That Question Again?

Collage of canoeing and kayaking pictures

Kayak or canoe?

By Jack Stone

As we head into the summer and our visitors and seasonal residents return to visit us on the North Shore, I start hearing that age old question: Should I use a kayak or should I stick to a canoe? Let me give you my very unscientific, completely biased answer. That answer is, I have no idea. You see, it all depends on what you intend to do.

As a general rule, a kayak gives you more speed and maneuverability than a canoe. Most are made to be paddled solo. You ride lower in the water and if you are in a properly fitted boat, you are one with the boat (it’s a zen thing).

A canoe does not have those qualities. What it has is a larger load capability and ease of portaging. That ease of portaging is due to its lighter weight and the fact that it is usually outfitted with a comfortable yoke. In some ways it is a more social way to travel, since it is built for two paddlers, gear and possibly a third person in the duffer position. If you are going to the BWCAW, you can take as many as nine people and four canoes, as opposed to four people and four kayaks. Yes, you can take tandem kayaks for a total of eight people but tandem kayaks, in a word, are beasts (meaning heavy–in the range of 70 to 90+ pounds).

So as you are planning this summer’s adventures, come on in and try some different boats out. Talk to us about your needs and we will be happy to assist. Most importantly, be safe and have fun.


Can’t decide which is better for you? Try them both with our guided tours. Book online here.

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