What is the Difference Between Canoeing and Kayaking?

What is the Difference Between Canoeing and Kayaking?

If you are an adventurist who spends most of their time on the water, you have likely encountered this dilemma during your free time and have been faced with a decision that can shape your entire day on the water. Canoe vs. Kayak. This simple coin flip decision can seem inconsequential; however, your decision can greatly affect your enjoyment for the rest of the day. Making the right choice can be the difference between happiness and frustration and it all depends on you. Not to put too much pressure on you, but this could be the biggest decision of your day. 

In the spirit of friendship, we will attempt to ease your burden and assist you in making the right decision for your day.  As with many of life’s greatest decisions - heads or tails? Left or right? Whole wheat or Rye? Tesla or Prius? - there are many factors that can influence your decision.  Research is paramount to successful decision making when it comes to your next aquatic adventure.

Canoe vs. Kayak – The Great Debate

First, we should take a look at the vessels in play.  A “Canoe” is defined by Websters Dictionary as “a narrow, keelless boat with pointed ends, propelled by a paddle or paddles.”  The most popular canoes are between 16 and 17 feet long and are made of a sturdy wood build with sit on top benches for the paddler. This can be an excellent product if you are going out with a partner and enjoying a calm trip along the water. If you are looking to spend hours out on the water, a canoe is a great option to bring along a cooler of food and drink as the build of the canoe is excellent for transportation.  Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?


A kayak is actually just a variation in the design of a canoe and is defined by Webster's dictionary as “a canoe of a type used originally by the Inuit, made of a light frame with a watertight covering having a small opening in the top to sit in.” A standard kayak design is between 8 feet and 9 feet long; however, you can get longer versions depending on how you are using the kayak. 

Now that you know the research, is your decision any easier?  Likely not.  That’s because the main factor in determining whether you want to be out on a Canoe vs. Kayak is what your goal is when you are out on the water; as well as how many people are traveling with you. 

A kayak is a great option when you are going out with a group of friends and want the freedom to travel wherever you like with individual decision-making power. You have speed, power, versatility, and freedom all in one.  If your adventure is going to be between 1 – 2 hours, then a Kayak can be the perfect choice for you and you would not regret it.

If companionship is what you are seeking, then a Canoe is an excellent choice for loading up a picnic basket, grabbing your fishing poles and heading out on the water with 2 – 3 friends and taking your time connecting with nature around you.  There are many childhood memories shared and cherished out on the river in a 16-foot canoe with your friends.

The truth is that either decision is going to be an excellent one because you are getting the chance to get out on the water and connect with nature.  The third option you have is to connect using the Crystal Clear Canoe Kayak offered by The Crystal Kayak Company. This hybrid product provides you the features you love in a kayak (independence, comfort, and performance) with the design of a canoe (length, stability, and maneuverability) while adding a third factor in that can’t be understated; it’s completely clear. 

glass kayak

There is no better way to connect with nature than to spend your time on the water in Crystal Explorer by the Crystal Kayak Company.  The choice is yours; however, one option does seem to be clearly better than the rest.

Happy Paddling!