Canoeing is both a competitive sport and a leisure activity, enjoyed for its beauty and pleasure. It combines fierce competition with the graceful movements and rhythmic skills of its athletes.

Canoeing is divided into two disciplines: kayaking and rowing. The kayak originated from a small boat made by the Inuit in Greenland, which was wrapped in whale and otter skin on a bone frame and propelled with paddles with blades at both ends. The paddled boat, on the other hand, originated in Canada and is also known as the Canadian canoe.

In January 1924, the International Canoe Association (ICA) was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, abbreviated as 1. R.K. In 1936, canoeing was included as an official Olympic event at the 11th Olympic Games held in Berlin.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is the highest organization for kayaking, headquartered in Madrid, Spain. The ICF oversees several international events, including:

1. Olympic kayaking competition

Canoeing is an official Olympic event, having been included as a performance event in 1924 and as an official Olympic event in 1936. In 1972, canoeing added the rapids slalom event.

2. World Canoeing Championships

The ICF created the international canoeing championship in 1938, and it is generally held once a year, except when the Olympic Games are held in the same year. The competitions are held on artificial or natural water with 9 waterways. There are single kayaks, double kayaks, quadruple kayaks for men and women, and single and double rowing for men.

3. World Slalom Championship

Created in 1949 in Geneva, this championship includes men's single kayak, single sculls, Canadian-style double sculls, women's single sculls, and men's mixed double sculls. It is held once every two years, with individual and team competitions.

4. Riptide Championship

Created in 1959 by the ICF in Germany, this international canoeing competition tests paddling skills in difficult conditions. It is held once every two years.

5. World Sailboat Championship

The first World Canoeing Championships were held in Hayling Island, England in 1961, and have been held every four years since.

In addition to competitive events, kayaking can take you to some of the most pristine landscapes on Earth, including:

1. Antarctica

Kayaking in Antarctica allows you to cross glaciers and experience the silence of the continent on the glassy surface of the sea. You can also get up close and personal with Antarctic animals in the water.

Seals, for example, are very familiar with kayaking and may approach on their own accord. Depending on the season, you may also have the opportunity to see whales leaping out of the water nearby. Kayaking in Antarctica is probably the closest humans can get to whales.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand's North Island has a tropical rainforest feel, with rivers running through tree-lined canyons. The South Island, with its towering mountains, rolling hills, and valleys, is perfect for classic kayaking.

Unlike Europe, New Zealand has a small population and is not well connected, but there are plenty of open natural areas for kayaking, hiking, and other activities that allow you to explore more of New Zealand's unique landscapes.

For example, you can go to the Bay of Islands and Auckland's Hauraki Bay to see dolphins; or kayak around the marine reserve and then dive into the sea for a fun diving experience. You can also try paddling a traditional Maori large canoe.