Canoe, kayak or Canadian?

Kanot, kajak eller kanadensare?

You want to learn to paddle and have heard different terms used. What is applicable and what type of departure should I choose; canoe, kayak or Canadian? When it comes to these designations, there is some conceptual confusion. There are thus different types of canoes suitable for different exercises and which come into their own under different conditions.

Kanot is a collective noun

Canoe is a collective name for various smaller narrow vessels that are usually propelled forward by muscle power and paddles (sails are also used). A canoe is a pointed vessel with both bow and stern, can be completely open or fitted with a deck with one or more cockpits. The name canoe is derived from a Caribbean word, canoa, which means boat. In the Swedish language, canoe is a collective name for the two main types of kayaks and Canadians. Canoes of various types have been found in almost all places where man has lived. Building methods and building materials have, however, varied according to the conditions and needs of different regions.

Canadians and kayaks

The canoes of the North American Indians are known in Sweden under the name Kanadensare. They were originally dressed with fists or skins. Today, they are built in veneer, aluminum or plastic. The kayak has arctic origin, is always decked and equipped with one or two cockpits. They were originally built on a skeleton of driftwood or bone covered with skin or canvas. Modern kayaks are made of fiberglass or polyethylene. A special variant is the folding kayak with a wooden or aluminum frame covered with rubber cloth or synthetic material and is foldable. Canadians paddle with a single paddle, the kayak with a double paddle.

Five reasons why the Kayak is superior

In general, the Canadian is best suited for calm lake waters and waterways where winds do not have a lot of leeway, while the kayak is more suitable for open water where it can handle wind and sea significantly better than the Canadian.

  1. The kayak is safer

The hull shape is what really distinguishes the different types. And that determines which characteristics the craft has. A canoe's hull shape is always a result of compromise. The requirements are often contradictory such as strength and maneuverability. The Canadian is flat-bottomed. The kayak's hull is usually a combination of V-shape and round shape. Bow and stern are V-shaped and the middle part more or less round. The safest thing is to face the waves with the bow from the front. But even in a side lake, the kayak follows the wave movements more easily and is therefore perceived as safer. In addition, the kayak has a deck combined with a cockpit opening that can be covered with a canopy that prevents water from entering. A wave can wash over the kayak without water entering. The kayak also often has a kind of keel line; no real keel but an elevation that provides some course stability and to some extent counteracts the kayak flipping over as easily as a flat-bottomed craft.

  1. The kayak is more comfortable

A kayak is ergonomically better created for the body than Canadians. You sit more comfortably and can have direct contact via the hips and seat with the kayak and then get a better balance and feel that you have better control of the craft. The kayak is simply more fun to paddle. You are also better protected against the elements because you can cover the cockpit with a canopy.

  1. The kayak is more easily manoeuvrable

In a kayak, you basically sit at the height of the water's surface or, in fact, often just below it. It provides stability and comfort and means that your paddling movements have a direct effect on course and speed. With double paddles, you can easily make corrections. The kayak's hull shape makes it easier to keep the right course without swaying back and forth in the direction of travel. The kayak is also almost always equipped with paddles or rudders which make it extra stable on course and, if you have rudders, easier to change course with as well.

  1. The kayak is better to pack

If you want to bring packing, the kayak usually has both fore and aft compartments with tight-fitting waterproof covers. The gasket is well protected against the weather and is stable when the kayak is moving. The center of gravity will be low and the stability will be better. The cockpit can also accommodate certain cargo that needs to be easily accessible during travel. The cockpit is easily covered. The deck of the kayak can also be used. Here you can attach a map and compass and a drinking water bottle can be clamped under the deck lines.

  1. The kayak is faster

The kayak as a craft is generally easier to handle. The hull shape in combination with the double paddle makes it significantly faster. In the kayak, you can hold on better with your legs and feet and thus get more power in the paddle strokes. If you are not paddling a double kayak, you are also paddling alone and can decide your own pace and speed without having to adapt to a fellow paddler.