Difference Between Kayak and Canoe


Main Difference

Kayak and canoe are two types of boat. The differences between these two can be observed from their physical look. There are many differences between then on ground of shape, peddles, sitting, speed, etc. The main difference between kayak and canoe is that kayak refers to a small and narrow boat that is designed to be manually propelled via double-bladed paddle while canoe refers to a boat that is designed to be propelled by one or more persons via single-bladed paddle.

What is Kayak?

Kayak is a type of small and narrow boat that is designed for a single user and propelled via using a double-bladed paddle. The traditional kayak is made for one or more paddlers and has a covered deck and one or more cockpits for each paddler. Cockpit is covered by a spray deck that prevents the spray or waves of water to be enter into deck. This enables the professional kayakers to roll the kayak. The usage of kayak is believed to be at least 4,000 years old. Kayaks are lighter and smaller as these are designed for racing purposes and for moving across water.


What is Canoe?

Canoe is a type of lightweight narrow boat that is pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled through one or more seated paddlers facing the direction of travel using a single-bladed paddle. These are used for whitewater canoeing, touring & camping, racing, freestyle and general recreation. Initially these were made of bark on a word frame, however, the modern day canoe are made of molded plastic or composites such as fiberglass. It was means of transportation in ancient times.

Key Differences

  1. Kayak is used for moving across water. Most kayaks have closed decks. Canoes is used for boating activity or paddle sport.
  2. In kayak, sitting position of paddler is on low seat with legs extended in front. Setting position of paddler in canoe is either on the bottom of the boat or sits on a raised seat.
  3. In kayak, double-bladed paddle is used for propelling while in canoe, single-bladed paddle is used for propelling.
  4. Kayaks are lighter as compare to canoe.
  5. Canoe has open deck while kayak has closed deck that enclosed and surrounds the paddler.
  6. Kayak are designed to be faster and more agile than canoes as it is smaller and lighter.
  7. Canoe can be used for fishing purpose while kayak can’t be used for fishing purpose.
  8. Canoe can still be used as a medium of transportation while kayak can’t.
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson