What’s the difference between a kayak and a canoe?

This is a very simple question and one we get asked all the time. I thought the answer would be easy to find on the internet, the trouble is most of the answers are wrong. There are only two differences between a kayak and a canoe and they have nothing to do with the shape of the boat.

  • You kneel in a canoe or at least you can kneel in a canoe and you use a single bladed paddle.
  • You sit in a kayak and use a double bladed paddle.

Canoe and Kayak Paddle

Of course this has a number of implications; you can turn a kayak into a canoe and a canoe into a kayak just by sitting and paddling differently.

Check out this cool canoeing video (you may want to turn the volume down, the music is a bit annoying).

The guy paddling is kneeling in the canoe which probably started life as a kayak.

You can kayak and canoe with us at Mendip Outdoor Pursuits.

Kayaking with Mendip Outdoor Pursuits


Canoeing with Mendip Outdoor Pursuits


click on the pictures for more information.


2 Responses to What’s the difference between a kayak and a canoe?

  1. Pingback: Start them Young… « The Magnetic Blog

  2. Pingback: 11-14-2011 Dream Fragment | Paddling A Canoe | John Jr's WordPress.com Blog

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