CANOEING WITH WILDTHENTIC
Canoeing is often confused with kayaking, another enjoyable paddling activity. In order to avoid any confusion, we decided to first discuss the two main differences that exist between a kayak and a canoe, being the position of the person(s) paddling and the raft itself. First, canoeist, often in pairs, bend their knees. Paddlers have the option of knelling and or sitting on benches that run across the beam of the craft. Second, canoes are usually open-top boats, often designed to seat two or sometimes three people with a one-bladed paddle whereas kayaking is done from a sunken, seated position with a double-bladed paddle and usually with a “spray deck” to keep the water out of the cockpit. In other words, a canoe is open whereas a kayak is enclosed.
WHY WE LOVE
There’s nothing quite like exercising in the open air. It is an activity that makes you feel good about yourself even if you’re just going for a light paddle. Being outside and close to nature lowers stress levels, helps you sleep better and allows you to reconnect with nature and wildlife. We believe that exposure to the elements is beneficial, especially when it involves having fun in rivers while getting a great work out. Paddle sports like canoeing are special in this way, they boost cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the upper body, improve mental health, reduce body fat and encourage core strength!
It is easy to love canoeing when you already love nature and all her marvellous gifts. Nature-oriented travellers tend to love rivers for their calming effects, beauty, sound, and ever continuous movements. Canoeing allows you to flow with the river, an experience that is both beautiful and profound.
Not to mention, canoeing is also exceptionally accessible, it is a sport that is great for kids and adults alike, and economical. The rafts can be easily rented for a day, it is also a sport that caters to your liking. Whether you want tranquillity and the comfort of paddling along a calm canal or adrenaline as you take a white-water course, there really is something for everyone.
Lastly, and another major reason why we love canoeing is that it is ideal for combining with any other outdoorsy activity you might have in mind - such as climbing, cycling, hiking, nature trailing, camping or even caravanning. So, you tell us, what’s not to love?
CANOEING & THE NATURAL WORLD
Canoeing brings you close to nature and wildlife. As you follow the flow of the river you can take the time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors. Not to mention, wildlife tends to be less shy and or frightened around paddlers, this allows you to spot things that walkers and cyclists rarely get to see.
What's more, canoeing and kayaking are ideal for combining with many other outdoorsy activities – such as climbing, cycling, hiking, nature trailing, camping or even caravanning!
SOME TIPS FROM OUR EXPERTS WHILE CANOEING
- Pay attention to your paddle grip, employ a smooth stroke and keep your shoulders relaxed and your body upright to maintain the boat's balance.
- Be conscious of your body, core abdominals and back muscles are key make sure to keep them engaged, and use your feet to help you transfer power from your body through the kayak to propel it forward.
Whitewater canoeing levels depend on river difficulty which is classified as follows:
International Scale of River Difficulty
CLASS I: EASY
Done in shallow water with small waves and few obstructions.
CLASS II: BEGINNER
Some manoeuvring is required. Straightforward rapids with a few rocks and medium-sized rocks.
CLASS III: INTERMEDIATE
Rapids are moderate and irregular. Fast current requires complex manoeuvres. Large- volume rivers.
CLASS IV: ADVANCED
Powerful but predictable rapids require demanding manoeuvres. Difficulty depends on the river, which sometimes includes large unavoidable waves, holes, and or constricting channels. Sub categories include the ‘easier’ Class IV- or Class IV+.
CLASS V: EXPERT
Long, obstructed, or uncontrollable rapids. Demanding routes that contain large drops, unavoidable waves or holes, and congested chutes.
This level is quite extensive and also has multiple-level scales within the Class. The sublevels increase by .1, therefore, the next level within Class V would be Class 5.1, then Class 5.2 and so on.
CLASS VI: EXTREME
Difficult, unpredictable, and very dangerous. This classification is rarely attempted and is reserved for expert teams and exploratory rafting.
EQUIPMENT USED WHILE CANOEING
Only equipment needed is a canoe, paddle, and buoyancy aid.
Gear needed depends on the type of excursion you will be doing especially if you plan on doing other activities in tandem with canoeing. Swimming and or snorkelling, for example requires additional equipment like diving mask, breathing tube, swim fins, etc.
DID YOU KNOW...
- Canoeing was originally a form of long-distance transportation for many countries and regions including those found in North America, the Amazon basin, and Polynesia among others.
- Scottish explorer, John MacGregor, is often cited as the first person to bring canoes over to the UK back in 1858.
- The sport of canoeing first appeared in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.
- Canoes have a history of evolution, they went from originally being made from wood and bark, to wood and canvas, and from there progressed to aluminium. Today most canoes are made from moulded plastic or a composite like fibreglass.
- You need a licence to paddle on Britain's inland waterways.
- The word ‘canoe’ derives from the Taíno word ‘kanowa’.