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Canal Kayaking - Canal Kayaks

Most narrowboaters and canal cruisers welcome responsible canal kayaking and canoeists - And remember you need more than just an open canoe or kayak to go canoeing. You need to stay safe and warm too.

Canal Kayaking - Canal Kayaks
Enjoy the canal or river and countryside, leaving it as you found it, treating wildlife and other river users with respect. There's something magical about spending time by water. The peaceful atmosphere, the beautiful surroundings, the sights of the wildlife and much more.

Canal Kayaking - Canal KayaksThere are canal canoe clubs for canal kayaking using suitable canal kayaks, like the Gailey (Canal) Canoe Club, at Gailey in Staffordshire, just off the A5 Trunk Road.

If you are looking to buy a canal kayak for touring down canals and flat water, we suggest that you might like to buy something cheap! There are three main types of canoe – the fast-turning kayak, the straight-running kayak and the open canoe. We have been told that you will soon get bored with canal kayaking and want to progress onto moving water quite soon.

For touring you want length and a bit of stability and there are plenty of custom touring boats suitable for canals, rivers and estuary paddling. You will soon know if touring is going to be your thing or not and then you can spend the serious money on the kayak you need whether you want to or not.

We recommend that you join a club for canal kayaking and get some experience, if you can use their their canal kayaks, until you know what you want, so much the better, and joining a club gives you the chance to get out on the water with other people.

There are differences between canoes and kayaks;

A canoe - Open canoe or 'Canadian' has no deck and the oarsman use a single-bladed paddle either kneeling or sitting.
A canoe - Open canoe or 'Canadian' has no deck and the oarsman use a single-bladed paddle either kneeling or sitting. The canoes available today are closely related to those used by the native north American Indian tribes hence the term 'Canadian'. Most today are made from plastic and can be paddled by 1 to 4 people.

A kayak - Closed cockpit or decked. The oarsman uses a double-bladed paddle in a sitting position only. Kayaks are related to those used by Inuit or Eskimos for hunting but made today using modern materials. The range of kayaks available is large, covering the many varied specialisations; sea kayaking, touring, surfing, whitewater, freestyle etc.

The term 'canoeing' is used to cover paddling in both canoes and kayaks.

Which Canoe or Kayak is right for you?

Open Canoes or Canadian Canoe paddlers use a single bladed paddle. Ideal for family canal canoeing and river touring, carrying one or more paddlers and their equipment. Open Canoes or Canadian Canoe paddlers use a single bladed paddle. Ideal for family canal canoeing and river touring, carrying one or more paddlers and their equipment. 'Old Town canoes' are amongst the toughest, made in Cross link 3 plastic or Royalex material.

Recreational Kayaks - These craft are very stable with a large open cockpit. Fun to paddle on canals, calm or sheltered water. Excellent for beginners or those who want a gentle paddle. They are also good family boats and are available in singles or doubles. Boats worth looking at are the 'Kiwi 1' and the 'Kiwi 2'. These kayaks are made of plastic, polyethylene.

Sit-on-tops - These are a range of kayaks without a cockpit that you sit-on-top. They are wide, stable and self-draining fun boats for all the family. These kayaks are made of plastic, polyethylene great for quiet canal canoeing.

General Purpose Kayaks - These are good all-round boats that are used to teach paddling skills by clubs and centres. Ideal for those who don't want to paddle in extreme conditions. Kayaks for all sizes of paddler. Suggested boats are the 'Pyranha Acrobat 275' and the 'Dagger Legend' Series such as the 'Redline'. These kayaks are made of plastic, polyethylene.

Touring Kayaks - These are longer boat's that track well in the water and have storage compartments for camping and other kit. Ideal for calmer coastal paddling, lakes and canals. Faster than general purpose boats and sometimes fitted with a rudder. Singles and doubles available. Suggested boats are the 'Dagger Blackwater 10.5' and the 'Perception Carolina'. These kayaks are made of plastic, polyethylene.

We won't discuss Sea Kayaks, Whitewater and Surf Kayaks in this article, just sufficient to know they exist.