Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Wonder Friend. Wonder Friend Wonders, “What's the difference between a canoe and a kayak?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonder Friend!

Have you ever been in a canoe or a kayak? Can you tell the difference between the two by looking at them? Many people think they’re basically the same type of boat. What makes them different?

In general, kayaks are thought to be a type of canoe. Canoes and kayaks are lightweight boats that can be used on lakes and rivers. These craft are powered by humans using paddles. They’re both popular for water activities, such as fishing. Both can also travel in shallow water.

When should a canoe be called a kayak? It’s not always clear. But there are some basic differences in design and how they’re used. For example, paddlers in a canoe usually sit on a seat or kneel. In a kayak, they sit on the bottom of the boat with their legs in front of them.

The paddles used in canoes and kayaks are usually different, too. Paddlers tend to use single-bladed paddles in canoes. Double-bladed paddles are more common for kayakers.

Canoes also have an open deck. This means that the inside of the boat is open and uncovered. Kayaks, on the other hand, are usually closed-decked. This means that the inside of the kayak is enclosed and surrounds the paddler.

Canoes and kayaks have different purposes, too. Canoes  can carry more people and supplies. This makes them ideal for families and other small groups. Kayaks, on the other hand, carry fewer people and supplies. Their sleek build makes them faster and better for use in water sports. They’re common in racing and whitewater boating.

In general, kayaks are built to be faster and more agile than canoes. Still, some canoes can travel as fast as comparable kayaks. Overall, though, kayaks are known for faster speeds. Canoes are known for greater stability and roominess.

These types of boats have been around for thousands of years. In fact, the first canoes were simply hollowed-out trees. Kayaks were used by the Inuit peoples of the Arctic for fishing and hunting.

Do you enjoy kayaking or canoeing? If you haven’t tried either, would you like to one day? Traveling in these slim vessels is a very different experience than other types of boating!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1

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