Choosing the right Stand-Up Paddle Board

sup boards preview

Stand-Up Paddling, or just SUP, enjoys huge popularity in the recent years. Whether enjoying on the nature lakes or rivers or discovering cities like London or New York, Stand-Up Paddling is everywhere omnipresent and their possible uses are nearly endless.

SUP Boards

SUP is not only something for sport enthusiasts with paddle experience. Quite the contrary, everybody you can stand stable and knows how to swim can do Stand-Up paddling.

The range of Stand-Up paddle boards is getting larger and larger and the before buying a SUP you can feel really overwhelmed by all the SUP boards that are on the markets. Each board has its own characteristics and is consequently designed for different uses. In this article we tell you what you should know before buying your SUP board in order to find the right board.

Table of Contents

Possible uses of Stand-Up Paddle

There are generally speaking four different fields of applications for SUP boards: Surf, touring, racing and fitness. The two main disciplines are touring and fitness. As beginner you will probably pick one of these two disciplines. Surf or Wave is in contrast rather a discipline for advanced or pros.

Touring can be understood to be mean to cover a longer distance. For someone who prefers discover lakes and rivers and who wants to get from A to B with the board should go for a touring board. Such a board offers also some space for luggage. When purchasing one you should pay attention that your board comes with a luggage net.

The one or other may ask what fitness Stand-Up paddle means. In the recent years yoga and pilates groups have been formed in nearly all big cities, which do their courses during summer outside with a SUP board on the water. The board is literally replacing the training mat and the fact of being in the nature increases incredibly the relaxing atmosphere. Those boards are very tip-resistant.

Surf or wave is a SUP discipline that is not really made for beginners. It requires a good technique with a good confidence and stability on the board. Sport enthusiasts in this category prefer rather hard shell boards instead of inflatable boards.

All in all there are also some overlaps between the different type of boards. Therefore, there are all-round boards, which have a larger fields of application and they represent a good compromise for everybody who doesn’t know what particular board might be the right one. If you are looking for a board on which you can do your yoga exercises, then an all-round board is also the right choice for you.

The graphic below gives you an overview how long and how wide your board should be in terms of your desired use. We can only give you ranges since it depends also on your weight. In the following section we are going to explain to you which impact the length, width and thickness have on the drive characteristics.

SUP board comparison

Solid or inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board

Inflatable Stand-Up paddle boards, or just iSUP, are the current trend. In contrast to hardhsell SUP boards they offer a huge advantage. They can be easily transported with a backpack and you can take them everywhere you like. Consequently, they require also much less storage space and fit easily  in every cave. The advantage of an iSUP to get to remote places open countless possibilities. Since they are softer the injury risk is also lower when falling on it. As bathing platform they are also perfect for children.

Despite all the advantage of an inflatable SUP board, there will be still those who prefer hard shell laminated boards. Especially, professional paddler coming from the surf and race area appreciate the feel if a highly responsive, rigid board which lead to a better driving experience. A solid board  is also more durable and easier to repair. There is also not time for the set up required.

Nevertheless, we have to mention, that a lot has changed in the segment of inflatable SUP in the recent years. The composition of a high number of fibers, which are glued and interweaved between the lower and upper side. Thanks to this construction iSUP can be inflated with very high pressure and have a better rigidity than years ago.

Inflatable SUP for beginner

For a beginner the advantages of an inflatable SUP outweigh any little advantages. That’s why you should better go for a iSUP. Only if you want to get professional in race or surf you should consider a solid SUP.

SUP board length

From the board length the use for the board is determined.  A long board is perfect for long distance tours or as a race board. The shorter the board, the better its stability. A short board is the right choice for fun, fitness paddler or for families. A short board is a also a way slower because it displaces less water. With a longer board you are much faster and his agility is much better but it is less stable.

SUP board width

The width plays also an important role when it comes to stability.  The larger a board, the more stable it lays on the water. The wider a board, the slower it is. On the other hand it means that a narrow board is faster but less stable.

Stability depends also on the edges of the heck and the hull. Inflatable boards have typically rounder thicker edges than solid ones and what make them more wonky. That’s why it’s recommended to choose a 1-2 inch wider board in comparison to a solid board. The shape of the hull and tail influences also the stability. Wide and round hull and tails are more stable than boards with a sharp and narrow hull and stern.

SUP board thickness

Regarding the thickness the weight is a quite important factor. Normally boards have a thickness between four and six inches. For paddler under 60kg or for children boards with a thickness of 4 inches are completely sufficient. All others should choose rather a thicker board, ideally 6 inches.

Thinner boards are thanks to their lower volume more stable and manoeuvrable. But thin boards have the disadvantage for heavier persons that water gathers much easier on the surface  due to the deflection. For that reason thinner SUP boards are often a way shorter, so that they don’t loose their stiffness. However, when buying a board with a length starting from 11 feet it should a quite thick board. Especially cheap and low quality boards try to save on this fact.


When buying a Stand-Up paddle board there are plenty of things to consider. Information and recommendations may vary between manufacturers and dealers since there are still many different opinions about this quite young trend sport. As a beginner you should go for a inflatable all-round board to stay flexible in terms of uses.

Often you can hear or read that you should invest at least 1000€ in a SUP board. In principle it’s quite true that boards in this price range have a better quality but this high investment might be not necessary for a absolute beginner. This kind of high acquisition cost may deter a beginner from buying one and consequently they will never try it out. Especially, when you are not sure whether this sport is the right one for you in the long run or not, you are better investing between $400 and $600. Later on, when you know exactly your needs and requirements you can invest more in the right board. And it will be still possible to sell the old board on ebay for example.

1, 2 or 3 person canoe – What is the right boat size?

kayak sizes preview

For some of you the answer is clear which boat size is the best because you have very precise ideas how your canoe should be like. But some of us are not sure which size might be the right one. In the following we give you a short overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the most common boat sizes in order to help you making the right choice at the end of the day.

kayak sizes
Choosing the right boat size is essential

Table of Contents

1 person canoe

If you prefer paddling on your own, then you should go for a 1 person canoe. The weight distribution is optimal and you have a better performance on the water. Thanks to the lower weight you can easily transport it anyway you want without any big effort. A 1 person canoe are mainly available as kayak. For a kayak the paddler uses a double-blade paddle which is much easier than paddling alone with a single-blade paddle as it’s typical for Canadian canoes.

canoe trip netherlands
It’s harder to paddle a 1 person canadier with a single blade paddle

If you want to read more about the difference between canoe and kayak, we highly recommend you our article Kayak vs Canoe.

Even if you want to paddle with other persons, a 1 person canoe can be still sometimes the better choice. Paddling your own boat gives you an additional feeling of freedom. Everybody has its own paddle rhythm and perhaps a different paddle technique. Moreover, you can decide on your own to go an extra mile in the other direction to discover something. When paddling with another person, it’s easier to talk with each other when being next to each other and not behind.

advancedframe review
Thanks to the double-blade paddle a 1 person kayak is easy to paddle solo


intex challenger k1

for 1 person

pump and paddle incl.

front deck


advanced elements advancedframe

for 1 person

integrated deck

good workmanship

2 person canoe

If you like sharing the paddle experience with someone else in all situations then a 2 person paddle boat could be the better choice for you. In this case you have the acquisition cost for only for one boat. A 2 person boat costs slightly more than a 1 person boat. Moreover, a 2 person kayak gives you the opportunity to alternate. If you feel a bit tired you can make a pause and your friend continues paddling for example. However, a 2 person boat requires more coordination. The person in the back has to navigate and should adapt his paddle frequency to the person in front. Especially, for couples a 2 person paddle boat is often a good choice. In most cases men are stronger and have more energy. With a two person canoe you have never the situation that one is falling too much behind the other one. In addition to that, you’ll be also faster with a 2 person boat since it’s longer. However, you should consider that you have less space for luggage.

paddling tandem inflatable kayak
With a tandem kayak you have the advantage that one of you can also relax a bit during the tour

There are also inflatable boats with adjustable seat positions, so that you can use a 2 person canoe as a 1 person canoe. In this way, you have always the optimal seat position and consequently a good weight distribution in the boat. Especially sports enthusiasts appreciate it to have enough space for all their luggage on long distance tours. In case you can adjust the seat position, you can still use it as a 1 person canoe. The paddler has to sit in the back and all the luggage go to the front. Nevertheless, the drive characteristics are not as good as in boat with an adjustable seat.

dordogne copeyre
Canadiers are ideally paddled by tow persons.


intex explorer k2

for 2 persons

pump and paddle incl.

easy access


advanced elements advancedframe convertible

for 1 or 2 persons

very stable and fast

highly configurable

3 person canoe

f you want to paddle with your family, then a 3 person canoe is the only option. The third seat has normally less legroom is therefore intended for children. This seat is optional and you can use the boat also for 2 or only for 1 person as well. However, since the boat is quite long it’s less maneuverable. This means that it takes a bit more time that the boats reacts to your steering manoeuvres.

inflatable canoe 3 persons
There are 3 person kayaks and canoes

All in all each boat size has its particular pros and cons. If you are still unsure then you should maybe go to a shop and try them out to see with what boat size you feel most comfortable. In any case, you should be aware that nowadays there are also really good inflatable kayaks and canoes. Their quality is much better than years ago and they can really compete with hardshell boats. The advantages of an inflatable boat such as the big flexibility that comes with an inflatable are definitely worth reading more about it.


sevylor adventure plus

1 – 3 persons

entry-level boat

kayak seats

Buy Now! *


itiwit x100 3 seater kayak

for 1 – 3 persons

separate drop-stitch floor

very stable on the water

Kayaking through the Calanques National Park in South France

calanques national park france

The national park „Les Calanques“ is considered as one of the most beautiful coastal regions in France. In good weather, it’s not only worth hiking in this park but also to do canoe tours. Its close location to the city Marseille and Cassis makes the national park very accessible for people traveling with public transport means and with inflatable boats. With its countless rock bays, the azure waters and gorgeous beaches, the tour offers you a perfect combination, which is a good alternative to most paddle tours on lakes or in the common coastal regions.

This tour will lead us from the idyllic port-town Cassis to the port metropolis Marseille. Both cities are already worth a visit and the arrive with the kayak in the old and traditional harbor of Marseille is something very special – a perspective that most tourists don’t get. By a route length of 12.5 miles (20 km) and with some breaks we should plan at least 9 hours for the complete tour. For everybody that doesn’t feel like doing the whole tour, there is also a good possibility to do only the half of the tour. At some spots there are quite good exit points where hiking trails lead directly to a bus stop.

Key facts about the paddling tour


9 -12 hours


Marseille, Cassis

Public transport

local bus service

Traffic noise

no traffic noise


high rock formations and bays, azure water

Table of Contents

Tour Preparation

The best time to visit the Calanques is from April to June and from September to October. In these months there are pleasant temperatures and the risk that the national park is closed due to wildfire risk is low. In midsummer the national park is closed on many days. This is the case when it is very hot and extremely windy. If you want to do your paddle tour anyway in midsummer we highly recommend you to be flexible and spend some more time in the region. Every evening the national park administration announces on his site if it will be closed or accessible to the public. For that reason, it is important to take a look at the site in order to save yourself the way to the park.

Weather conditions for sea kayaking

Good and stable weather conditions are very important for sea kayaking. Especially the coast of Marseille is known for its strong wind periods. Therefore, it is highly recommended to plan several days for the trip and to choose the day with the best weather conditions. Marseille and Cassis but also the region itself offers a lot of beautiful spots that are worth a visit. If you don’t know if the weather conditions are good enough, you can also call a kayak rental and ask if they organize tours on this day.

An inflatable kayak is the best choice for the tour. In this way, you will have a great flexibility and you don’t have to paddle back to the start point where you need to return the boat. If you prefer renting a kayak, you could for example to the rental station C.S.L.N. The rental fee is quite high. The daily rental for a two person kayak is 70€. If you go paddling on a regular basis the question is if it is not a better long term investment to purchase an inflatable kayak.

For canoe tours on the coast are life jackets compulsory. Everybody who doesn’t wear one acts irresponsible. On the sea the weather can change quickly and there is a potential risk to overturn. Especially on steep coasts, which you will find also in the Calanques, an exit is only possible on a few spots. For long paddle tours on open water in regions with high temperatures you should not forget to take your sun cream, sun classes and headgear. On banks and beaches you will see many people wearing neoprene shoes because the water is full steep and sharp rocks. So, everybody who has sensible feeds should consider wearing those shoes.

At the same time, you should not forget to plan enough food and drinking water for the whole trip. There are two restaurants on the tour path but they are not regularly open and their offer is not the great French cuisine we would expect.

Getting to Cassis via Marseille

The starting point of our tour will be Cassis, a small idyllic harbor town at the Cote d’Azur. The next big city is Marseille, which has very good transport connections. Either you arrive directly at the Airport Marseille or you arrive at Paris and take a high-speed train, which takes only 3h 20min. With the low cost train company Ouigo you should be able to find tickets under 50€ if you book in advance. Depending on your trip, there are also direct trains from Spain and Germany where you can sometimes get really good offers.

Cassis Cap Canaille
Cap Canaille near Cassis

When arriving at the Airport in Marseille, there are two possibilities to get to Cassis. Either you rent a car and you can go directly to Marseille or you use the public transports. For all those who don’t want do the complete is a rental car a most comfortable and fastest way to get to Cassis. Not too far away from the entry point for the boat there also good parking opportunities. For everybody else who wants to do the complete tour to Marseille, should better take the public transports to Cassis, in order to avoid coming back to Cassis after for the car.

When taking the public transports, you have to take at first the shuttle bus from the airport to the central station of Marseille (look here for departure times). A one way ticket costs about 8€. If you take also for your trip back the plane from the airport you should get a return ticket at the same time since both together costs only 13€ (in French: Ticket aller/retour). From the central station St. Charles in Marseille you take a direct train to Cassis. The journey takes about 15min and costs around 5€ (see here for departure times). Please take into account that the train station in Cassis is not located in the town center. In addition to that, the entry to the national park is again a short walk away.

For the way to the city center there is a bus line M01 where you get off at the stop Belsunce. Since the bus is only stopping if  somebody wants to get off or get on, you should tell the bus driver before that you want to get off at Belsunce. Alternatively, you could also walk the way to the center, which takes you about 15-20min. By the way, if you are planning a bit more time for your trip it’s definitely worth spending a day in Cassis. This small idyllic coast town has got a really nice port promenade and some beautiful beaches.

kayak tour france south
Perfect spot for setting up the boat
Calanque Port-Miou
Start point at Calanque Port-Miou.

From the bus stop Belsunce the way to the national park is quite well indicated. On the way to the national park you will pass by the beach Le Besouan. If you like you could already start your kayak tour from there. Otherwise, we recommend you to go to the first Calanque Port Miou, which is a really quiet and good place to set your inflatable boat in the water because it’s a little port for sailing boats and small yachts. So, not too many tourists will be around on the beach and you have got enough space for inflating the boat.

Our tour from Cassis to Marseille

First of all you need to exit the Calanque Port-Miou, which is a quite long bay. On the way out of the port with its countless boats the bay is getting larger and larger and you will start to see the beautiful rock formations on the left and right side.

On the left side you will also see the impressing red cliff Cap Canaille with a height of 392 meters, which is one of the highest cliffs in France. We will then turn right to continue our way in direction to Marseille. From now on, we will have this red cliff for a quite long time behind us and it’s definitely worth to turn around with the boat from time to time to enjoy this panoramic view.

france cassis kayak
Leaving the Calanque Port-Miou
south france sea
High cliffs give the national park its character

After a three quarters of an hour we will get close to the first Calanques Port-Pin and Calanques d’en Vau, which are both really impressional. You should definitely head to one of them in order to have your breakfast or to go swimming in the morning as long as the beaches are quite empty.

calanque en vau
Calanque d’en Vau
calanque marseille canoe
Entering Calanque d’en Vau
calanques kayak trip
Leaving Calanques d’en Vau

For our part, we made a stop at the Calanque d’en Vau, which is one of my all-time favorite bays in the national park. The bay is enclosed from both sides from high cliffs, which creates already a special feeling when entering it. Once arrived at the beach and looking to the wide sea you really get the feeling of being in a paradise. The beach is quite big and there are also some spots in the shadow.

Those who prefer relaxing the sun on the beach compared to a the sporting challenge could also consider the option to spend half the day at this bay and to do the way back from here. Already on this way from Cassis to the Calanque d’en Vau you see the whole beautifulness of the national park and the journey was worth it.

For those who decide to continue has to go to their right-hand side when leaving this bay after the break in order to head to the Calanque Sugiton. When paddling comfortably it will probably take you about 2 hours to get there. Sugiton is one of the most visited Calanques in the national park. On the one hand it is easily accessible by hiking paths, which are also served by a bus line going directly to Marseille. On the other hand, Sugiton has a very special charm the little rock island in the middle of the bay.

calanque sugiton
Calanque Sugiton

Depending on the weather and the season there will be quite a lot of people, which are laying in the sun on the beach and jumping from the cliffs into the water. We made also a little stop at this bay to go swimming and to have our lunch.

The perfect national parc for hiking enthusiasts

Thanks to the countless hiking paths it could be a good idea to spend a bit more time in the national park. Up from the high white cliffs you will have stunning views over the sea and the bays. Due to the bad indication we highly recommend you to get a hiking map, such as the one from IGN.

Do you rather prefer having lunch in a restaurant? In this case you should make a stop at Calanque Morgiou, which is the bay right after Sugiton. There you will find a little fishing village and a restaurant called Bar Nautic. The best of the restaurant is definitely the terrace with the view of the sea.  Please consider that the restaurant is closed on Sundays and that in the evening they only serve drinks.

Calanque Morgiou
calanque marseille beach
Nice little beach at the Calanque Morgiou
morgiou restaurant
Small restaurant at the Calanque Morgiou.

At the entrance of Calanque Morgiou there is also on of our big highlight of this tour: the Grotte Bleue. Before the trip you should have a look at the map to see where exactly the cave is location because its small entrance is really difficult to see from the distance. Since the entrance of the cave is quite small and low, there is not much day light entering the cave. Most of the light gets only through the water to the cave, which seems to make glow the water beautifully light blue. It’s possible to go inside the cave with your inflatable boat but you have to lower your head quite much when entering. When there are little waves you have to be careful and when you have the impressions that the waves are too strong, you should better not go inside with your boat.

grotte bleue entrance
Entrance of grotte bleue
grotte bleue calanques
Inside the cave

We are then continuing in direction to Marseille where we pass by the Cap Morgiou which impresses by its high steep cliffs. On this cape there are still the remains of an old fortress, from which the French defended themselves during the English invasion at the Napoleonic times. Unfortunately, the fortress is not visible from the water. In addition to that, there is the entrance to the Henry-Cosquer-Cave at this cape in 37 meter underwater. The cave contains a dry room overwater with prehistoric rock art engravings, dating to 27,000 years before present. For these reasons Morgio is representing something mystical with its various history it can tell.

From Morgiou we didn’t make any stop on the bank. We preferred staying on the boat for a little break and enjoying the great views. But actually you can find still enough bays where you can easily land. The Calanque Sormiou, Calanque de Podestat or the Calanque des Queyrons are for example great bays to do so. All these three bays have a really nice beach. Nevertheless, in term of time you have to decide where and when you want to make your stop because it’s impossible to stop at every nice bay.

calanque de podestat
Calanque Podestat, a very good spot for snorkeling.
calanque marseilleveyre
Calanque Marseilleveyre with a small and simple restaurant

The closer we get to Marseille the better we see also from far away the islands. Due to their small size and the rocky landscape on them, they remind me on abandoned places from adventure movies. If you feel like landing again for a snack or for having dinner, you can do so by heading to the Calanque de Marseilleveyre or the Calanque de Callelongue where you find a restaurant. At Marseillevery you have the better view but the only main dish is spaghetti Bolognese. In contrast, the Italian restaurant La Grotte at Callelongue offers a greater choice of food and a better ambience.

callelongue marseilleveyre
The cliffs are getting lower and we are getting closer to the exit of the national park

Callelongue marks also the end of the national park and therefore a potential point of exit with your inflatable boat if you don’t feel like making all the way to Marseille. There is a bus stop at Callelongue where you can take the bus line 20 to Montredon. In Montredon you can then take the bus line 19 which takes you directly to the Marseille’s city center.

marseille sea
At the end of the national park you already see Marseille in the distance
marseille south france sea
The closer you get, the better you can observe the city life

For everybody else who decides completing the whole tour has to plan at least additional three hours to get to Vieux Port, the old harbor of Marseille. I have to admit that the last third of the tour is not exciting as we were used to the stunning cliffs in the Calanques. In the distance, you can see Marseille which is quite impressing but you get quickly the feeling that you don’t get any closer because it’s still quite far away. The last half an hour is however really fun. You are paddling close to the coast and you can observe already the city life, see people hanging out on the beaches and rocks or seeing how ships are arriving or leaving from and to North Africa. The entrance to the old harbor during the sunset was finally a very special moment to me because it was just a beautiful scenery since you are arriving in the heart of Marseille. Since it’s not very easy to find an exit point in the old harbor you can see our exact exit point.

marseille vieux port
Our tour ends at Vieux Port at sunset

Three ideas for additional activities near Marseille and Cassis

For all those who planed several days for the trips, here are some thoughts about other great activities you could do.

Les Friouls and Château d’If

The Friouls are a small island group close to Marseille, where you can get in 15 minutes by taking the ferry. You find a great nature on these islands with little beaches, a small village, old bunkers from the 2nd World War, ruins of an old hospital or castle-like complexes. The small island with Chateau d’If is well-known thanks to the count of Monte Cristo.

les friouls marseille

City tour in Marseille

For France Marseille is a very different city. On the one hand the city is unfortunately quite dirty and there are problems of high crime rates. But on the other hands Marseille is the synonym for multicultural mix and its charming Mediterranean flair. If you have the time you should definitely discover this city a bit.


Day trip to Avignon and Arles

The Friouls are a small island group close to Marseille, where you can get in 15 minutes by taking the ferry. You find a great nature on these islands with little beaches, a small village, old bunkers from the 2nd World War, ruins ofThe Provence is not far away and if you have one day left we have a great plan to see two beautiful cities. Arles and Avignon are easily accessible by train and Arles is just on the half way to Avignon. So in the morning and early afternoon you could visit Arles and in the late afternoon and evening you can visit Avignon. Arles has got a lot of Italian and Spanish influences with its colosseum and the Amphitheatre. In contrast, Avignon is a very typical French city in point of architecture. The pope palace and the famous bridge of Avignon make the city as one of the most visited cities in France. an old hospital or castle-like complexes. The small island with Chateau d’If is well-known thanks to the count of Monte Cristo.

Transport bag, which also serves as a inflation and dry bag

Useful links

Site of the national park: here
Kayak rental in Cassis: here

Canoe vs Kayak – What’s the difference?

canoe kayak difference preview

Canoes and kayaks are the typical paddle boats these days, and if you’re not much into water sports, you quickly wonder what the difference really is. In British English, the term canoe can refer to a kayak as well, while canoes are called Canadian or open canoes to distinguish them from kayaks. To keep it simple, we will stick in the following with the common terms canoe and kayak.

Table of Contents

Both types of boats can be used for recreation as well as for water sports, fishing or touring, depending on the model. However, there are some differences that will be pointed out in the following section. Also, we have created a decision guide to help you determine if a kayak or canoe is the right boat for you.

The chart and table below are intended to provide a brief comparison of the two types of boats. If you are still unsure after reading this article, you can also test paddle both boat types in a specialty store or at a rental store.

difference canoe vs kayak
Paddledouble blade paddlesingle blade paddle
Hull shapesmallerwider
Usagesporty paddling toursrelaxing paddling tours
Seat positionsittingkneeling or sitting
Deckoften with deckno deck
Luggage capacitylowhigh
Paddledouble blade paddlesingle blade paddle
Hull shapesmallerwider
Usagesporty paddling toursrelaxing paddling tours
Seat positionsittingkneeling or sitting
Deckoften with deckno deck
Luggage capacitylowhigh

For a canoe you will use a single blade paddle. The paddle technique with a single blade paddle is a bit more difficult to learn, in particular when paddling alone. Therefore, there exists canoes for 2 or more persons. A canoe is normally completely open, which means that it doesn’t have any deck as splash guard. But there are some canoes that come with a little deck at the stern and bow. When paddling, the paddler is sitting or deep kneeling. It has a lot of space for luggage.

canoe paddling
Canoe: open construction, no deck
drop stitch kayak x500 review
Kayak: closed construction, with deck

For a kayak you use a double blade paddle. This means, that it is perfect for everybody who prefers paddling alone.  Moreover, a kayak comes in most cases with a splash guard. The paddler is always sitting in the boat and the seat position is much deeper than in a canoe. So, in kayak you are much better protected from splashing water. Thanks to its flatter and smaller shape, a kayak is much faster and more wind-resistant than a canoe. However, it has less luggage load possibilities and loading is a bit more complicated. That’s why most kayaks come with a luggage strap on the bow and stern, in order to attach properly your luggage.

Kayak or canoe – How to decide?

Whether a kayak or a canoe is the right boat for you is a very individual question. In general, it can be said that kayaks are much more common than canoes, since most paddlers have many arguments in favor of a kayak. Nevertheless, canoes definitely have their justification, because in some circumstances one argument is enough and the decision to buy a canoe is made. In the following, we have put together a few points for you to find out which boat is right for you.

Why a kayak is the right boat for you!

You want to paddle mostly alone

A kayak can be paddled better alone with a double blade paddle than a canoe with a single blade paddle. That is why there are significantly more 1-person kayaks than 1-person canoes. To paddle canoes with a double blade paddle, these boats are usually too wide for that.

You have no experience paddling

Beginners do easier with a double blade paddle and feel safer in a kayak. There are significantly more tip-resistant kayaks (e.g. sit-on-top kayaks). Tilt stability is further increased by the low seating position of a kayak. In addition, navigating with double blade paddles is more intuitive than with a single blade paddle. In addition, there are kayaks with a rudder, which supports your navigation on the water.

You have no experience paddling

Beginners do easier with a double blade paddle and feel safer in a kayak. There are significantly more tip-resistant kayaks (e.g. sit-on-top kayaks). Tilt stability is further increased by the low seating position of a kayak. In addition, navigating with double blade paddles is more intuitive than with a single blade paddle. In addition, there are kayaks with a rudder, which supports your navigation on the water.

You want to make a lot of distance in a short time on the water

Because of its flatter and narrower design, a kayak is faster and less susceptible to wind than a canoe. It is also faster to paddle alone with a double blade paddle.

You want to paddle on big waters

To get around on large waters where you’re exposed to wind and waves, you’ll make better progress in a kayak and be better protected in a kayak due to its closed design. In case of capsize, a kayak can be rolled. On large lakes and seas, almost only kayaks are found.

You also want to paddle in the off-season

Kayaks have a deck with a seat hatch that can be closed off with a spraydeck. So no water gets into the boat, and the body heat remains in the boat.

You want to spend as little money as possible on the boat

Canoes start in the low four figures, whereas kayaks start in the low to mid three figures.

Kayaks are the most popular boat type

If you want to be more sporty, then the kayak is the better boat for you. Because of its shape, it is faster and you can do more kilometers. Many kayaks have a splash guard. This protects you better in challenging water conditions from water getting into the boat. Also, if you want to paddle alone, a kayak is a better choice. Depending on the model, it is suitable for cruising along the coast, on rivers and lakes, and on white water. If you want to start paddling, a kayak is the better choice. There are kayaks already in the lower price segment. The paddling technique is easier to master and requires less practice. In addition, kayaks are lighter in weight.

Below you will find some examples of popular kayaks. There are inflatable, folding and rigid hull kayaks.


advanced elements advancedframe convertible

for 1 or 2 persons

very stable and fast

highly configurable


oru kayak beach lt

for 1 person

fast and easy assembly

feels like a hard shell

Buy Now! *


ocean sit on top kayak malibu two

for 2 persons

very stable on the water

perfect beginner kayak

Besides sit-inside kayaks, there are also open kayaks, which are often sit-on-top kayaks. With a sit-on-top kayak, you sit on the kayak instead of in the kayak. They are perfect as good weather kayaks and great for beginners, as they are extremely stable against tipping and getting back out of the water is much easier than with sit-inside kayaks.

In the range of inflatable and folding kayaks, there are even kayaks that can be used as open or closed kayaks. Such kayaks have a removable deck (e.g. Gumotex Seawave, Gumotex Rush 2, nortik scubi 1 XL, Advanced Elements Convertible Elite). In addition, the kayaks can be paddled both alone and together with another person, because the two kayak seats can be placed variably.

Why a kayak is the right boat for you!

You want to go paddling with your family in the same boat

Canoes are the larger boats and offer much more space. 3 or 4-person canoes are not uncommon. Two children can easily fit on the middle bench seat of a large canoe. Children do not have to sit on the bench all the time, but can also play on the floor.

You want to take a lot of luggage on your tours (e.g. camping equipment for multi-day tours).

A canoe offers significantly more capacity due to its large interior space. It is easy to stow large containers, dry bags, boat trolleys, etc. In addition, a canoe can be loaded and unloaded more easily due to its open design (e.g. during transfers on river tours or at campsites). Canoes are often found on rivers, which are paddled over several days.

You are already at an older age or not the most agile

Due to the open design and the raised seating position, it is much easier to get in and out of the canoe. Instead of sitting on the ground with your legs almost outstretched, you sit on a bench in the canoe.

inflatable canoe 3 persons
Canoes can be a great alternative since they have their advantages

So if you want to go on longer trips with a lot of luggage and the distance covered is not the main concern, then the canoe is the better boat for you. It offers more space for your luggage, as for your camping gear. Also, the canoe is the more family-friendly boat, as it is easier to get in and out and load luggage. It is especially suitable for paddling on rivers and lakes.

In the same way for canoes you will find below some examples of popular canoes. There are also inflatable, folding and rigid hull canoes.


itiwit decathlon canoe

for 2 adults + 2 kids

great transport bag incl.

great value for money


Old Town Discovery 169 Canoe

for 2 person

perfect for long distances

Made in USA


sevylor adventure plus

1 – 3 persons

entry-level boat

kayak seats

Buy Now! *

The cheapest kayak or canoe on the market

If you are looking for a cheap kayak or canoe, you have to limit your search to kayaks. In general, kayaks are cheaper than canoes. The cheapest kayak on the market is the Intex Challenger K1*. Depending on the offer and season, the kayak incl. paddle and air pump is available as a complete set for under 100$. An air pump is necessary because it is an inflatable kayak. We have already paddled it ourselves and it works alright for small and calm paddling tours. The price-performance ratio is unbeatable.


intex challenger k1

for 1 person

pump and paddle incl.

front deck

Nevertheless, you should be aware when buying such a cheap kayak that it can’t compete with a rigid or folding canoe or high-quality inflatable kayak (for example Aqua Marina Tomahawk, Itiwit x500, Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame, …). It has a low stiffness due to the low air pressure, a small interior, a less resistant boat skin made of PVC film without fabric core, no coaming to attach a spraydeck, no carrying handles. However, it has a fin for better straight running and high tipping stability.