Canoe vs Kayak

Canoe vs Kayak: What’s the Difference

Kayaks were invented by the Eskimos, who took them out hunting and fishing. They originally assembled small boats for one paddler out of bones and covered them with marine mammal skins. Modern models come in single- or double-seaters and can be supplemented with a folding seat for children. Among them are kayaks for Olympic slalom, freestyle, rodeo, and sea kayaks.

The canoe was created by the Aleuts, was first made of wood, and could carry up to six people. Now there are two-seater, three-seater, and four-seater models that have roomy cargo compartments, sealed hatches, and various devices for a comfortable pastime. They are used in competitions in rowing slalom on smooth and rough water. The dimensions of canoes are usually larger than those of kayaks, so they are faster but less pivotable.


Kayaks are convenient for wading into backwaters and fishing alone. Canoes are suitable for family outings and multi-day hikes with overnight stays, as they can carry a lot of the luggage needed on such trips. Canoes are firmer than kayaks, so they are suitable for extreme water activities and swimming through heavily overgrown or littered bodies of water.

How to choose a kayak or a canoe

When choosing a kayak or canoe, consider the purpose of the kayak or kayak. If you want to go fishing by yourself, an inflatable kayak with rod holders and cup holders is better. If you plan a long trip with friends or family, more suitable is a two- or three-person kayak with a decent carrying capacity. In the case when the reservoirs are far away and the boat should be delivered to them by train or plane, you should take collapsible or very compact models, which will fit in a compartment or in the luggage compartment of the plane.


For the ocean, you should choose a kayak or canoe with slightly raised, slightly rounded ends and a retractable or removable stem.  They perfectly keep the course on a wave and in a headwind. For recreational use, it’s best to buy wide boats with bottle holders. Kayaks and canoes with a flattened bottom and self-draining system are suitable for rafting on mountain rivers. If you need a boat for hunting on the water, you should pay attention to its stability, turning ability, and the availability of space for the dog. If a kayak or a canoe is required for diving, it’s better to buy models with an open deck (sit on top), as it’s easier to jump into the water from them. In any case, you should always buy a model that is durable, strong, easy to transport, able to withstand shocks, exposed to aggressive environments and ultraviolet light.

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