In a remarkable "This is Canoeing" double-DVD collection released in 2010, Justine Curgenven shows a host of different aspects of modern recreational canoeing in Europe and North America - from coastal ventures in a 42' Voyageur canoe to throwing oneself off waterfalls in boats not even 10' long, and from a 1,000 mile solitary wilderness trip in a birchbark canoe to slalom racing events in open canoes made of the most sophisticated of modern materials.
Environments, aspirations and choice of craft can vary hugely. Here's a preview covering just a little of what canoeing can mean or entail:
What's even more remarkable is how much of the story of modern canoeing this broad sweep omits... ranging from the classic Adirondack tradition of using pack canoes:
Through OC1 outrigger canoeing:
To the most distinctive of all British Traditions:
Oh - and let's not forget standing tall with a big stick:
For those who see the canoe mostly in terms of remote wilderness tripping, one jewel of a film was this one on the Mountain River:
Last but note least, the gem of the DVD collection - winner of Best Professional Documentary at the National Paddling Film Festival in America and a finalist in the Kendal Mountain Film festival. This features Scott MacGregor and his young son Dougie on a four day trip down the Petawawa River in Eastern Ontario:
Of course, all of these are modern British / North American perspectives - only conceivable in the light of Victorian ideas of recreation and very different from the perspectives we'd have if approaching caneoing from elsewhere - on which see (for example) Voices of the Canoe.
Take an activity with diverse roots, and people with diverse aspirations, allow time for adpatation and you have a movement which spans virtually every imaginable approach to journeying upon the surface of the water.
Please explore our Wiki to find more of the riches and rewards of a movement which can cater for virtually all tastes - and ask if you'd like to know more!