So what's the difference?
A kayak is generally a closed-top boat (although there are also sit-on-tops), usually designed for one person, who sits on the floor of the boat with their legs stretched out in front of them. Kayak paddles are long and have a blade on each end.
Kayaking might be right for you if:
1) You're a beginner and you're paddling solo
Seeking some solace on the river, but not an expert? No problem! A kayak is the perfect boat for you. It's ideal for the paddler who's just starting to get into river life!
2) You want something that maneuvers easily
Because of its sleek build and light-weight material, a kayak is very easy to maneuver in the water! This makes it perfect for people who want a more agile boat that's very responsive to their movements.
3) You prioritize going fast
If you want to move across the river quickly, then a kayak is the boat for you! Its lithe structure means that you can gain more speed than you might in a canoe.
4) You want to be able to haul your own boat
If you want to be able to lift your boat in and out of the water or rack it easily on your own vehicle, then go for a kayak. Its lighter weight means that you can move it around with relative ease.
5) You want to feel closer to the water
A kayak sits closer to the water's surface than a canoe, so if you prefer to be feel more connected to the river, choose a kayak!
On the Other Hand
A canoe is an open-top boat, usually designed for two or more people sitting on benches that runacross the beam of the boat. Canoeing paddles are stout and have one blade.
Canoeing might be right for you if:
1) You want a roomier boat
If you have more gear, then a canoe might be better for you! Canoes offer plenty of room if you're looking to pack lunch, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and extra water.
2) You seek stability
Canoes are generally a little more stable, so if you're not as confident with the river's ebbs and flows, then a canoe is the way to go. Because of this stability, getting in and out of your boat can feel a little more comfortable for beginner boaters.
3) You want to paddle with a friend
Canoeing with two can feel more natural than paddling a tandem kayak! If you're looking to bring your special someone on the river or you're paddling with the whole family, then go for a canoe.
4) You enjoy looking down on the river
Canoes position you to sit above the water, allowing you to look down into the river from atop it. This positioning also provides you with an awesome view of the scenic banks of the river.
5) You don't like to get wet
Because canoes sit above the water and have high sides, you are less likely to be splashed from your own paddle or even rapids. If you're eager to stay as dry as possible, choose a canoe!
Now that you know some of the basic differences, check out our local river companies Appalachian Outfitters River Outpost and Chestatee River Adventures to rent a boat! We look forward to seeing you on the river!