The differences between paddling and rowing

The differences between paddling and rowing

Some people believe these are the same thing. But, there are many differences between paddling and rowing. After all, you don’t row a kayak or paddle a boat.

Yes, there are similarities. For example, they are both manually propelled through the water. But that’s where the similarities end. To help you out, here are our top five tips for telling them apart.

Top Five Differences Between Paddling and Rowing

  1. Paddles are free while oars are attached. Oars sit in oarlocks and rowers pull on them. Paddles are not locked in. Paddlers can move them freely to control the craft.
  2. Direction of travel. The great thing about paddling is that you face the way you are going. Whether you are canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, you go forward. This way you don’t miss that important picnic spot. Rowers, on the other hand, move back first through the water.
  3. Single blade steering. As a paddler you can keep your craft straight using a single blade. This offers great flexibility for manoeuvring. Rowers need two blades to keep a boat straight.
  4. Different craft names. One of the most obvious differences between paddling and rowing is craft names. As a paddler you use stand-up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks. Rowers use row-boats, sculls, or sweep-oar boats.
  5. Strokes. While moving through the water as a paddler you will mostly use your upper torso and core. The stroke of a rower is different. Rowers will mostly use their legs and arms to propel themselves through the water.

These are our top five differences between paddling and rowing. They are both great ways of exercising and can both be leisure and sport-based activities.

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