats come equipped with paddles to help propel and navigate. Although
this particular kayaking technique is relatively new, it is steadily growing
in popularity. As with any water sport, surf kayaking can be dangerous.
But, as long as you remain in control of the kayak, it can be lots of
So, the next time
you plan your kayak or canoe trip,
consider some of the FAQs.
Also, you may want to check you local Directory
for some great kayaking and canoeing ideas.