2020 Singapore Kids Kayaking Championships
19 April 2020
Some confusion surrounds these two terms. Each is a native American word, showing the vessels’ histories and origins. Kayak is from the Inuit (Eskimo) and refers to a low to the water boat propelled by a two-ended paddle with a blade at each end. Canoe refers to a higher off the water boat, originally a dugout tree, propelled by a one-bladed paddle.
In some parts of the world, however, kayaks are called canoes, and some people say that all kayaks are canoes but not all canoes are kayaks. In the Olympic games, kayaking is a sub-division of canoeing. Confused yet?! The Olympics have K-1 (one person kayak), K-2 (two person kayak), and K-4 (four person kayak) races over 500m and 1000m of flat water. There are also flat-water races for canoes, C-1, and C-2 (one and two person canoes, respectively) over both distances.
In addition are the slalom (white water) races for kayaks and for canoes, where competitors race through gates suspended from cables overhead, and must go through in a pre-determined direction, some with and some against the current. Because of the need for a special white water river, or artificial course, these events have not been held at all Olympic Games.