Canoeing on Lake Garda

“Canoe tours on Lake Garda are ideal for an adventure to share as a couple or in a group. Discover the most exciting routes to experience aboard a canoe.”

The term canoe originates from the Caribbean word “Canaoa” which literally means “hollowed out tree trunk”. The origins of this boat date back to the indigenous peoples who used it as a means of transport to cross the sea, lakes, rivers and streams. Its shape is elongated and is also characterized by the use of the paddle, through which you move and direct on the water. To date, the most common canoe is the Canadian canoe, born in the north of the Americas to navigate large stretches of lakes or rivers. The bow of this canoe is slightly raised in order not to let the water enter the boat and to better cross the waves.

Kayaking, canoeing and rowing: what are the differences?

The kayak and the canoe are both boats with an elongated shape and move through the same principle, that is, with the use of a paddle. In reality, however, the differences between kayak and canoe are many. The canoe is made of a lightweight composite material and is steered by kneeling and using a single blade paddle. The kayak, on the other hand, is still made of a lightweight composite material but is ridden comfortably seated and using a double paddle. Also, the canoe is open while the kayak has a top closure. In both, however, you stand facing the direction of travel, as opposed to rowing in which you stand opposite and the seats are not fixed. The rowers can be, in this case, up to 8, unlike the canoe and kayak that can accommodate one or two people.

Types of canoe: Canadian, sit-on-top, rigid and inflatable

There are different types of canoe:

  • Canadian canoe: means the classic model that is conducted by standing on your knees and using a single paddle with which to paddle on one side of the canoe. This type can be in turn single-seater, characterized by a single seat; slalom, used mainly in competitions where the canoeist is always on his knees and uses foam, a material that allows him to have greater adherence to the boat and two-seater, to accommodate two people.
  • Rigid canoe: preferred by lovers of this sport because it has greater resistance to impact. In addition, it is faster and therefore ideal for competitions. The models of rigid canoes are made of plastic to be resistant and lightweight.
  • Inflatable canoe: contrary to what you might think, this type of canoe is very resistant because it bounces in case of impact. It also allows for safe floating since it is made of PVC and nylon. It is usually best suited for multi-person boating and is perfect for any waterway.
  • Sit-on-top canoe: this is a hybrid model between a canoe and a kayak. It is characterized by an open seat and is unsinkable and self-sinking, in case water enters inside.

Canoeing equipment and clothing

Specific equipment and clothing is required for this type of sport:

  • Life jacket: is mandatory as it performs both the function of ensuring buoyancy in case of a fall into the water, and thermal function for the chest.
  • Paddle: consists of a single blade with the handle on the other end. Generally made of aluminum, has a variable length depending on the physical conformation of the canoeist.

As for the recommended clothing, however, you should wear light clothes in breathable fabrics. In the summer months, it is also important to use a sunscreen and sunglasses secured with a lanyard. In addition, it is also important to provide windproof and rainproof garments and closed shoes.

How to canoe: technique and tips

In order to practice this sport, it is important to know how to swim because the canoe could tip over. The first thing to learn is definitely how to get on the boat and how to position yourself correctly. It is very important to rely on expert guides to have all the necessary information to play this sport safely. Regarding, instead, how to paddle, it is important to understand how to hold it and, subsequently, how to move it. Always according to the indications of experts, learning the right technique requires little time and a little practice.

Canoeing as a sport: types and health benefits

Canoeing and kayaking cannot be defined as extreme sports, but are a discipline regulated by the Italian Canoe and Kayak Federation, which has technical, organizational and management autonomy under the supervision of CONI. The types of canoe sports are:

  • Canoeing tourism: practiced for excursions in spectacular landscapes on rivers, lakes and seas
  • River canoeing: practiced in slalom and downhill mode
  • Canoeing on flat water: for competitions and games
  • Canoe sailing: takes advantage of both the movement of the paddle and the wind

There are many benefits for those who practice this sport both physically and mentally. The entire upper torso is in training and improves cardiac and respiratory activity. The muscles stressed, in fact, are those of the arms, shoulders, back, abdominals and also the legs. All these muscles involved are in coordination and greatly improve posture. Breathing is also very important with benefits in terms of oxygen supply to the muscles. Proper breathing, in fact, allows you to fight stress and also facilitates the increase of lean mass. Canoeing also brings other relational benefits as it is an activity that takes place in groups and allows you to visit characteristic places and get in touch with nature for a well-being of the whole body, mind and mood included.

Where you can go canoeing: here are the best activities on Lake Garda

The most beautiful canoe tours are available on Lake Garda both during the day and during the golden hour. Ideal for couples, groups and celebrations, there are tours with aperitifs that allow you to experience hours of fun and relaxation aboard the canoes in the spectacular setting of Lake Garda.

There are also tours available on the Adige River or in Bardolino, which is located on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, 30 km from Verona.