Use of a canoe or kayak for recreation or competition. Both types of boat are used in water touring, in speed competitions, and in white-water sport, or navigation through rapids (which includes, in the case of kayaks, ocean surf). The Scottish philanthropist John MacGregor (1825–1892) is traditionally credited with establishing the modern outdoor activity of canoeing in the 1860s. Canoeing events became part of the Olympic Games in 1936 (1948 for women). In addition to various singles, pairs, and team still-water events for distance and speed, there are white-water racing competitions and, for kayaks, slalom events involving the use of gates similar to those of slalom skiing.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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