Canoe Buyers Guide

Types of Canoes: A Guide for Canoe Buyers

Are you looking to buy a canoe but don’t know which type is right for you? This guide will help you understand the different types of canoes and their features so that you can buy the perfect one for your needs. Learn about the three main types of canoes: racing/touring, whitewater, and recreational.

Racing/Touring Canoe

Racing or touring canoes are designed for speed and efficiency on the water. These are typically long and narrow, with a pointed bow and stern that allows them to glide through the water quickly. Racing/touring canoes are usually made from fiberglass or Kevlar materials for lightness and strength.

Canoe Buyers Guide

Whitewater Canoe

For taking on rapids and whitewater rivers, whitewater canoes are ideal. They have a flatter bottom to help them maneuver quickly through turbulent waters, as well as outfitting like thigh straps and foot braces for extra control. Whitewater canoes are often constructed from polyethylene plastic or composite materials such as carbon fiber or Kevlar.

Recreational Canoe

Recreational canoes are designed mainly for leisurely paddling in calm lake or river environments. These boats tend to be wider than other canoe types, offering more stability on flat water but sacrificing some speed in return. Recreational canoes often come with features like cup holders or rod holders, making them great for fishing trips too. Polyethylene plastic or aluminum is usually used in their construction.

Essential Canoe Buying Tips

When it comes to buying a canoe, there are some important factors to consider before making your purchase. Whether you’re looking for a recreational canoe for weekend trips or an expedition-level boat for long-distance paddling, these tips can help you make the right decision.


Knowing how much you’re willing to spend on a canoe is key to narrowing down the options and avoiding overspending. Consider what materials you’d like and how much they cost.


What type of canoeing will you be doing? Rivers or lakes? Longer trips? Make sure the boat you choose is suitable for your needs.


The length of your canoe will affect its speed and stability. A shorter model is better for racing, while a longer model offers more stability when fishing or carrying heavy loads.


Canoes are made from wood, aluminum, fiberglass and plastic; each material has different advantages and disadvantages. Wood is lightweight but expensive; aluminum is durable yet heavy; fiberglass is strong but pricey; and plastic is affordable but not as durable.

Weight Capacity:

Make sure your chosen canoe has enough capacity to safely carry all people and gear aboard. Most manufacturers list weight capacity information online or in their catalogs.


Consider what accessories you may need such as oars, life vests and storage boxes, bearing in mind that they may add up quickly. Budget accordingly.

How to Choose the Right Canoe for You

Picking the perfect canoe for your needs is a big decision. There are several considerations to take into account when choosing the right canoe, including size and weight, material, type of water you’ll be paddling in, and budget. Here’s what you need to know.

Canoe Buyers Guide

Size and Weight

The size and weight of your canoe will affect how easily it can be transported, how many people it can fit, and its stability. If you’re looking for a canoe for shorter trips or solo paddling, opt for a smaller model that can be loaded onto a car roof rack or trailer. If you’re planning on taking longer trips or going out with multiple people, then larger canoes provide more storage space and stability.


Canoes come in a variety of materials such as aluminum, plastic, wood, or fiberglass. Each material has its own set of benefits so consider what type of water you’ll be paddling on before making your decision. Aluminum is lightweight yet durable while plastic is economical but less sturdy than other options. Wood and fiberglass are heavier but offer superior performance.

Type of Water

The type of water you plan to paddle in should also influence your choice in canoe. Recreational style canoes are ideal for calmer lakes or slow-flowing rivers while whitewater style canoes are designed specifically for tackling rapids with higher rocker and greater maneuverability.


Your budget will help narrow down your selection when selecting the right canoe for you. Certain materials or types of canoes may fit within your price range more easily than others so research beforehand to determine which options are available at your price point.

Aluminium Canoes – Strength, Lightweight and Corrosion Resistant

Aluminium canoes are a popular choice for those looking for durability and affordability. Strong, lightweight and easy to transport, the material is highly resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for a wide range of conditions. With easy repairability if damaged, aluminium canoes also offer great tracking performance and stability on the water.

Canoe Buyers Guide

Composite Canoes – Lightweight and Superior Performance

Composite canoes made from fibreglass, Kevlar, carbon fibre or plastic resins offer superior performance compared to other materials due to their light weight and resistance to damage. Though more expensive than other types, composite canoes provide excellent performance on the water.

Wooden Canoes – Tracking Performance and Timeless Beauty

Wooden canoes have been around for centuries and remain popular among canoeists. Rigid structures help them cut through waves more easily while also providing superior tracking performance and stability on the water. Wooden canoes look great too with a variety of styles and colours available. Regular maintenance is required if you want yours to last longer.

FAQ: Common Questions Asked by Canoe Buyers

Canoes are a great way to explore the outdoors and enjoy nature. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, you may have some questions about buying a canoe. Here are some common questions asked by potential canoe buyers.

What type of canoe should I buy?

The type of canoe you buy depends on your needs and preferences. Start by asking yourself what kind of activities you plan to do with your canoe, such as fishing, recreational paddling, whitewater paddling, or camping. Then consider factors such as weight capacity, length, width, and materials.

How much does a canoe cost?

The cost of a canoe can vary greatly depending on the type of material it is made from and the features it has. Generally speaking, entry-level models start around $500-$600 while higher-end models can cost up to $2000 or more.

What is the best material for a canoe?

It depends on your needs and preferences. Canoes can be made from several different materials including aluminum, fiberglass, wood/canvas, plastic/polyethylene, and Kevlar. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to research each material before making a decision.

Do I need any special equipment for my canoe?

Yes! Be sure to purchase all necessary safety equipment such as a paddle float or personal flotation device (PFD), throw rope/bag, bilge pump, spare paddle(s), whistle/signal device, navigation lights (if paddling at night), life jacket(s), bailer/sponge kit for bailing water from the boat in case it takes on water during your trip.

Leave a Comment