How to Choose a Canoe?

How to Choose a Canoe?

How to Choose a Canoe?Buying a canoe is not that simple, as we are in a sector that includes a vast range of models, brands and materials.

In reality, sports related to the use of canoes are constantly developing, leading to a growth in the number of practitioners who wish to have their own canoe.

Whoever is approaching the world of canoes now, may have difficulties in choosing the right model for their needs. We have therefore decided to provide you with a detailed guide , to guide you in the steps necessary to purchase a canoe.

Inflatable canoe models for online purchase

Types of canoes

The canoe sector includes models of various kinds, created for use on very different watercourses.
Rowing can be practiced in various ways, using a specific canoe depending on the environment and the person who uses it.

Let’s see specifically which types of canoes are on the market:

Canadian canoe : Canadian canoe means the classic model, which is maintained while maintaining a kneeling position, using a single-paddle paddle with which to paddle on only one side of the canoe. There are two types of Canadian canoes: the C1, a single-seater, is characterized by a single paddle and by the kneeling position of the only canoeist who maneuvers it; the C1 slalom, used in canoe slalom competitions, where the canoeist is always kneeling and uses the foam, a material that allows him to have greater adherence to the boat.

The kayak : it differs from the classic canoe because it is maneuvered through the use of a double paddle paddle, with which you paddle on both sides of the boat. Among the main features of the kayak we remember the length, which reaches up to 5 meters, in the longer models. The shorter kayak, which measures a maximum of two meters, is used only in dangerous waters, also called foam, where rapids and waterfalls meet.

The rigid canoes : are preferred by lovers of canoing because they have a greater resistance to shock than an inflatable canoes. Rigid canoes stand out for their speed, which makes them the undisputed queens of rowing competitions. The rigid canoe models made of plastic are also very robust, thanks to the use of innovative materials that give them lightness and strength.

The inflatable canoes : though it seems, inflatable kayaks are among the most resistant dul market, because they are able to absorb any type of impact, due to their softness. This type of canoe is structured to allow safety buoyancy, in the event of a puncture, thanks to intelligent distribution of the air chambers. The materials used for the manufacture of inflatable canoes are mainly PVC and nylon. The inflatable canoes are the most comfortable, because their softness gives them a high comfort and a great practicality of transport; you will not need to purchase a luggage rack to mount on your car, as once folded, it can be stored as a common suitcase.

Accessories for canoes

Before setting sail with your canoe, remember that in addition to the boat, you will need some essential accessories for a navigation in total safety.

The life jacket : it is the first item to buy, because besides being mandatory in certain waters, it is also a means to have greater visibility in case of loss. In the event that the canoe turns over, the life jacket is the only means of staying afloat and can also be used as a thermal garment, which protects the chest from the cold. Regarding the purchase of a life jacket, the best ratio between quality and price is offered by the Veleria S. Giorgio brand.
The manual pump inflator for canoes : allows the canoeist to inflate his canoe at any time, without having to use electricity. The technical features of the “Bravo” model (which we have described here ) are: a thrust volume of 2x2500cc, the ABS body, the dimensions of 21 x 12 x 47 cm. The pump can also become a simple flow, simply by removing the cap, for effective inflation, limiting the effort.

The bellows pump inflator for inflatable canoes : inflates the canoe through the pressure of the foot. The bellows pump is smaller than the manual Bravo, and therefore takes up much less space, ideal for boats with reduced capacity.
Canoe oars: also called paddles, they can have two blades or a single blade, generally made of aluminum, which gives them greater lightness and manageability.

The best brands of canoes

The best brands of canoesWe offer the best brands in terms of product reliability and quality:
Exo: has been producing high-performance canoes for 25 years, with careful attention to detail, coming to sell its products throughout Europe. The Exo brand is known in the canoe environment for the best quality / price ratio, which allows the purchase of a quality canoe at an affordable price. This company uses engineers and industry experts, who use the latest technology and machinery, to offer only functional and performing products.

Faress: Faress is the leading distributor for over 40 years in terms of accessory items to take with you in a canoe. The Faress brand is synonymous with superior quality standards, for the comfort and efficiency of the products it offers.

JiLong: this company has very high quality standards, guaranteed by the ISO9001 quality certificate. All the items produced by JiLong are subjected to strict controls, in order to guarantee only safe and quality products.
Scoprega: this company is also specialized in the production of canoe accessories, starting from all types of pumps and for all uses, up to the manufacture of oars, paddles and navigation accessories. The Scoprega company has currently opened offices in China, in order to enchant even the eastern market.

Sevylor: deals mainly with the manufacture of inflatable canoes, rafts, mats, kayaks and canoes. Sevylor products stand out for their safety, sturdiness and stability.
Veleria S. Giorgio: is a manufacturer of life jackets, since 1926. The items with the Veleria S. Giorgio brand are also used in the military sector and are RINA certified.

Deepening: the technical specifications of the Canadian canoe

At this point we analyze in detail the technical specifications of the classic canoe, the Canadian one, to show you how different they are, depending on the model, even if they all look similar, in the simplicity of their shapes.

Primary and secondary stability

Let’s start by talking about the primary and secondary stability of a canoe , properties that are directly consequent to the design of the canoe structure.
Primary stability is the resistance of a canoe to inclination and therefore to reversal; secondary stability, on the other hand, refers to the resistance to overturning of a canoe inclined on its side, because it is hit by a wave. It is interesting to understand how these characteristics change, depending on the type of bottom of the canoe .

The shape of the bottom of a canoe is the most important part because it determines the performance and functionality of a canoe. There are four types of funds :

Flat bottom : guarantees greater primary stability, which decreases however on the waves or when the canoe tilts. This bottom is suitable for cargo canoes.
Lowered arch bottom: it has an excellent primary and secondary stability and is very reactive on the waves and during the inclination.

Lowered V-shaped bottom: it has a sort of relief at the center of the hull that functions as a keel and gives it greater stability in the progress, but risks becoming more easily stranded on the rocks.

Round bottom: it is used only on speed canoes on calm waters, because it reduces initial stability and is difficult to keep in balance.
Let’s take a closer look at the comparison between the flat-bottomed canoe and the curved bottom canoe.

Flat-bottomed canoe without load

The flat hulls of the canoes have a high primary stability, since the entire width of the canoe is all in the water. The canoeist will only feel a modest swing.

Flat-bottomed canoe with load
When a flat-bottomed canoe is loaded, its width immersed in the water remains constant, maintaining its stability unchanged.

Secondary stability of the flat-bottomed canoe
The secondary stability of a flat-bottomed canoe is reduced because during the inclination, most of the hull rises almost completely from the water. With a scarce surface immersed in water, the canoeist must be careful not to tip over.

Secondary stability on the wave of the flat-bottomed canoe
When the flat-bottomed canoe is hit crosswise by a wave, the flat hull rises and falls, following the curve and the shapes of the wave. It is advisable for the canoeist to react promptly and counter the roll.

Canoe with curved bottom without load

The curved bottom canoe is much more unstable because its entire width is just above the waterline and the submerged part is reduced.

Canoe with curved bottom with load
When loaded, the curved bottom canoe dives for a good part of the hull, acquiring greater stability than when it is without load.

Secondary stability of the canoe with inclined curved bottom
When the curved bottom canoe tilts, its width remains completely submerged, allowing the canoeist to maintain stability easily.

Secondary stability on the wave of the curved canoe
When the wave hits the curved hull it meets less resistance, therefore a low roll is generated, which allows the canoeist to maintain the balance more easily.

Canoe width and length

The maximum speed of a canoe depends mainly on its length and width. To exceed the maximum speed, the canoe should come out of the water and glide over. Unlike motor boats, the canoe cannot glide over water only with the push of the paddle. These are the parameters that condition the theoretical maximum speed of Canadian canoes.

The speed of the canoe is also influenced by its length, as the longer the canoe is, the faster it will go, but at the same time it will also be more difficult to maneuver.
If you are fond of speed on the water, opt for a fairly long canoe , at least more than 480 cm, which will guarantee greater efficiency.

Remember that the narrower the canoe is, the more the maximum speed increases, but reducing its stability and maneuverability.

Shape of canoe tips

Shape of canoe tipsWhen the canoe advances, it must allow the water it meets at the tip to close aft. It is advisable that this process take place with harmony and spontaneity, in order to reduce the resistance of the advancement of the canoe.

There are two types of points, one more tapered, another fuller and rounder.
The tapered one allows a greater speed, because it tends to slip into the waves; the more rounded tip instead, has a greater resistance and turbulence when it meets the water at the bow. On the other hand, the full tip increases buoyancy, helping the canoe to overcome the waves.

The symmetry of the canoes
Symmetry of the canoe and form

Generally Canadian canoes have a symmetrical shape that respects the hydrodynamic efficiency both when moving forward and when moving backwards.

Today asymmetrical canoes are very widespread, as moving the widest point of the canoe aft increases hydrodynamic efficiency and consequently also the theoretical maximum speed.

This is the principle on which all speed canoes are built.

The shape of the hips

The sides of the canoe can be perfectly vertical, or they can widen upwards , increasing the buoyancy and secondary stability of the canoe, also reducing the risk of loading water. The sides curving upwards facilitate the paddling towards the edge of the canoe, maintaining primary stability.

Sides of the canoe

The height of the hips

The sides of a canoe are very important to define the buoyancy, load capacity, secondary stability and the ability to overcome the waves.

The higher the sides of a canoe, the more these features will improve, but making the canoe more sensitive to the wind.

Advice for buying a canoe

Before going to take a look at the models, think about how you will use your canoe, asking yourself some simple questions , for example:

What kind of canoing do I want to practice?

On what types of waters will I sail by canoe?

They may seem trivial questions, but if you don’t have the kind of specialty you want to try, you risk spending money unnecessarily.

Ask yourself then if you are types of foamy waters, those characterized by rapids, which are practicable only with a certain type of kayak; if instead you prefer the isolation of still waters, in points that are difficult to reach by swimming, the inflatable canoe could be for you.

Remember to buy the canoe from experienced dealers in the field, in order to be able to take advantage of post-purchase assistance and maintenance services.


What to consider when choosing a canoe?

While canoeing is a fun experience, there are few things to know and consider before choosing a canoe. First, determine your paddling plans. Do you prefer recreational padding or you want to tour on flatwater or river water or white water paddling? What are the types of trips you prefer – day trips or weekend trips or excursions for a week? Secondly, choose a type of canoe – recreational canoes or versatile canoes or river canoes. You should also take into account the length, width (beam) and depth of the canoe before buying one.

What canoe is best for beginners?

It can be a bit tricky to choose a canoe for the beginners as you have to bear in mind few things to make the task easier. How wide is the canoe? While advanced canoers can handle a narrow width, beginners won’t be able to do that. This is why the width has to be checked. Also check the material of the canoe so that you know how strong it is and how much it weights. Lightweight material canoes are better for beginners but they’re costlier.

Which canoe should beginners avoid?

The canoes designed for beginners are especially tailored to meet their needs and hence they can always be chosen. However, being a beginner, avoid areas of water where there are fishermen as you may get entangled in their lines. Stop paddling whenever it is raining heavily or getting flooded. If you’re a beginner, it’s better to take someone to the water than going alone.