canoeingCanoeing is a great outdoor activity.  Picture yourself slicing through the water in sync with your paddle strokes. You float on a peaceful lake with the wind at your back.  There is no motor to interfere with the serene environment of the lake or a flowing river. It is therapeutic and calming.  For the physically fit, canoeing provides a strenuous and rewarding workout.

Canoeing is simply propelling a canoe with a paddle using only human muscle power. It is  popular throughout the world for recreation and sport, although it’s still used in some places for transportation. You can find canoe clubs and retail stores in just about every city where there’s a river, lake or sea. Canoeing is also an official Olympic sporting event that draws both male and female athletes. It’s even opening up new worlds of opportunity to the physically challenged.

There are many types of canoes — dugout canoes, outrigger canoes, whitewater canoes and kayaks among others. Canoeing refers to both the canoe and the kayak in many places throughout the world, but canoeing refers just to the canoe in the United States. With so many people drawn to canoeing, it seems like canoes are a lot like cars — different strokes for different folks.

Although canoeing might seem like the ultimate calming and peaceful activity, it’s also evolved into a high-paced, exhilarating extreme sport. Whitewater canoeing and kayaking are very popular in Europe. Canoeists and kayakers navigate through raging rivers or embark on extreme expeditions to faraway locations, carrying all of their equipment in their canoe. Typically, canoes are between 11 to 30 feet long. Smaller canoes are usually 11 to 15 feet. They’re typically used by single paddlers and children. On the other hand, larger canoes are usually from 16 to 18 feet are used as guide boats and are popular with both solo and tandem paddlers. Most of the time, canoes used for recreation can carry from one and four people.

In general, a well-designed canoe has a long lift to the canoe. A canoe with a slightly curved bottom can go faster and is easier to paddle because its shape reduces friction. If you’re looking for the most stable canoe, find one with a flat, wide bottom.

To get the most enjoyment out of your canoe, select one that matches your skill level and purpose. If you’re a first-time canoeist, you may be interested in an aluminum canoe, since it’s heaviest and comes with buoyancy chambers that help keep it afloat.

Source: How Canoeing Works.” HowStuffWorks. Web. 05 June 2013.

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