Canoeing is a water surface sport also known as a paddling. The deck of a canoe may be open or closed. An open-decked canoe is generally safer and easier to move through the water. It can be:

  • Poled: the canoe is pushed along and controlled by a long metal or wooden pole
  • Sailed: the canoe is rigged with a small sail
  • Line and tracked: two or more canoes are attached together using ropes
  • Paddled: the traditional canoeing method; the canoe is steered by a single-bladed paddle


Canoe polo

Canoeing originates from the native peoples of North America. They used to fell and hollow-out tree logs to make canoes. They depended upon canoes to travel between islands and transport supplies. Today, canoeing is considered a recreational activity; as a method of transportation it has been replaced by motorised boats and aeroplanes.

Canoeing world-wide is regulated by the International Canoe Federation. They recognise the different disciplines of competitive and non-competitive canoeing. As a beginner, you will be taught how to paddle a small-craft canoe in relatively calm waters. It is a great touring method! You may also participate in or organise a canoeing camping trip.
If you prefer a more adventurous experience, there are many alternatives such as:

  • White water canoeing: paddling down white water rivers with raging torrents. This is not for the faint-hearted! 
  • Play-boating: a form of canoeing where the paddler performs certain tricks and stunts such as back-surfing and flat-spins
  • Canoe polo: it combines paddling and ball handling skills. It is an exciting contact game where two teams intent to score goals in their opponent´s net


What we normally imagine canoeing to consist of

If you are interested in one of the canoeing disciplines mentioned, you may wish to browse our canoeing centres to see what they offer. Canoeing is a diverse sport, catering for all ages and abilities since you can decide your limits. You may paddle around a picturesque lake or try something a little more exciting!