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Paddles of a Canoe and Kayak, Can They Be Interchanged?

Updated on January 5, 2018

A Kayak Uses One Oar with Two Blades

A kayak carries one person who propels the kayak with a double-bladed paddle. Some kayaks can carry more than one person.
A kayak carries one person who propels the kayak with a double-bladed paddle. Some kayaks can carry more than one person. | Source

What Paddle Propels Your Kayak or Canoe More Efficiently?

A Kayak Uses One Oar with Two Blades

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A kayak usually carries one person who propels the kayak with a double-bladed paddle. Some kayaks can carry more then one person.


What Paddle Propels Your Kayak or Canoe More Efficiently?

My family has embraced health and fitness for many years. We are not perfect in our endeavors; however, every day our family strives to do better in areas such as health, fitness, and healthy preparation of meals.

One of the subjects that someone asked me a few weeks ago concerned the sport of kayaking and canoeing. I did a bit of research, including a review of seasoned kayakers and those who canoe on a regular basis. I asked some neighbors and friends who enjoy this sport, and I found out the following information.


Can the paddles of a canoe and a kayak be interchanged?

For the people who do not use a canoe or kayak or use either one of these infrequently, he or she may see no reason why they cannot use a kayak paddle in a canoe. He or she needs to understand the differences in each one to come to an individual conclusion.


The differences between these two boats are as follows; a kayak is longer and narrower than a canoe. The front and rear of the kayak form points. Kayaks made for one person, but are available to fit two people, propels the kayak through the water by using a paddle with two blades.

The driver put this blade in the water and pushes the kayak ahead, then dips the paddle into the water on the alternating sides of the kayak to keep the kayak going straight. The design of the kayak, made fully enclosed top and bottom except where the person (s) sits.

A kayak is a slender boat that tapers at the front and back. Kayaks, built from lightweight aluminum, skins, bark, plastic, wood and more make it easy to handle. One or more persons can sit in a Kayak and propel it through the water with one paddle.

There is one blade on each end of the pole. The driver alternates side, pushing the canoe through the water with first the right paddle and then the left paddle. Those people who feel that there is nothing more relaxing than kayaking, think that this boat is more comfortable for one person to propel.

The argument is that kayaks are easier to control and keep gear dryer. Many kayakers feel that the two blades are better than the one found propelling a canoe because a kayak handles rougher waters much better than a canoe. Kayaks will not get flooded with water and a canoe can take on water.

If the kayaker is propelling their kayak in inclement weather, the boat helps to keep the driver protected. Kayakers can move and transport the boat easier due to its lightweight. The rudders on a kayak help to control the boat. Kayakers love the closeness to the water and the feel that their body is skimming under the water.


Canoeing is a favorite activity for all ages and is one of the most ancient forms of transportations. There are a few varying types of canoes on the market today. A canoe requires the use of an oar with one blade. The driver propels the canoe by alternating sides of the canoe to push the canoe forward.

The construction of canoes made of aluminum, wood or plastic and prove a straightforward build. Most people desire to purchase a recreational canoe. There are intermediate and advanced canoes, whitewater canoes, racing canoes, fishing canoes, camping canoes, solo canoes and tandem canoes.

A canoe is propelled by one person or more people, depending on how big the canoe is and how many people the canoe accommodates.

One of the pros of canoeing versus kayaking is that some people are claustrophobic and cannot sit in a kayak that is so enclosed. Many are fearful of tipping the kayak and being stuck under the water. However, many people say that canoes are more manageable to avoid a capsize. These people feel they can escape a canoe easier.

You can store much more gear in a canoe, and two people can paddle one canoe. These boats are stable, and many people feel they do not tip easily. The person propelling the canoe sits up higher on top of the water.

According to the many people, a kayak paddle used to propel a canoe may work more efficiently than the canoe paddles. According to some reviews, many have tried using kayak blades on a canoe, and they worked well. Using kayak blades on a canoes is, of course an individual preference, and everyone has differing thoughts on the subject.

© 2014 Carol Ann Sherwood


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