All About Canoeing

A canoeist sports his pfd, paddle, paddling jacket, and canoe as he enjoys the moment's serenity.
A canoeist sports his pfd, paddle, paddling jacket, and canoe as he enjoys the serenity of the moment. © 2006 by Goldring

Canoeing is an age old sport that has been used for transportation, fishing, hunting, sport, and recreation as long as they have been around. Not much has changed in the thousands of years of canoeing history. All over the world canoes are still used for all of those categories and their appeal continues to grow. For those Westerners who want to get into canoeing the options are near limitless. Advances in technology have improved canoe performance as well as affordability.

Here is a beginners guide to help new canoeists learn all about canoeing.

Getting into Canoeing

There is an unknown force that drives people to get into canoeing. For some it hearkens back to their childhood days at camp. For others it is the allure of the great outdoors. Whatever it is, when getting into canoeing the person has an idea of why they want to canoe. This is actually an important step in the process. The sport of canoeing is so differentiated that it is important to know why you want to canoe, where you intend to canoe, and who you will be canoeing with so that you choose the best type of canoeing for you. Here are some resources to help you answer those questions.

Canoe Gear

Once a would-be canoeist has settled on the questions of why and where they will canoe it is time to buy, borrow, or rent some equipment.
Buying a canoe could be as easy as walking into a sporting goods store and purchasing the first canoe you find. This however is not advisable without prior research. The canoe one should buy depends on the type of canoeing a person will be doing and the desired features they need in their boat. The second most important item in canoeing, the canoe paddle, should also be researched yet seldom is.
Here are some articles to help you choose a canoe, canoe paddle, and the other canoe gear you’ll need.

All About Canoeing Skills

Armed with some knowledge and your new canoe, paddle, and gear you’re ready to begin paddling. Don’t make the mistake that most people do which is to never learn the correct way to hold a canoe paddle or take a forward stroke. Learning the basic technique will go a long way in helping your enjoyment of the sport.

All About Canoeing For Fun

Of course, the end all be all of canoeing is not to learn to canoe. It is to have fun! Whether to race, to brave rapids, to enjoy nature, to fish or camp, or just to get away from it all, canoeing should be fun. If it is not, you’re doing something wrong! Canoeists make up a band of brothers and sisters that share a deep bond due to their common interest of canoeing. Be proud of being a canoeist. Set goals for yourself each season. Get involved in the paddling community. Find festivals, expos, and demos to reminisce with other paddlers. Above all, be sure to HAVE FUN!