The Differences Between A Canoe And A Kayak


You probably don’t know why their exist differences between a Canoe and a kaya yet they both look alike. Someone will argue that they both mean the same thing because they involve the use of paddlers to move over water. The said similarities make them be confused in most part of the world.

For instance, in the United Kingdom, people normally consider Kayak as a subtype of a Canoe as the 19th Century British and Europeans Canoeing class used the Kayak-resembling boats and called them Canadian Canoes. In major parts of the World, Canoes and Kayaks have distinctive differences.

If you yearn to get involved with these two sporting activities, then I will be of great help to you in making clear and distinguishable characteristics.

The given description below will analyze all similarities and differences that exist between a Canoe and a Kayak in terms of the boats’ decks, paddler’s position, Classification, Shape, Origins, their purpose and the type of Paddles used.


The first Canoe named Pesse Canoe is believed to have been designed 8,000 BC. It had a simple make that was discovered in Holland and become the oldest boat ever seen. Evidence indicates this Dugout Canoes were initially used in different parts of the world including Amazon tribes and Australian natives during the prehistoric times.

Initially, Kayak was made to be used as hunting boats (Inuit tribes) who stayed in areas which are now known as Canada, Greenland, and Alaska. It was made of Sealskins widen over a block of wood or even a Carved-Whale bone. The first Kayaks were structurally designed physically that made transportation of hunting seal easy.

Boat Characteristics

Both Kayak and Canoes and lightweight and thin boats with either one or the two tips forming a tapered point that aid in sliding over water easily. The eccentric design is what enables Kayak to be used in racing and canoe in sprints.

The two boats have been made from metal particularly aluminum, Molded plastic and other composites materials including fiberglass, PVC, and Kevlar.

Paddler’s Position

The main differences that exist between a canoe and a Kayak lie in the Paddler’s position. As with Canoes, the paddler sits on a lifted seat in the deck having their knees flexed.
To be capable to ride with efficiency and power and reduced body tiresomeness, Paddlers will have to sit in a straight position with shoulders placed in a relaxed manner and the chest pushed out.


With canoes, their deck is spacious that allow paddlers to curve their knees inside. Kayak on the other side has a smaller deck. The seats of a canoe are slightly raised, hence enabling the paddlers to curve while maintaining the edge of their individual seats.


As for canoes, they are normally used for leisure activities with the family on still water. Kayaks are well known for their faster speed which gives them a position to be used in water sports.

However, you’ll come to realize that many paddlers always use the two boats in various exciting activities. Some of the recreational activities conducted with the boats include; Boat racing, fishing, travel, whitewater paddling, and transportation.

Choose the best boat that fits your need. Water activities will even become more enjoyable and safer if you go with the right tool. Always select a piece of nice equipment after a thorough consideration for making water adventures.