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
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 Today, canoeing is considered a recreational activity; as a method of transportation it has been replaced by motorised boats and aeroplanes.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
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!