Canoeing is basically the activity of paddling a canoe or kayak. Essentially a canoe or kayak is a humanly powered boat that is both light and small and pointed at both ends. It is propelled by the use of a paddle. A canoe is propelled using either a single or double bladed paddle, with the peddler sitting on a raised seat.
A kayak on the other hand, is propelled with a double bladed paddle and the peddler sits with their legs in front of them. Kayaks are a closed deck boat with the peddler sitting inside, whereas a canoe is an open boat. The term canoeing is a generic term for both types of activity. Canoeing is both a recreational and sporting activity, although it can also be used as a method of transportation. Sport The International Canoe Federation or ICF is the world wide organisation for canoeing. It creates the rules and protocol that governs the various different disciplines of a canoe or kayak competition.
The ICF now recognises a number of different competitive and non-competitive disciplines, with two of them featuring in the world famous Olympic games. Sprint This is the original canoeing discipline and is occasionally referred to as Racing. The races usually cover 200, 500 and 1000m courses and include both kayaks and canoes. Slalom This discipline consists of a timed decent down a the rapids of a white water course, where the competitor must guide their canoes or kayaks through a series of gates. Competitors are expected to go against the flow of the river and across it. Marathon As the name implies this is a long distance race over a flat water course that varies in length from anything between 2 miles to over 200 miles.
Canoe Polo Once again, as the name implies, this is polo in canoes. It is usually a fast paced battle between two teams of 5 players. White water Racing Again, the name is quite self explanatory. White water racing (also referred to as Wild Water Racing) involves competitors racing specialised canoes or kayaks down a white water river. Canoe Sailing Canoe Sailing is a race that involves the competitor using modified canoes with sails. Recreational There is no strict definition for how to recreationally canoe, the distinctions are being increasingly blurred as new canoes and equipment are being developed.
The general emphasis however, is just to have fun! Equipment Right, so what equipment would you need? Let's first warn you that compiling all of the necessary kit can be quite expensive. At the beginning you may be able to loan or borrow equipment from a club. These will be the bare essentials, just enough to get you started. This would consist of the following: - Canoe - Paddle - Buoyancy Aid - Helmet - Spray deck The extras you may invest in at a later date could be: - Cagoule - Wet suit - Wet suit Boots / Shoes All in all, other than the inherent costs of any sporting or recreational activity, there are only positives in regards to canoeing. It can be the most enjoyable, fun and enlightening experience so why not give it a try!.
Before you head outdoors, be sure you have the right gear. We have everything from tough Ka-bar Knives to quality Olympus Binoculars to affordable Valor Knives.