Choosing the Best Canoe for You

Canoeing can be one of the most exciting and exhilarating sports a person can participate in. From paddling around a tranquil lake to battling white water rapids to going on epic trails in picturesque surroundings, canoeing has it all. It is highly likely that you will be borrowing a club’s equipment if you are new to canoeing. Canoes, kayaks, paddles and all the other gear you require to take canoeing seriously can be expensive, so it is best to make sure you enjoy the sport before diving in, pardon the pun, and purchasing a lot of equipment.

What Will You Use Your Canoe for?

Once you realise how much you enjoy canoeing and kayaking, you will almost certainly want your own vessel; there is nothing like owning your own canoe and using it to take you on an adventure. It is best to decide what kind of canoeing you will be participating in before you head to the store to make your investment.

There are several categories of canoe, each come in different lengths and are constructed of different materials. Look into acquiring a lake water or touring canoe if you will mostly be using your canoe on lakes and relatively still water. This type of canoe is easier to control than some of the other versions you can purchase. You may find that most lake water and touring canoes are longer and narrower than some recreational canoes.

Lake water and touring canoes are similar to recreational canoes except the latter are usually slightly wider and have a length of between 13 and 16 feet, which makes them a little on the short side. Like lake water and touring vessels, recreational canoes are much easier to control than some of the other types of canoe, plus they are almost always made of a light, composite material to make portages easier and more enjoyable.

Racing Canoes Are Designed for Speed in Straight Lines

Those of you who are wanting to take up competitive canoeing are going to need a racing canoe. Racing canoes tend to be between 18 and 20 feet long and tend to have very rigid hulls. This is because they are designed to allow the user to gain as much speed as possible. As racing canoes are narrower than most other canoe types, they are more difficult to control and keep upright; expect to get wet often if you are not used to a racing canoe!

Another type of canoe to consider is one designed for white water escapades. These canoes are highly manoeuvrable, are usually the lightest of all variety of canoe and have a low waterline so they can overcome obstacles, such as rocks, as you paddle through often treacherous waters. White water canoes usually come with spray skirts to help keep you dry when on the river. If yours does not come with spray skirts, we would advise you invest in some.

People who plan to go on expeditions or who at least want to carry some equipment with them whenever they go canoeing should look into purchasing a sportsman canoe. These canoes have plenty of capacity to store your gear and equipment, which is why hunters and fishermen favour them. If you are looking for a vessel that is a great all-rounder and that has space for plenty of your gear, then the sportsman canoe could be for you.