Choosing a Craft
There is a very large range of kayaks. Each are designed for a different use including recreational, white-water, sea kayaking, slalom, sprint and marathon.
Kayaks are closed deck craft (enclosed cockpit) where the paddler is in a seated position using a double-bladed paddle, pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to move forward. The wider the kayak the more stable, the longer the kayak the less stable. If you capsize in a kayak you will need to know how to roll or conduct self or assisted rescue.
Short Plastic Kayak
Canoes are open deck boats; you are seated or kneeling using a one-bladed paddle, often with continuous strokes on the same side. A tradition canoe is a very large stable craft. They are great for packing in gear and enjoying the journey, but you won’t get there quick. Like kayaks, there are different types of canoes used for many paddlesports such as recreations, sprint, marathon, and slalom.
Sit-on-tops are similar to kayaks however they do not have a cockpit. They have a formed seat that is part of the deck that you sit on. Sit on top craft cover the full range of paddling including flatwater, whitewater and ocean. A more common competition sit on top is called a Ski.
If you capsize on a sit on top, you turn it over and climb back on! They are unsinkable so they are great for recreational fun and adventure racing.