The canoeing or boating , involves the use of a canoe , kayak or collapsible boat that is small, narrow and lightweight for recreation or competition and are propelled by oars . There are many canoe clubs around the world, and most canoes are used on tours or cruises , in wilderness areas, or in water sports . The sport of canoeing is exciting and has its risks when it is practiced in the rapids of the rivers. It is noteworthy that the canoe is one of the aquatic environments moreancient that exist because practically all the tribes of antiquity had it.



It is a water sport in which great speeds can be reached. It is carried out by means of canoes or kayaks that are pushed by oars , either by one, two or four crew members.


What is canoeing?

Canoes and kayaks have become very popular as an attractive and dynamic type of sport that can be practiced both in calm waters and in the rapids of the wildest rivers. Canoeing is a hobby that takes place in the water in which high speeds can be achieved and that consists of navigating through the waters by means of canoes or kayaks, which are pushed and rowed by one, two or four crew members.


It is a discipline that is used to play racing speed and background . It is usually done in calm water rivers , or on some occasions, in those with fast currents, for those who love adrenaline.

History of canoeing

Almost all the tribes that have inhabited the Earth and that depended on the rivers to live have used the canoes to make their life easier. The name of pirogue comes from the Inuit word that has the Eskimo meaning and that refers to a boat made of sealskin that ended in a point at both ends.

Native Americans were among the first to make canoes similar to those of today; they were boats made of birch fixed to a wooden structure . The kayaks improved their appearance thanks to the Inuit of Greenland . In Great Britain it was established as a sport by the Scotsman John McGregor , who in 1866 founded the Richmond Canoeing Club in Surrey. In 1924 the governing body, the International Canoeing Federation , was founded.

In 1930 canoeing was a popular sport in Europe . In 1933 the first European Championships were held and the sport was included in the 1936 Berlin Olympics . Slalom and whitewater were also included in the 1930s. The first World Championships were in 1938. World slalom championships have been held every two years since 1949 and whitewater since 1959.


The technique to achieve successful canoeing is paddling . Paddling in canoeing must go according to the movements that are made. Apart from this technique, they are also important:

  • Initial position.
    • It is known as an aerial attack and it gives the maximum torsion of the body.
  • Beginning of the air attack.
    • The torsion of the trunk must be maintained.
    • Arms must be extended.
    • It should be shovelled without splashing during the attack.
  • Final aquatic attack and start of traction.
  • Traction development .
  • Beginning of extraction .
    • Shovel extraction is performed in the posterior third of the thigh at approximately 135 °.

Canoeing modalities

At present there are several modalities to practice canoeing, these are the following:

Calm waters:  the boats are placed in line before leaving and the waters of the rivers or lakes are very calm, distances are traveled in a straight line that have no obstacles . The Olympic distances in this discipline are 200, 500 and 1000 meters.

Canoeing on slalom : these routes are done in turbulent waters, crossing different gates in a given time. When it comes to rough waters, it means that they are difficult to navigate. The route must be at least 250 meters from the start line to the finish line. It is recognized as an Olympic sport .

Whitewater descent : it is a competition in which the competitor descends a certain route in the shortest time possible, a life jacket and helmet must be used for protection.

Marathon canoeing : the competitor must cover a certain route in the shortest time possible. The distances are long and you must face the waters due to obstacles present in them.

Recreational Canoeing : they are different activities in waters that are navigable in which he is not given importance to the time it lasts.

In addition, we have polo kayaking, rafting, sea kayaking, surf kayaking, freestyle, dragon boat and adapted canoeing.


For most Spanish-speaking countries, a pirogue is a boat similar to a canoe . The word pirogue is the result of combining the words pyramid and water .


The equipment that is needed to achieve the sport of canoeing is the following:

  • Towel
  • Sports footwear
  • In general, the companies that organize the tours are in charge of facilitating and renting the rest of the material that includes canoe , canoe or kayak, paddles , helmet and life jacket.

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