Canoeing/kayaking definitions

Canoeing:  paddling of an open, usually non-decked craft, paddled with a single blade in a kneeling position

In the UK canoeing is often used to cover both kayaking and canoeing, although the two disciplines require a very different skill set.

Kayaking: paddling a closed deck boat, with a double-bladed paddle from a seated position.


To see the difference in action (videos):




In racing you’ll hear the following terms:

K1: single seat kayak

C1: single kneeling canoe

C2: two people kneeling canoe

K2: two seater kayak

C4: four person kneeling canoe

K4: four seater kayak


Sprint:  Flatwater Racing: the most usual distances are 200, 500 and 1000 metre sprints, or long distance.

Slalom: Timed navigation along a white water course or rapids.

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