Canoe-kayak, Canoe-Raft in the Verdon Gorges

Canoe-Kayak, several names for the same discipline

Canoe, Canoe-Kayak, Canoe-Raft, Kayak-raft … Once again, several terms that designate the same activity. Before describing it in more details, we will linger on its ancestor; the kayak, in order to understand the advantages that this new activity offers us.


The disadvantages of the rigid kayak

Kayaks and canoes are boats that have been made and used since the dawn of time. The canoe as well as the dugout canoes propelled by a simple paddle are found in most of the civilizations that have developed on the coastline or along the waterways. The kayak, on the other hand, comes directly from the Inuit of the Arctic. Indeed, seal hunting and whaling have always been the main resources of these peoples. They therefore needed an efficient boat. The kayak was made of animal skins assembled on a wooden or whale bone structure. Sitting inside the boat and not kneeling, the paddler uses a double paddle, which has a blade on each side.

The “rigid” kayak, the “queen” boat on the river, requires several days of learning before being able to descend a river with a level of difficulty equal to or greater than that of the Verdon. Indeed, a beginner must learn to “heel” his boat. This is to be able to go from a current area to a counter-current area without capsizing the kayak. Once turned around, you have to get out of the kayak, swim back to the shore, empty it… A very tiring operation that leaves everyone exhausted after the third repetition. In case of overturn, on board their kayak, the Inuits had a way to recover. A technique called “eskimo roll”. This technique requires several hours of learning. It is not easy to perform in the moment in the river. This is why it is a technique used by experienced practitioners.

It is not possible to esquimauter with an inflatable kayak, a little swimming in the Verdon, it is always good!


The advantages of inflatable kayaks

The Cano-Raft has shattered this technical barrier. Indeed, this boat is practically unaffected by the current-counter-current passages and therefore does not need to “heel” or very little. Moreover, in case of “desalination”, it is very easy to get back into this boat, sometimes even in the middle of the river. The kayak-raft now allows any beginner to evolve on a course of medium difficulty having never paddled before.


Canoe-Kayak in the Gorges du Verdon

Single or two-seater, these boats are built on the same model as rafts; inflatable, light and resistant to all tests. Equipped with a self-bailing system, you will not be encumbered by the excess water accumulated while crossing the rapids. In short, this is the boat you need to travel the river in a sporty way. After having given you your equipment, your guide will explain to you with pedagogy how to succeed in your first descent of the Verdon in cano-raft. Don’t worry, you won’t be alone, your guide will accompany you all along the course and will also ensure your safety. Come and try this superb activity from April to October on the Verdon.