What is it? Kayak or canoe.

So I think they are all canoes?
I think the way it was in England they were all called canoes. Certainly the magazines at that time made it seem that way. And they named it the British Canoe Union not the British paddling union or the British kayak union.

But they did distinguish some canoes as being in a subset called kayaks. I always thought the Rob Roy was a canoe that fit in the kayak subset. But perhaps it is rolling that makes it a kayak not the sitting on the floor.

In which case all those white water canoes you have to roll should be more correctly called kayaks.

Tomorrow I’m going to paddle my sit on top and try my new sail. It cannot be rolled, even expert have failed, I dare you to try it. You sit in it and cannot kneel in it. So I don’t call it a kayak or a canoe. It simply is my “Sea Pig” and it is the only boat for coastal trips over 15 miles per day.

have to agree with Tommy
If I am not sitting on the floor, with agonized ham strings and back muscles then I am in a canoe.



Ps: has any body else noticed that kayaK still spells

misery when spelled backwards? Kayak !

With Apologies to Bart
I know plenty of canoeists paddling both open and decked canoes who roll when they need to. Rolling seems to have more to do with the water paddled than the craft.

The problem seems to be finding clear distinctions between canoe and kayak.

Many people believe that canoes are open and kayaks have decks. For me rec kayaks with HUGE cockpits, sit on tops, whitewater C1’s, and decked expedition canoes make that an uncertain distinction at best.

My contention is that the general tools and techniques make a clear distinction. So Tommy’s Rule could also state that any craft paddled like a canoe, is a canoe. And any craft paddled like a kayak, is a kayak.

The fact that some whitewater kayak hulls are routinely converted to decked canoes simply by changing the outfitting to permit single blade techniques seems to support that.

Yes by my definition the Rushtons et al are kayaks as are the adirondack pack boats. Is that a bad thing? Is there some onus to being a kayak?

Congrats on the Superior
Lots of folks call my Mad River Monarch a kayak. I tell 'em I don’t sit on the floor, it has a huge cockpit, can’t be realistically rolled, and is better operated with a single blade. A fella in the MO340 in a fast touring kayak asked me why I wasn’t double blading in it during the race. I asked him how heavy his paddle was. 27 ounces (ouch). Mine is 10. We were in a 20 mph headwind and he was waving that extra blade around. we didn’t talk much after that…he was behind me.

Kayaks/Canoes- why differentiate?

– Last Updated: Aug-30-10 3:07 PM EST –

I have owned and enjoyed paddling both canoes and kayaks for many decades. My focus on the historical derivation of canoe/kayak distinctions is probably from being a 30 year member of the Wood Canoe Historical Heritage Association (WCHA). In spite of the pretentious name that only a Yale Educated Architectural Historian could have come up with, it's a great organization of fine people. However, I also reject their unstated consensus that canoes made of plastic or "frozen snot" are somehow inferior to wood canoes. I'm presently restoring a Kennebec wood/canvas kayak, built in the early 30's.

I have issues with the obsession over elaborate differentiating between what is a "real" canoe and what is a "real" kayak. Likewise with the obsession over how a "real" canoe or a "real" kayak should be sat in and how it should be propelled. Such distinctions frequently proceed into "A" being superior than "B". Sometimes stated and sometimes left unsaid is "I paddle "A", ipso facto those who paddle "B" are just plain ignorant to the truth all of us "A" paddlers know to be self-evident or they are just plain losers". (An understood exception to this is Fat Elmo, who really wants to paddle a kayak but espouses paddling a canoe to be ably carry Andy's cooler and spam.)

Dave's rules:

1) Paddle every chance you get-you can never paddle too much.
2) Paddle whatever you enjoy; ignore those who look disapprovingly on what or how you are paddling. Paddle your craft sitting in the way that is most comfortable/efficient for you and use the paddling implement (or pole) that works best for you in that craft, in the conditions you usually paddle in. ----There may be reasons for paddling choices that an observer can not always be aware of. I only use a double blade paddle now, with a low angle stroke. A single blade paddle paddle or high angle stroke now irritates my rebuilt shoulder-using a double blade allows me to continue paddling in "conventional" canoes, decked canoes, pack canoes and kayaks. My decades long accumulation of fine single blade paddles now go unused. Last week was paddling with a lady that had a knee sticking up out of the cockpit of her skirtless kayak. She had a recent knee replacement. In spite of all that was going on with her knee and how much she was deviating from conventional practice, she found a way to continue enjoying paddling! A group of retired folks that I paddle with periodically mostly paddle plastic Rec kayaks because in spite of the weight, they allow easier entry for their stiff bodies and greater support for their stiff backs.
3) Never turn down a chance to paddle different craft-You may fine something that interests you more than what you are presently paddling or you may reaffirm that what you are paddling continues to be best for you. ----This rule led to my selling a Bell Rob Roy and buying a Rapidfire.
4) Periodic churning of the fleet is healthy to continuing one's paddling enthusiasm (A more debatable guideline, it could also be cited as evidence of serial misjudgment) However, this rule works for me.


paddle what is comfortable for you

You could stretch those tight hamstrings and back muscles. However, enjoy paddling what you like and are comfortable in.

I looked up your profile and just have to make the snarky comment that Half/fast is better than half/assed, which I’ve sometimes been accused of.


Superior Expedition canoe
I am considering ordering the same canoe.

I hope that you already got it and had a chance to test it.

How does it feel?

Is it a well made boat?

Worth the money?

Anything I should be aweare of, any advices you can give me?

Thanks for your time.

Superior Expedition Canoe
My husband bought and is paddling one of Scott Smith’s Superior Expedition Canoes. He loves it. It handles well in many conditions and easily carries a lot of gear. He’s doing an open water paddle in the FL Keys in 3-5 foot seas and not having any problems with boat handling. We highly recommend the boat and the builder!