Canoe: canoe paddles have one blade and are moved side to side in order to move the boat.
Kayak: kayak paddles have a blade on each end of the paddle.
The sitting position
Canoe: In a canoe, the paddler usually sits in a kneeling position.
Kayak: In a kayak, the paddler usually sits on a low seat with their legs stretched in front of them.
Structure of the boat
Canoe: Canoes are usually pointed at both ends, normally having an open deck.
Kayak: Kayaks, on the other hand, are usually close-decked - the inside of the kayak is enclosed and surrounds the paddler.
Kayaks are generally narrower in structure and lighter in weight than canoes.
Kayaks are designed to be faster and more agile than canoes
A canoe is a long, narrow boat with a large open cockpit area. Paddlers sit or kneel and use a single blade paddle while facing the direction of travel. The paddler switches the paddle from side to side to move the boat forward through the water.
A kayak is often a closed-deck boat with a small opening to sit in. Paddlers sit on a low seat with their legs stretched in front of them and use a double-bladed paddle (a blade on each end) while facing the direction of travel. The paddler alternates each blade while holding the paddle in the middle to move the boat forward through the water.
A kayak is often lighter weight, narrower in structure and designed to be faster and more agile than canoes.