Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. It is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is a low-to-the-water, canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation. Most kayaks have closed decks, although sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity as well.

Canoe sprint has two different types of craft, the kayak and the canoe. The kayak probably originates from greenland, where it was used by the eskimos, primarily for hunting, fishing and transportation. The canoe was used all over the world as a method of transportation, trade and war. The first official sporting events were created utilising both of these crafts during the mid-19th century. Canoe sprint has been the traditional form of racing since the inception.