Kayaking and canoeing are both paddle sports that involve using a small boat propelled by a paddle. There are probably more similarities between canoes and kayaks then there are differences. In many instances they are considered under the same umbrella.
Here are a few of the common and obvious differences:
- Design: Kayaks are usually closed boats with a covered deck and a cockpit, while canoes are typically open boats with an open top and no cockpit.
- Paddle: Kayaks are always paddled with a double-bladed paddle, while the canoes are paddled with a shorter paddle with a blade on one end only.
- Seating: In kayaking, the paddler will generally sit flat with his legs extended under the deck and his upper body rising from a central hole in the deck, while in canoeing, the paddler kneels or sits on a raised seat.
- Purpose: There are international sporting events in both kayaking and canoeing. On a recreational level, kayaking is often used for touring or whitewater paddling, while canoeing is often used for recreational paddling, fishing, or tripping.