Level of discipline required
For most people just learning to paddle there is the tendency to seek proper instruction when going out to kayak. But more often canoeing as a skill is taken for granted by many beginners and very few undergo training before venturing on the waters. Because of the common inclination to canoe without training, many beginners find canoeing more difficult than kayaking. In reality, however, both kayaks and canoes require training and experience. A kayaker will need the skills to keep the craft afloat when winds and waves become rough. Likewise, without proper training, you may just find yourself going round in circles with a canoe.
Which craft is faster?
By design, kayaks and canoes are displacement hulls. Their speed relies on their lengths. The longer the craft, the quicker it will go. So a kayak and a canoe of the same length should in theory travel at the same speed. However, since kayaks are generally more lightweight than canoes of the same length, the kayaks are usually easier to transport, move faster and are easier to maneuver than canoes of the same length. On the downside, kayaks are less stable, some people may have problems getting in and out of them, and they tend to tip over more easily than canoes of the same length.
Which is more comfortable?
The higher sitting or kneeling position in canoes permits easier viewing of the water ahead and you can see better, take photographs and even fish with utmost ease and convenience. However, taking photographs or fishing on a kayak can be a painful venture. Likewise, with a canoe you do not need to be super light for the trip. There is room in a canoe for extra gear and you can even bring a cooler. Canoes are perfect for getting out with kids, bringing camping gear, food and extra supplies, and are easier to load and unload than kayaks.
Which is easier to paddle?
Skinny kayaks of the same lengths as fat canoes are easier to paddle because they have a smaller wetted surface area and face lower friction compared to canoes. For this reason, kayaks are easier to propel on a straight-line and are ideal for rougher waters. On the other hand, canoes turn better and are perfect for dry paddling trips.
So which is better, a kayak or a canoe? It depends on what you desire. Each of the boats is unique and can serve different purposes. Want more speed, maneuverability and paddling ease? A kayak will do. Want more comfort, stability and space? A canoe will do.
Are you planning some outdoor activities and would like to rent a kayak for the day? You can reserve a top-notch, safe, stable and comfortable kayak from Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy. At Captain Mike’s, we make sure to give our clients the quality kayaks and gear we promise them. For more information, visit the “Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy” site.
- Cliff Jacobson. (2017). Kayak or Canoe? Which One is Best for You?. Retrieved from https://paddling.com/learn/kayak-or-canoe-which-one-is-best-for-you/