Canoeing, Features, Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking – What’s The Difference?

Today marks a special occasion for all the outdoor adventurers out there. It’s the start of National Go Canoeing week! Despite the name, this isn’t just a celebration for the canoeists among us. In fact, it’s a celebration of all things paddlesport which includes canoeing, kayaking, and SUP!

As the days are warmer, brighter, and longer, there has never been a more ideal time to pick up a paddle and get…well, paddling! People often place canoeing and kayaking in the same boat (pun definitely intended) but they are in fact two different activities. If you’re not familiar with either discipline, it’s easy to get the two mixed up. If this is the case, worry not as we here at Geronigo are here to put your mind at ease.

So, what is the difference between the two?

The Paddle

The differences in paddling is one of the main things which sets the two watersports apart. In canoeing, the paddler uses a single-bladed paddle, whereas in kayaking, the paddler usually uses a double-bladed paddle.

But what does this mean for the differing types of stroke? Well, single-bladed paddles are great for leisurely pursuits across a lake, for example, as they minimise short, sharp movements which is more common in kayaking. When using your single-bladed paddle in a canoe, you should alternate your strokes on each side of the canoe, as you propel yourself forward through the water.

In kayaking, a double-bladed paddle is required as the seating position is lower than in a canoe and if you were to use a single paddle in a kayak, you wouldn’t be able to produce enough power to propel yourself. The double-bladed paddle increases the manoeuvrability and speed of the kayak, meaning you can wave goodbye to canoe-users as you race past them on the water!

The Boat

We’ve already established that canoes are more for leisure and kayaks are more for speed and this is also reflected in the design of the boats. Canoe boats generally carry more people, which makes them the vessel of choice if you’re after something a bit more leisurely and social. However, if you have a need for speed, then the kayak is ideal because of its sleek and aerodynamic design. Did someone say kayak race?

A Canoe
A Kayak

Final Thoughts

So there we have it, a mini-round up of some of the differences between canoeing and kayaking. Whether you’re more of a canoeist, lean towards the kayak, or even if you have no preference, now is the perfect time for you to get out onto the water and give it a go! You can browse our canoeing, kayaking and SUP locations from around the UK over on our website.

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