Canoeing is a paddle sport in which you kneel or sit facing forward in an open-decked canoe, and propel yourself with a single-bladed paddle, under your own power. Kayaking is a similar activity in a kayak which usually has a closed deck and is propelled with a double bladed paddle. In a kayak the paddler typically sits with legs extended forward.
In some situations canoeing refers to both canoeing and kayaking. Other than by the minimum competition specifications (typically length and width (beam) and seating arrangement it is difficult to differentiate most competition canoes from the equivalent competition kayaks. The most common difference is that competition kayaks are always seated and paddled with a double-bladed paddle, and competition canoes are generally kneeled and paddled with a single-bladed paddle. Exceptions include Canoe Marathon (in both European and American competitive forms) and sprint (high kneeling position). The most traditional and early canoes did not have seats, the paddlers merely knelt on the bottom of the boat. Recreational canoes and kayaks employ seats and whitewater rodeo and surf variants increasingly employ the use of 'saddles' to give greater boat control under extreme conditions.