Canoeing and kayaking in Finland is truly the way to experience the beauty of nature. Everything else is stripped away; there is only you and the world around you. There’s no city noise; there’s only the small waves lapping against your boat. There’s no motor working for you; you’ll feel the water with every stroke. There’s no walls or windows; only the breeze in your hair and the smell of the water. In your canoe, or kayak, you rise and fall with every wave and feel at one with nature.
In your small craft, you are not raised above the water – neither literally nor metaphorically.
Paddling a kayak or a canoe is physical and this, combined with the fresh air, makes it a really healthy activity for both body and mind. With the lakes spread out before you, hemmed by lush woodland, the choice is yours as to where to go, what to do, what pace you want to set. You can experience true freedom.
Canoes and kayaks – what’s the difference?
Canoeing and kayaking are very similar activities. The main differences are the sitting position, the paddle and the shape of the craft. Canoes are typically paddled either kneeling or from a seat with a single-bladed paddle and are often open-decked. Kayak’s decks are closed, encapsulating the paddler who sits, feet-forward low in the kayak typically using a double-paddle. Neither use paddles fixed to the craft like oars though.
Generally kayaks are slightly more agile whereas canoes are roomier and sometimes more stable.
Taking a kayak or canoe out paddling is increasingly popular in Saimaa and the rest of Finland so you’ll have plenty of chance and plenty of choice!