Canoes vs Kayaks2021-08-04T11:58:14-04:00

Canoes vs Kayaks

Should I get a Canoe or KayakUnless you’re an experienced paddler, you may have wondered what the difference is between a kayak and a canoe. They are similar-looking vessels, and what’s more, there are various types of each.

There are a few key differences, however, and the question of what’s better canoeing vs. kayaking really comes down to your preferences.

If you’re looking for a sportier vessel that’s streamlined for speed, a kayak might be right for you. On the other hand, a canoe could be better if you’d prefer to paddle in tandem.

Understanding these two types of watercraft will help to turn your good day on the water, into a great day.

Canoe vs Kayak

Both canoes and kayaks have similar designs and uses. But there are some important differences that might be a deal breaker depending on your needs and abilities on the water. Here are a few of the main differences.

Difference in Seating

If you’re deciding between a kayak vs a canoe it’s important to bear in mind the types of seating. Canoes have an open design with a bench-type seat. Canoes can also have up to two or three seats. Kayaks are different. They sit lower on the water and the cockpit is closed around a sunken seat. The paddler’s legs are, therefore, in front inside the kayak.

Difference in Stability and Maneuverability

Kayaks tend to be slimmer and more streamlined. This means more speed for the experienced paddler. They can also use their legs underneath to press against the sides and brace the boat. This helps them to achieve more stability. Canoes offer more comfort, however. Because of their open design they’re easier to get in and out of and the paddler will have more freedom of movement.

Differences in Passenger Capacity

One key difference between a kayak and a canoe is the passenger capacity. In fact, canoes are more built for tandem purposes, whereas kayaks usually only hold a single paddler. If you’re looking to take kids out onto the water, it’s probably better to opt for a canoe for this reason. If you’re looking for speed and maneuverability instead, a kayak could be right for you.

Pros and cons of Kayaks

Kayaks are easily controlled and faster, with less effort required from the paddler. They are more versatile in general than canoes. One disadvantage is that you are more likely to get wet in a kayak. You also may find it less comfortable in a closed cockpit. Once you get into it though, kayaking vs canoeing allows you to feel much more connected with the water.

Pros and cons of Canoes

There are several advantages of canoeing vs kayaking. You can move about in a canoe more so they are perhaps better for longer trips. You’ll also have more storage space for both gear and extra passengers. The downside is that it’s more difficult to maneuver, especially as a single paddler, and you’re unlikely to get as much speed as you would in a kayak.

If you can’t decide which is better for you, kayaking or canoeing, think about what type of paddling trips you’ll be going on. You should also bear in mind the body of water whether it’s a flat lake or rapids. If in doubt, you could try out both and see which you’re most comfortable in.

Check Out Key Characteristics of Canoes vs Kayaks


The main take aways that we hope you got from this article is that if you plan on having an easily maneuverable water craft, a kayak is your best bet. If you hope to carry people, supplies, or pets around, and maybe even wish to have a motor, a canoe is definitely the way to go. You are also going to want to keep in mind how you plan to transport, store, and carry each option. We hope this article gives you a bit of a better idea on your upcoming decision to choose what is the best option for you.