Canoe or Kayak: we help you to choose

Posted on 29 March 2022 

After 6 hours of research and comparing 20 products, here are our tips to help you choose between a canoe and a kayak.


The canoe, ideal for hikers

  • More space
  • Supports heavier weights
  • Less humidity
  • Less zigzagging
  • Reduced stability
  • Reduced propulsion
  • Slower

Canoes are practical and easy to handle. They are often used by several people at the same time and can be used on seas, lakes and rivers. In fact, they are most popular for pleasure trips on calm waters.

Being more open, the boat offers more freedom of movement and makes it easier to store things. In addition, the seating position is above water level, which means that people on board are less likely to get wet. There are also two driving positions: one with the knees bent for rough water or high speed, and one with the buttocks sitting on a bench for a more relaxed drive.

Finally, the oars are shorter and single-bladed. As a result, you only row on one side and generally row straighter and without zigzagging.


The kayak, for a sportier ride

  • Faster
  • More agile
  • More stable
  • Less space
  • More exposed to water

Also designed for navigating on seas, lakes and rivers, either alone or accompanied, the kayak allows you to better cope with water conditions. Although it is less spacious, it guarantees a sportier and faster ride.

This more enclosed type of boat offers better protection and a more stable seat. Sitting on the buttocks on a seat with the legs stretched out on the inside, it is at water level, i.e. lower than the canoe. As a result, kayakers get wet more quickly, so they are sometimes equipped with a spray skirt to prevent water from entering the kayak.

To handle it, a longer double paddle (with a blade on each side) is used (between 1m80 and 2m30). With successive strokes from right to left, you will get good propulsion and greater agility and speed, but the kayak tends to meander more quickly.


In conclusion

Both boats can be used alone or with others, in calm or whitewater. However, the main differences between them are the seating position and the oars, which means that they have different handling characteristics.

The canoe is therefore probably more practical for calm and comfortable rides, while the kayak is a better option for fast and winding descents.

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