Canoeing is an activity that is loved by people of all ages in all places. Canoeing has been a thing for many ages and today, one of the many reasons that canoe enthusiasts choose to go out and paddle is simply for recreational purposes. There’s nothing more fun and relaxing than being out on the water in your own little boat. It’s hard to believe how many types of canoes are out on the market, mainly because the differences aren’t easily recognizable. So, to help figure out which canoe is best for you, here is a list of the different types.
Portable / Inflatable Canoes
Portable canoes are a great way to enjoy the water if you don’t have space to store or maneuver a regular canoe. Portable or inflatable canoes are not new on the scene. They’ve been around for ages, but over time, have improved significantly. Over the years, inflatable canoes have become even more lightweight and more versatile. They can be compressed down to almost nothing and conveniently packed and owning one of these allows you go out on the water whenever you want. If you’re a person who’s always on the go and don’t have space at home to store your canoe, this option is best for you.
Recreational canoes, popularly known as ‘cabin’ or ‘city lake’ canoes, are short and wide, simple canoes that many use for fishing. These canoes are very versatile and can be taken out on overnight trips, however, they are best suited for paddling by multiple people on still waters. Recreational canoes are usually made of plastic or aluminum and can be found in many big-box sporting goods stores. If purchasing one is not an option, you can rent them out from your local river or lake.
Touring canoes, also known as tripping canoes, are specifically for taking long distance trips. Touring canoes are extremely stable and are much longer than your basic canoe. These canoes are very mobile and have the ability to hold a nice amount of equipment. So, if you’re planning a trip on the river, this would be an ideal canoe. These have the capacity to haul a tent, fishing gear, and all the food and drinks needed for a week. So, if traveling by canoe is important to you, this type is best.
Racing canoes were manufactured with speed in mind. There are two types of canoe racing — flatwater and slalom. Racing canoes are made of lightweight material and they embody narrow and long structure. These canoes are tapered at the beam and are known to rock a little more than other canoes. Whitewater slalom canoes have closed decks and spray skirts that have features of kayaks. If you’re a huge competitor when out on the water, consider one of these canoes.
Whitewater canoes are performance canoes with large rockers. The rocker is the curvy part from bow to stern. These canoes were crafted for one to two paddlers to use specifically in whitewater or on rivers. Whitewater canoes have high sides to avoid water getting into the boat, as well as locations for flotation bags, which help the canoe stay afloat when it’s filled with water or when it flips over. Even though this can be dangerous, seasoned paddlers are used to this when it comes to whitewater paddling. Paddlers usually paddle while kneeling in whitewater canoes because it keeps the paddlers’ center of gravity lower in the boat and allows for a more robust paddling position.