How can you spot the difference between canoes and kayaks?

At Canoe and Kayak Direct, we have a fantastic range of canoeing and kayaking products for you to choose from, and once you have yours, we guarantee you’re set to have nothing but fun times! But do you know whether you want a kayak or a canoe? Do you know the difference? There definitely is a difference, and while we can help you with all your needs and queries in this department, it’s handy if you know in future.

 So with this in mind, why not discover how you can differentiate between the two, with our handy guide before you head out on the water?


If you have a canoe, you will be using a single bladed paddle, and you will either kneel in it or sit on a small ‘bench’. Canoes are also the bigger option, and can carry up to three adults in one boat.

 Additionally, there are three different types of canoes that have been specially designed for specific uses. They are as follows: solo, white water and general use.

 It’s worth noting that canoes are rather versatile and they are easily managed in the water too, which makes them the ideal choice for activity days for families.


As we mentioned with canoers using a single bladed paddle, kayakers generally use a double bladed paddle. In a kayak you will be sat down low in the boat and your legs are sometimes enclosed within it. Most often, you will have what’s called a spray deck over the top of the entry hole so no water can get in and ruin your ride. Kayaks also come in a ‘Sit On Top’ variety that essentially does what it says on the tin, your legs aren’t enclosed and you use no spray deck.

 You can also choose the type of kayak you want for the kind of kayaking you’ll be doing, whether that be white water or surf kayaks, short or long options, or single or double capacity.

 With the right paddling kayaks have the ability to travel quite fast, so if want to, you can get quite competitive with yourself or your friends the minute you sit in your new kayak!

 Both canoes and kayaks can be used out at sea, on rivers and canals or inland, but you should always take care and not jump in at the deep end if you are a beginner.

 Hopefully you will now be able to spot the difference between canoes and kayaks, and if you need any help on choosing one of the canoes or kayaks we have for sale, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us!

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