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Choosing a Canoe

How do you choose the best canoe for you? Start with how you’ll use it—are you going to carry two people or six? Are you out for a day, or a weeklong trip? Does the canoe need to be family-friendly, or are you shooting the whitewater solo? No one canoe is great at all types of paddling. You will get the most out of your purchase if you select the type that best fits your intend. In the process, consider carefully the design features of the canoe and materials used in manufacturing.

We’ve compiled information from manufacturers and canoe experts to get you started:


Types of Canoes:

Some canoe designs are best suited for lake paddling, where efficiency and straight line tracking are ideal, while other canoes are better for swift moving rivers and streams, and justify some loss of efficiency for the sake of agility. How do you know which type is right for you? Choose a canoe by Type >

Canoe Design:

What does the length and width, and hull shape of a canoe have to do with performance? What is Rocker and Tumblehome, and why does it matter?  Will a keel make the canoe more stable? And is it better to have square or rounded stems? More about canoe Design >

Canoe Materials:

What is a canoe made of? There are a myriad of choices out there, and the manufacturers do not always use the same language, but the materials that make up your canoe directly impact how it will perform, how it should be used, and how much you'll pay. Learn all about canoe Materials >

More Canoeing Feature Stories
Explore the latest in canoe design and prominent canoe makers. More >
User-Submitted Canoe Reviews
Read our newest reviews and submit your own. More >
How to Choose a Canoe
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