View Full Version : Best choice for two
08-12-2011, 12:05 AM
My wife and I are wanting to get into either canoeing or kayaking. We want to take multiple night trips and maybe even take a week up to the BWCA. My question is would it be better to get a canoe or would two kayaks be a better choice?
08-12-2011, 12:22 AM
Have you spent much time in either a canoe or a kayak? I find them to be related, but very different. A canoe is pretty accessible. You can pretty much jump in a go somewhere. Learning a few strokes will improve your efficiency quickly, but it doesn't take a whole lot of training to achieve a reasonable level of proficiency, particularly for flat water. A kayak takes a little more practice and training in my opinion. You might also consider a tandem kayak as another alternative.
I don't have enough direct experience to give you any real canoe or kayak based advice with respect to what's better for multi-day trips. However, a comparison with another sport may be useful. One of the things we enjoy about riding a tandem bicycle vs. our singles is that we are always together. When we ride our singles it's often a bit of a challenge to keep together. That may just be us, and a couple that was closely matched in athletic ability may find they can easily stay together and the tradeoffs aren't worthwhile.
And make no mistake, there are probably tradeoffs. There are usually some performance tradeoffs between, for instance, a single kayak and a tandem kayak. You will also find that in a tandem you need to work together. There's a saying in the tandem bicycle world that riding a tandem will either build a very strong relationship, or destroy your relationship.
08-12-2011, 12:34 AM
I have very little experience in a canoe, most of it was when I was like 6 and once or twice since. We both like the challenge of learning a new sport and are more than willing to get lessons in either, if we can find them. We both enjoy hiking and backpacking and want to experience all nature has to offer.
A tandem kayak would also be a possibility but I figured two kayaks would be able to handle the gear of a week long trip better.
NH Moto Expo
08-12-2011, 12:36 AM
Nothing Hauls gear better than a canoe. Kayaks are great but look to where each was developed and why. Kayaks are great for off shore high spray areas on big water or running a whitewater river, but for hauling camping gear you really can't beat a canoe. It also is much easier to portage with a canoe as all you need to do is drop your big packs in the middle and shove off. Kayaks require sorting the gear into smaller packages and fitting them in either the bow or stern cargo holds or lashing them down on the deck.
I own both but will always pull out the canoe for expedition use. The only down side is when the wind is blowing from the side and you have to make time... the bow gets blown off course easy. Just make sure you get a "lake" Canoe and not a river canoe. A lake canoe will have less rocker and will have lower gunnels.
Good luck and have fun in the BWCA...it's a great place to paddle.
08-12-2011, 02:29 AM
I was thinking about a canoe but keep reading and being told to take a lesson to learn the basic strokes to control the canoe. So far all I can find are kayaking classes so I figured I would ask. I have been looking at 17-19ft canoes for the long trips. I know I am in flat corn field land :) of Iowa but can anyone recommend the best way to learn the right way to canoe?
NH Moto Expo
08-12-2011, 02:54 AM
Don't over think it. If you can drive you can paddle, honestly take a look at Paddling.net for info on basic strokes then just get out and practice. The only place you really need to be on top of your game is in fast water which you won't see in the boundary waters area. I grew up in Barrington, Illinois so I'm familiar with flat country. There are many places to learn about paddling in the Chicago area there's also a great race on the fox river every year that draws a ton of great paddlers. Browse paddling.net and I think you will quickly find all the help you will ever need.
Kayaking is popular now and small rotomolded Kayaks are cheap that's why shops are selling them, but they aren't always the best tool for the job. I will say they are often fitted with more comfortable seats but that's because you can't change seating positions easily. In a canoe you can stretch or stand up if you need to then sit or kneel and go back to paddling.
08-12-2011, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the info. I will look at Paddling.net and look into some places in Chicago that I may be able to get a lesson or two. Either way I guess i didn't realize it should be so easy to pick up on. Thanks again
08-24-2011, 04:14 PM
I would agree with your comment on two kayaks being able to handle more gear, etc. My wife and I bought a Preception Prodigy II, tandem kayak. We like it a lot. However we would rarely ever use it for camping since it just doesn't have the room. The best part about that kayak is it can be used, just as easily, as a single kayak. Then I could go kayak camping since I'd have plenty of room to store stuff. My wife and I use it with our two year old sitting in front of me in the rear seat.
I do like canoes as well, I want to build my own wooden canoe, I like the seating positions and love the cargo room. Just can't comfortably ride in it solo, unless set up perfectly.
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