With the exception of a few states that border Canada, such as Minnesota, northern New York and Maine, there is no doubt that kayaks strongly outsell canoes. That has been going on, increasingly, for 30 years.
Anyone who was in a paddling store 30 years ago would have seen an inventory of hulls about 15:1 of canoes to kayaks. Go in the same store today and it will be 20:1 in favor of kayaks.
SOTs rule in many of the warm waters of the AmSouth, and rec kayaks are everywhere. Touring kayaks are being displaced almost as much as canoes by recs and SOTs.
To me, the reasons are simple: the price of cheap plastic kayaks and the mind numbing simplicity of the double blade.
A newbie who uses a double blade can go reasonably straight with five minutes of practice. That same newbie will go in frustrating circles with a single blade, and likely has no interest in six months or more of instruction and practice to become competent in the single blade art.
I see more and more SUPs in the stores than five years ago, but frankly I never see them on the lakes and rivers I paddle on. Maybe more of them are on the ocean. (I never saw many windsurfing boards during that phase either.)
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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