Clothing selection Kayak vs Canoe

Why is it that kayakers dress differently than canoeists. For instance, in colder weather kayakers wear dry suits and canoe paddlers where regular outdoor winter clothing. I dont think I have ever seen a serious canoe paddler in a dry suit. Why?

sort of two different sports
Sort of two different sports…yet fought on the same field.

Kayaks design…sits LOW in the water so waves naturally break over the deck…so you must be wearing dryer cloths etc. Kayaks are sometime more in exposed conditions…open seas, maybe colder climates etc

With a canoe it sits higher thus your not going to take breaking waves normally. Most canoest will get off the water if it gets too bad of weather…(remember–they are more apt to be on a journey…so the time/journey is or must be played safely) whereas the kayaks sometimes INTEND to play in the breaking surf, seas and rougher water(they too may be on a trip but the boat design allows more for a rougher ride)

Part of the whole kayak and canoe scene is the human element. We are creatures of habit…we buy into the whole marketing scheme. Its a cliche`—you have to “look” the part. There are so many kayakers that DONT need high tech gear like those that do…they never put themselves in the situations like the rest of the yakers etc. They paddle on some easy class 0 stream and are dressed like John Turk in Greenland. Canoes have a more nostalgic history. Its about the journey. With canoes you can dress like your going camping as well as paddling. I do both…so i prefer the canoe because it is more challenging navigationally and i like to bring some comforts in the boat. I dont like to be crammed in, sitting low, and always wet.

You can maybe compare to some extent how…say a nordic cross country skier verses a snowboarder what they where etc…In a general sense…the snowboarder…is more for the thrills/extreme…not necessarily going from point A to B…verses the xcountry skier IS on the journey…going from Point A to B…thus you also notice the difference in the close. Again we go back to the marketing cliches too whereas ‘we americans are independant, dont tell me what to do, you need to be in a solo kayak because thats what your neighbor is doing’ sales techniques etc. Its all marketing. If you never saw another kayaker ever in your life, never saw a picture in a magazine of a kayaker wearing Kokatat gear, never saw any video, photo, or anything of a kayaker…you would not be wearing the stuff you are today.


As daggermat said
I am hearing almost as many questions from canoeists as from kayakers these days on where to get a decent price on a drysuit. And I see drysuits on WW canoists.

My anecdoctal impression is that canoeists have often come up with a different approach towards safety gear. When we first started enforcing a PFD rule in our local group, it had long been rare to see anyone in a kayak (even rec) without the PFD on and zipped or buckled. The rule proved to be the most life-changing for the folks who regularly came out in canoes.

And there are canoes and there are canoes. People who paddle the family affair big old Colemans probably wouldn’t think of springing for a drysuit, get into a really responsive solo and you might have a different view.

if you have to ask …

– Last Updated: Oct-14-07 6:59 PM EST –

Basically, boat selection is a question of maturity and comfort.

Gentlemen choose canoes for their comfort and style while young jocks prefer kayaks and have to dress in funny clothes to compensate for the inadequacies of their vessels.

I imagine
for the same reason that some people choose to paddle a canoe

another thread

– Last Updated: Oct-14-07 9:00 PM EST –

effectively killed. Rvwen, you're the "sailing expert" too, aren't you?

Ignore rvwen
I am anything but a young jock - 56 and female and until I have the time to use a canoe am fully kayak. (My name was probably too subtle a hint for some).

yeah, and

– Last Updated: Oct-15-07 4:04 AM EST –

my son Aaron is 13, and this is his vessel.
He'll be in a drysuit next time out as well. I know my playboat is anything but "stylish and comfortable" although I'm not sure I could pass for a "gentleman." :-)

Rvwen is one of those
"General Experts" who know nothing about everything & everything about nothing.

His main claim to fame on pNet is counting threads & who posted them. A sad character really.

as I am.
In the canoe (OLd Town 169 Discovery) I wear what I wear to church with the addition of a PFD because I am on a small lake, pond or river.

In The Kayak (NDK Discovery) I am on the ocean and wear a wet suit or a dry suit depending on the day as well as a PFD. The water here never goes much above 6 C 44 F ± so what in a canoe is a short swim in warm water with likely no wind; on the ocean can be a bone chilling scramble for life. (Or an easy roll.) Unlike Derek Hutchinson I get nailed about once every two years and have to do a roll or self rscue.

He wears hiking gear kayaking. I am not that good.

For what it is worth
I paddle both canoes and kayaks.

I race both canoes and kayaks.

I paddle year round, and I have broken the ice here in the NC mountains in mid winter on several occassions.

I wear the same clothes in a canoe or a kayak.

Naturally they get cleaned between paddles!



canoes and kayaks - different needs
I paddle canoes (I’ve never been in a kayak). Occasionally, hope will triumph over experience and I’ll order clothes from a vendor of “paddling” gear. Of course, since there are 30 Yakers for every canoeist, the target market of these vendors is predictable.

So I end up with stuff that’s unbearably uncomfortable, has a multitude of useless (to me) technical “features,” and is sized for 30 year-old superheros. (I haven’t been 30 recently.) I usually end up ordering from LL Beans.

My conclusion is that clothing requirements for most paddlers of the two crafts are simply different. On the other hand, footwear made for kayakers works for me just fine.

Missing the obvious!
In a canoe we can carry our gear in an accessible bag attached to a thwart. If we want to change clothes or add clothes, we reach up, open the bag, take it out, and put it on. In a canoe you can even change your pants or your shoes while underway.

Just because you can’t see our foul weather/rough water clothing, it doesn’t mean we don’t have it with us.

Try changing pants in Sawyer Summersong
while underway on the water. I could probably change pants in my Sawyer Loon while afloat on the water, but not in the Summersong. It depends on which canoe you’re in.

Same for canoe or kayak for me most of
the time. It just depends on which particular boat it is, weather conditions, water type and temperature of the water and perceived risk on that particular day.

I don’t have a dry suit to wear in either of them.

Don’t waste your money on one either
Both “the bride” and I have them and never wear them.

They are too hot and make too much swishing noise which alerts and scares the wildlife for the next quarter mile.



Cold and colder
There is a matter of relative temperature that each boat will go out into. We usually find open water at least once during the winter months like January and February, and given that we are in upstate NY the stretch of creek where we paddle is usually the only open water for some miles around. So if any other boats are out, we’ll see them.

But I don’t hink we’ve ever seen other than kayaks on those paddles - the canoes seem to drop out well before the water hits 37 degrees (and the air in the 20’s).

only thing
that stops me is the ice shelf. If you can’t get to the open areas due to ice on the banks, or if the rocks have ice shelves, then it’s too dangerous. Fortunately that’s when the levels often go high, and sweep the ice into the pools.

Canoes & Drysuits

– Last Updated: Oct-17-07 8:30 PM EST –

(Links edited)
John was glad to be wearing his suit. 04/10/05. Whitier, NH.

Gail too!

Me Too!

Why kayakers really wear them.

Harry don't need no stinking drysuit! 04/23/05 Twin Mt, NH.

Forbidden access
Each link in your post gave me a message that I was forbidden access. Any ideas why? is it me or the link?