- Canadian Canoeing |
Canoes are one of the oldest forms of human travel with canoeists sitting or kneeling whilst paddling, and using single bladed paddles. This is the key thing that differentiates canoeing from kayaking, its sister sport, which uses a double-headed paddle. Canoes, in terms of the boats themselves, are generally open to the elements, with the only exception being those used in canoe slalom or white-water rivers.
Originally invented as a form of transport, canoeing is now widely used for sport, recreation and competition as well. Born out of a need for hunting, fishing and moving goods around, the sport developed hugely during the 20th century and became part of the Olympic Games for the first time in 1936. Individuals can canoe as part of a club, day trip, or purchase their own boat, and paddle rivers, canals and lakes around the world.
Although beginners might be nervous about not being able to steer the boat properly or tipping it over, these issues are easily avoided, and many starter canoes are wide enough to avoid this. The only kit needed is a paddle, a life jacket, and a good canoeing partner – ideally someone who knows what they’re doing and can help to steer the boat. Thanks to the ease of access, and the availability of different types of boats, canoeing can be enjoyed by people of different ages and abilities. Just hold the paddle with your inside hand at the top, dig it into the water, bring the paddle back in a smooth, sweeping motion, and away you’ll go!
Whether to race, see the world from a different perspective, to fish or camp, or head out for a picnic, there are plenty of ways to enjoy canoeing. Find a location near you below, or check out some other water activities.