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Canoeing 101

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Canoe Design: Symmetry

Symmetry refers to the shape of the canoe viewed from overhead. Canoes can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Asymmetrical canoes can be fish-form with widest point ahead of center or swede-form with widest point behind center. 

Symmetrical

Pros 

  • Predictable handling
  • Can be paddled in reverse for better trim with adult/child paddlers or solo paddler 

Cons 

  • Slower than swede-form hull

 

Asymmetrical: Swede Form

Pros 

  • Enhanced forward speed
  • Enhanced glide 

Cons 

  • Can't be paddled backwards without some performance degradation in speed and glide
  • Can be wet when paddling into waves

 

Asymmetrical: Fish Form

Pros 

  • Improved buoyancy over drops
  • Increased dryness and wave deflection 

Cons 

  • Slow
  • Decreased glide