Major difference between kayaking and rafting

Difference Between Kayaking And Rafting

Both Kayaking and rafting are among the most sought-after river sports among adventure lovers. Even though both seem similar they are apparently a lot different from each other. Both of these activities have their own thrills and lovers. However, both these terms are not interchangeable. The difference between them is evident if you look closely at both sports. Right from the boat used to the type of water body chosen. After reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of both the sports and the difference between kayaking and rafting.



Rafting is the activity of traversing through water bodies in inflated rafts. As the boat moves slower, it is more preferred by usual tourists who are not that familiar with waters. The rafting boat is larger and can accommodate more people and is hence preferred by small groups like family. The sport became a popular adventure sport in the 1960s and became an Olympic event in the 1970s.

Even though rafting through white waters may seem risky the sport is conducted under strict safety precautions. One major difference between kayaking and rafting is that kayaking involves more risk than the latter. The inflatable boats are manufactured using the latest technology to help the boat resist any wear and tear on the way. The carbon paddles used to row through the waters are designed in the right proportion to make rowing easier and effortless. Moreover, each rafter is made to wear safety jackets and helmets before setting on for the ride to ensure their safety. Rafting is the best option if you want to enjoy riding down a river with a group of friends.

While going rafting, it is important to choose the waterbody based on the level of your expertise. The rivers used for rafting are classified into different classes based on the difficulty to ride through. If you are a beginner, it is safer to choose a class one stream, i.e, a moving water body with small waves that gently hits the boat. You can increase the class of the water body with your expertise in rafting. Being taken away with guzzling rapid waters is indeed a dream of any expert rafter.





Kayaking involves riding through water in a small boat called a kayak using a double-bladed paddle. The boat is small and cannot accommodate many people. Usually, kayaks are rowed alone or by two people and are the favorite sports of tourists who love to be alone in the wild. While rafting is conducted on an inflated raft designed to carry several people at the same down in the wild waters, kayaking involves an elongated boat that is thinner and carries a lesser number of people. Kayaking was initially a mode of transport for people especially in the Artic where traversing the water in large boats through the ice-filled ocean is not desirable.

Initially, Kayaks were the fishing boats of the Eskimos of the Arctic region and some other communities around the world.

Kayak was initially a fishing boat but presently it is mostly used as a recreational activity. The Eskimos of Greenland used to build kayaks by using whalebone as a frame and stretching seal skin over it waterproofing it with animal fat. They used it to traverse through the constricted waterways through icebergs in the artic. They used the boat for fishing and hunting and it gave them great stealth to hunt/fish more in one go.

Kayaking can be done in many ways depending on the person’s interest. If you just want to float through the water peacefully and enjoy the surrounding peace, you can ride through any shallow backwaters or lagoons or just move along the flow of a river. If your aim is to have an alone adventure or with a similarly minded partner, you can certainly opt to kayak through rushing waters that include waterfalls, rocks, and other hurdles. You would love your boat to get flipped by the rushing waters and get back and ride again. Before setting out for the ride, be sure to be fully prepared for it. Get your gear and items ready. Be prepared with your drinking water and first-aid kit. Also, you should be at least familiar with the basic paddle strokes to facilitate the movement of your vessel in the desired direction. Either way, the sport is the best option for solo tourists to enjoy the waters.

More than a leisure activity kayaking is a good way of workout to improve your body metabolism. The sport helps to improve your aerobic fitness and flexibility. Other health benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness and increased muscle strength.

In kayaking, it’s generally a single person rowing it whereas in rafting almost up to 10 people row together in a rhythm. This is one the main difference between kayaking and rafting. If someone wants to experience a certain serenity and connect with nature, one should definitely try kayaking but if someone is longing for some crazy adventure and thrill, rafting is the sport they are looking for. Both these sports involve a great deal of teamwork and coordination and thus are used as team-building sports in many corporate getaways. These two water sports should be on every adventure lovers’ bucket list because they provide immense excitement and thrill! However, when it comes to safety, many experts say that kayaking is more dangerous than Rafting solely because rafting always involves more than one person who can help others in times of need. Also, the streamlined body of the kayak can also drive it faster in a water with high current thereby bringing a sign of threat. A kayak generally uses a double-bladed paddle whereas a raft uses a single-bladed one. Both these sports have races under their categories that are really interesting to participate in and watch as well.

So if this has ignited the interest in you to explore any of the two activities, you should definitely try them out because it’s a lifetime experience. Many tour organizers in Bangalore and other places keep these activities as the main highlight of their trip because of all the excitement that it adds to the trip! So try any of these activities now and understand the thrill of the waters!





Now that you know the difference between Kayaking and Rafting, it would be easier to choose between two on your vacation.

Both activities can be a way to calmingly paddle down a river as well as to go through swirling waters to satisfy your adrenaline rush. Here are some basic differences though between these two activities of going down a river both swiftly or calmly. For one thing, kayaking allows you to move at a greater speed than rafting does, and it lets you go out alone and you can ride in whichever direction you want to. A kayak is a boat that has the shape of a canoe in which you use double-bladed paddles to move the water, in a forward to backward motion so as to propel yourself through the water. In comparison to a kayak, a raft which is an inflatable boat that has a more flat shape is much bigger in size than a kayak and can accommodate many people, usually a group of less than ten.

The River Ganga in Rishikesh, the Indus River in Ladakh, the Bhagirathi River in Uttarakhand, Beas River in Kullu & Manali, and the Barapole River in Coorg are some of the few locations in India that are best for both rafting and canoeing.

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