Basic Difference between a Kayak and a Canoe

A kayak and a canoe are both lightweight boats that are used mainly for recreational purposes. So, often people fail to understand the difference between a kayak and a canoe, as both are similarly paddled by the riders. However, there are some notable differences between these two types of boats that should be known by the interested travelers, to avoid all kinds of confusion in this regard.

Points of difference between a kayak and a canoe

  • A kayak has a totally enclosed deck where the passengers can sit and rest peacefully; whereas the deck in a canoe is entirely open with no enclosure at all. Hence, some people feel safer while journeying on a kayak than in a canoe. However, now some canoes are provided with a closed cockpit only for ensuring the security of the person in charge of moving it forward through the waters.
  • Though both kinds of boats need to be paddled, the kayak is provided with double bladed paddles, while the canoe is given a single bladed paddle for moving the boat. Actually, the kayak is needed to carry more weight than an open canoe, for which better support is provided by these double bladed paddles.
  • A kayak is a small boat that can carry maximum 2 to 4 people; whereas a canoe is a larger sized boat that can easily carry a small family for a pleasure trip. Hence, the comparison between a kayak and a canoe based on their sizes is often mentioned as like that of a sports car and a truck.
  • A kayak can travel much faster than a canoe, for which people prefer to ride a kayak for participating in any water sport or boating competition.
  • A canoe is reportedly much easily manageable by the passengers than a kayak, due to its versatile nature. The canoe can be paddled more easily by anyone and thus, often more preferred for a family boating over the kayak.
  • In a kayak, the paddlers can sit inside the low-lying deck and may spread the legs forward and rest their knees comfortably on supportive braces. But in a canoe, the paddlers need to fold their knees and sit in a kneeling position, with their knees resting against the walls of the boat.

Thus, all these differences help a person distinguish between a kayak and a canoe, which aid them in choosing the most suitable one as per their requirements, while attempting to buy a recreational boat for themselves.