Canadian Canoe Routes

Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada
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Author:  jimdiane [ August 31st, 2012, 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

What????? :-? ... -in-canada

Author:  Erhard [ August 31st, 2012, 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

That doesn't get me excited - boats are tools, and tools live by their merits. The canoe is here to stay as long as there are routes with portages. And kayaks have their place, as the article points out. For many folks, kayaks are new, and once the kayak market is saturated, it will be back to "business as normal".

Author:  Sam82 [ August 31st, 2012, 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

The kayak fad is HUGE with my co-workers...they love them, brag about them, talk about buying this model and that.........UNTIL they do their first portage trip. Lol...then they either find non portage routes (which limits were they go) or complain about trying to save up enough money for a canoe. Seems kayaks are generally big with the weekend warriors or those with cottages. I know there are a few on here who love them and are great paddlers and Im not knocking them but its funny watching my co-workers.

Author:  CLofchik [ August 31st, 2012, 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

The article touched on it a bit by calling canoes "divorce machines". Paddling is becoming a more individual activity. And even couples that like to paddle together are choosing two kayaks over a single canoe. Tripping is falling by the wayside now with the majority of paddling time being daytrips, especially for urbanites who have shrinking vacation days.
Sportsmen now have ATV's to access the bush, fishing out of paddlecraft has exploded but is almost totally kayak-centric (the largest two day kayak fishing derby in the US has over 300 entrants and there are half a dozen more one or two day tournaments that have 200+).

With the design of solo canoes being stagnant over the last 20 years it's little surprise that kayaks are eating canoes for lunch. The only real growth has been "pack canoes", which are really just deckless kayaks.

Author:  Hiker Neil [ August 31st, 2012, 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

I thought this caption under the photo was a bit odd.
Sales of kayaks have overtaken canoe sales in Canada. Are we still Canadian?

Perhaps my knowledge of history is muddled ("I looked at the pictures and I turned the pages") but I would have considered the kayak to be as Canadian as the canoe.

But perhaps kayaks were originally used by Inuit both inside and outside of present day Canada. I wonder if the same goes for the canoe (ie. south and north of the current day US-CDN border.)

Maybe it's like hockey versus lacrosse, eh? Or that the canoe is an important symbol of early Canada. (explorers, courreur du bois).

I would assume that a lot of kayaks being sold are inexpensive models for playing around, close to the cottage.

Author:  Kanoe [ August 31st, 2012, 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

Canoe tripping and certainly wilderness canoeing are on the decline ... no doubt about it. The younger generations appear to 'mostly' want to play boat, day trip and spend their time in kayaks for quick thrills. Don't get me wrong, I also spend time in a sea kayak, but tripping possibilities are not the same, river travel is not as interesting. You can get into some wonderful coastal and shoreline areas but chances of spending time in the barrens or on Canadian alpine rivers like the Peel watershed, just don't happen. I'm not saying there aren't parents out there that aren't taking their kids out tripping ... 'cause there are!, but the numbers do appear to be decreasing, from my perspective. I've been actively tripping for over 40 years now and canoeing for a little longer than that. The demographic of a wilderness canoe tripper in 2012 in Canada is 'mostly' .... someone in their 40's to 70's, with time (and sometimes $$) on their hands and a desire to get to those out of the way wild places. It may turn around, but it takes forums like this and paddlers like ourselves to keep the youth involved and interested in pursuing 'true wilderness canoe tripping'.

Author:  ezwater [ August 31st, 2012, 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

Kanoe, do you have any actual evidence that wilderness river tripping is on the decline? The only things that limited me from wilderness river tripping, before I retired, were money and time. From my perspective, there are increasingly more people with money and time, in spite of the recession.

I would want to survey the bush pilots. Plus, many wilderness river trips are now taking place on rivers where bush pilot support does not pertain.

Author:  recped [ September 1st, 2012, 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

Not that I have a problem with redundancy....we've been down this road before ... anoe+sales

And earlier as well if I recall

As to 'true wilderness canoe tripping' being in decline there probably are a few less old white guys around these days and economics have chased away a few of the pesky foreigners that like to paddle the North

In any event 'true wilderness canoe tripping' (whatever that is) has been and probably always will be a tiny niche in the canoe/kayak world.

Author:  Kanoe [ September 1st, 2012, 8:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

Firstly, 'true wilderness canoe tripping' is disappearing, primarily because the wilderness is. We have much less of it now than we did 50 years ago. People are able to get everywhere now. In resource rich areas like BC, Yukon and NWT, after the logging and mining operations leave, the atv'ers and fishermen move in on the abandoned road systems and access river corridors and lake systems. We are seeing fewer and fewer pristine areas each year. Read between the lines when some goldmine operation in Yellowknife talks about the need to open up a resource road 1000 kms to the north. An economic boom and another wilderness gone at the same time ... that's the reality.

I was active in the guiding community at one time, but no longer, too old. I still speak with others in the industry and there is a consensus that the demographic of canoe trippers is changing. Most are older, left over from 3 or 4 decades ago. Even the younger guides agree that paddlers in their generation, often (but not always), prefer to playboat with kayaks than go on extended backcountry canoe trips. Everything today is about instant gratification. The learning curve is much steeper for an open canoe than for a ww or sea kayak.

So, yes I agree with the statistic, that kayak sales have overtaken canoe sales. I don't have a problem with it ... just the way it is! I also believe that the way we utilize canoes and the places we utilize them in has also changed and I don't have a problem with that either. Next time you're in a PP doing a lake system or on a river trip pay attention to how many Youth Camps aren't out there now that were a few decades ago. I remember a time when more than 1/2 a dozen camps operated out of Algonquin and offered tripping excursions each summer - that has dwindled and some of the camps aren't there any longer.

And as to 'those pesky foreigners', there are still more of them in the north than there are Canadians. That includes hiking, paddling, fishing - just about any outdoor pursuit. Sadly, you'll meet more Europeans on any of our rivers north of 60 than Canadians - that's a guarantee.

So yes, wilderness canoe tripping has always been a small portion of the canoeing community, but it's getting smaller.

Author:  frozentripper [ September 1st, 2012, 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

Decline in backpacking overnights at US national parks, 1979 - 2011, down 30%...

Image ... cking.html

"Make it easy" is something that makes products and services more marketable... this happened in the switch from film to digital photography (interestingly, the old-school prints that needed time and effort in the darkroom still command the highest prices) and it may be happening with wilderness travel, canoes to kayaks, outdoor activities to virtual reality on computers, and on and on.

The tourist industry is alive and well, in Ontario it's reported to generate more revenue than mining. There are large sums of money being spent, but most likely it's going to places where commercial development eliminates any possibility of discomfort.

Here's a little vid with a tune made long before camping became unpopular. As an antidote to that, is the website "Jews 4 Canoes"... no offense intended to those packing manischewitz.


Author:  DaveH [ September 4th, 2012, 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

Here is a news story from the National. Just ignore the commercials.

Author:  ezwater [ April 21st, 2013, 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

I still don't agree that opportunities for wilderness canoe tripping have decreased enough to affect the activity, or to affect the market. Expansion of road networks in the States, cars that don't break down, and our satellite gauge system, have made wilderness trips feasible that previously required John Wesley Powell type expeditions. I've been paddling since '73, and I feel that my options for wilderness paddling have increased, not decreased, in spite of there being more dams and reservoirs.

What's rated as "wilderness" does depend on whether one takes a purist attitude in defining it. If one disqualifies a river because there are other paddlers on it, or because there are remnants of uranium mines nearby, then there certainly is a great decrease in opportunities.

Author:  pknoerr [ April 23rd, 2013, 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

When I talk about going canoeing with my friends most are totally surprised when I say that we camp along the way for a week or more and see nobody. Most people have no idea this opportunity even exists.

The reality is that less than 1% of canoe trips involve wilderness canoeing. So I agree wilderness canoeing isn't the reason that kayak sales have overtaken canoe sales. I don't see any decrease in the amount of wilderness canoeing opportunities. Kayaks have overtaken canoes because kayaks are percieved as a single person craft, and people like to control their own paddle trip. The concept of a solo canoe is totally unknown even to many avid kayakers. We've been on trips with people who used to canoe but bought kayaks because they were light and easy to use. Most are amazed that our solo canoes weigh half what their kayaks do. But most would never learn how to paddle them.

I think that's the main issue. Practically anyone can climb into a kayak and paddle it at a recreational level. Harly anyone can climb into a canoe and paddle it with the same aplomb. We see the same simplification in driving in the limited availablity of manual transmissions with regard to automatics.


Author:  ezwater [ April 23rd, 2013, 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kayaks overtake canoe sales in Canada

What they like about controlling their own paddling trip is in large part that rec, touring, and sea kayaks track pretty well, and a newbie can control them (sort of) with the double bladed paddle.

I started my wife and kids solo canoeing with a double blade, on a small lake. Then I explained the (horrid) J stroke and sent them back out. Their J stroke is still ugly, but they can solo OK in canoes of suitable size.

I didn't have any of them try kayaking until much later. By that time, they knew canoes carried friends, and gear, while kayaks don't.

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