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Wherever there is water, there is an indigenous watercraft. Mostly, this is in the form of a Canoe. Primitive yet elegantly constructed, ranging from 3m to over 30m in length, Canoes throughout history have been made from logs, animal skins and tree bark and were used for basic transportation, trade, and in some instances, for war.

The design of the original canoe varied, depending on its use and where it was built; it varied between open-topped bark canoes to a dug-out tree to 130ft war canoes. In contrast, kayaks were built to ensure icy Arctic water did not enter the boat. They were made by stretching animal skins over a wooden frame and could generally only carry one man at a time.

The Kayak probably originates from Greenland, where it was used by the Eskimos while the Canoe was used all over the world. The word Kayak (ki ak), meaning “man-boat” in Eskimo, was found predominately in the northern parts of the world, North America, Siberia and Greenland. They were ideal for individual transport and were used primarily for hunting and fishing. The Canoe, on the other hand, was utilised on a much wider scale. From the Native American tribes to the Polynesians, the canoe enjoyed a variety of scales and uses, primarily transport, trade and warfare. Physically the differences between the two boats are that kayaks are closed boats with a cockpit for sitting in. Athletes paddle from a sitting position with a double-blade paddle. Canoes are open boats paddled from a kneeling position with a single-blade paddle.

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