Kayaking vs Canoeing: What’s the Difference?

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24 Thu 2020 kathleen Comments: 0

Kayaking and canoeing are two popular paddle sports that are often mistaken to be the same thing. But the truth of the matter is that the two water sports have profound differences. In this article, find out what are the salient features of each sport.


The biggest difference between kayaking and canoeing is the type of vessel used. In kayaking, kayaks are used while in canoeing, canoes are used.

The difference between these two vessels is the sitting position. In canoeing, the paddler sits on a raised seat or knees on the bottom of the open-top boat. In kayaking, however, the paddler sits on a seat that is at the bottom of the closed-top vessel with the legs extended.

Now, if you are into paddle sports for health benefits, you should choose your sport wisely. For example, paddling enthusiasts on treatment for osteoarthritis will benefit more from kayaking because the legs are stretched.

Gear / Equipment

The next difference between canoeing vs kayaking is regarding the type of gear used, and here, the focus is on the paddle.

Kayaks have paddles with blades at both ends and are rowed on each side simultaneously. On the other hand, canoes use single blade canoe paddles and are rowed alternately.

When it comes to usability, most newbies find it easier to paddle and control a kayak. On the other hand, canoes may be easier to paddle, but then, they are hard to control.


There you have it folks, the difference between kayaking vs canoeing. For the record, in some regions, for example, the UK, kayaks are referred to as canoes, so it’s important to be aware of the difference in etymology.

24 Thu 2020 kathleen