What types of Paddle Sports are there?

Welcome to Paddle Sports 101 this is where you figure out what type of paddle sport you are interested in.   Click on the links below to learn more.


This is a mostly a open boat sport, done in a long narrow boat,  propelled by

Photo by Mad River Canoe
Photo by Mad River Canoe www.madrivercanoe.com

either 1 or 2 seated or kneeling paddlers using a single bladed paddle.  You can take a canoe to calm lakes, mild moving rivers or even take it into whitewater.   There are different types of boats for different aspects of the sport here are some of the types…



seakayakingtuffasCalm water Kayaking:

Generally calm like lakes or only slightly moving water, like tidal, ocean,  or gently flowing rivers (Class I to II-)


Gigi McBee
Gigi McBee Rogue River

Whitewater Kayaking:

Whitewater kayaking is generally done on moving waters where there are waves, currents forming Eddies behind rocks, and some to lots of obsticles (Class II-V+).   You take it as far as you want to go :O) which can be anything from mild adventure to exhillerating to adrenalizing.  Whitewater kayaking generally requires some instruction in order to learn balance, safety and navigation skills.  Once you have the basics it is highly rewarding allowing you to access areas that you can see no other way.


inflatablekayakingsouthforkInflatable Kayaking

Technically this is whitewater kayaking and you would do this form of it under all the conditions listed for whitewater kayaking.    We pull it aside from Whitewater kayaking only because the craft reacts to water more similarly to a raft then a kayak so when learning this sport you pull knowledge from both rafting and kayaking.  This sport has the advantage of being SUPER simple to pickup you don’t need to learn a roll, you can fall off and clamber right back on the IK.    Click here for more info about IK’s.


Rafting & Cata-rafting

This can either be a team sport in a paddle boat or individual experience in a

Costarica Pejibaye River Current Adventures Trip
Costarica Pejibaye River Current Adventures Trip

oar boat. Rafting is done generally on moving waters where there are waves, currents forming Eddies behind rocks, and some to lots of obsticles (Class II-V+). This is a gear intensive sport but allows you to pick up and go to some super remote locations and bring as much gear as you can pile into the raft.


Stand Up Boarding  (SUP)

Just like it sounds standing on what looks like a enlarged surf board you use a long single bladed paddle to propel yourself.  This can be done on calm waters for adventure & exercise or on whitewater.

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