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Canoeing Kelowna



Early paddlers enjoying the lake

Early paddlers in a birch bark canoe

"Kenu", the original word for the canoe, meant "dugout". The early canoes built by the native North Americans were constructed with a wood frame and skinned with birch bark, the best materials of the day. Canvas proved heavy to carry and too fragile in whitewater conditions.

Fiberglass canoes followed – the first of any type to be sold in large number to the public. Today’s materials including aluminum, Kevlar, and carbon fiber make for a great-performing, very lightweight boat – but at a premium cost.

Canoeing as a family Canoeing as a family

Paddles, once upon a time hand-carved wood, contrast with new generation carbon fiber, a whole lot lighter, and stiffer for better response.

Canoeing is an official Olympic sport with many different disciplines in the C class boat category. Whether the boat is designed for individual paddling or team paddling, or with single- or double-bladed oars, all disciplines race in lanes, over different lengths measured in meters.

Outrigger canoeLong distance endurance paddlers
Photo by Jeff Fink

Paddling in the Kelowna area of Okanagan Lake during the busy summer months can be difficult during the mid-day, with lots of boat chop from many boats heading in different directions – throw in a little wind and things can get downright nasty! Early summer mornings are the best times to paddle, with spring and fall months typically providing glassy and warm lake conditions. On mornings like these, you may find yourself enjoying Okanagan Lake practically all to yourself.

Check back soon for for new canoeing updates, photos and videos. For more information about paddling in the Kelowna area check out Kelowna Paddle Centre.

Paddling Sports Links

In this section of the website we have information about kayaking and stand up paddling (SUP).

Adventure Kelowna



SUP on Okanagan Lake
Stand up paddlers on Okanagan Lake
Courtesy of Kalavida Surf Shop


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