Doing an activity you enjoy most means that you have something to constantly look forward to despite the number of responsibilities you currently need to finish.
Once it is all over, it is time to do that one thing that makes it all worth it.
This is what hobbies are meant to be, something that allows people to be who they are, to seize the day and make it their own, and of course to have fun while doing it.
A lot of different things can be hobbies, but for the purposes of this article, we are focusing on water sports, particularly kayaking and canoeing.
Using these two watercraft allows so much. From exploring the pristine beaches and banks of your local rivers, lakes, or seas, to maximizing the potential of other activities like hunting, fishing, bird watching, or camping, a kayak or a canoe allow for so much.
However, even the most fun things can get boring or mundane when you do them repeatedly.
To prevent kayaking or canoeing from ever becoming tedious enough for you not to want to do it, you have to introduce some variety.
The best way to do this is to start playing some games on the water straight from your canoe or kayak.
Some are classic water-based games, others present different takes on the already established formulas.
In the remainder of this article, we talk about the most fun games on the water that you can play with or from a kayak/canoe.
Best Games to Try
Kayaking and canoeing are fun outdoor activities on their own, but they can be so much more fun and engaging if you use your imagination or allow yourself to be a bit silly.
Think about some of these the next time you feel like switching it up and doing something new.
1. Paddle tag: Just like regular tag, but played in kayaks or canoes, it is physically demanding but also very engaging and competitive.
One person is “it” and must try to tag the other players while they try to avoid being tagged. You can do it by touching each other’s paddles, or touching each other’s kayaks with paddles. The choice is yours.
2. Kayak or canoe races: Race against other kayakers or canoeists to see who can paddle the fastest. This can be done in a straight line or around a course with obstacles.
Whether it is a spring or a circuit, it is a classic form of competitive fun that is sure to improve any kayaking/canoeing session.
You can even have relay races with some object that needs to be given out between paddlers on the same team.
Whatever the race, you can do it in a paddling vessel.
3. Kayak or canoe polo: A team sport that combines elements of basketball and water polo, it is perhaps the most ingenious game that can be played from a paddling boat.
The more players you can get the better. Teams can have goalies, but they do not have to.
Players try to score goals by throwing a ball into a goal while paddling their kayaks or canoes. You can do it by “dribbling” the ball with the paddle or throwing it with your hands.
4. Treasure or scavenger hunt: If you want something that will engage your explorer and adventurous side, how about a treasure (scavenger) hunt on the water? It can even be a mix of water and land hunting for items.
Hide small treasures or clues around a lake or river and have players search for them in their kayaks or canoes. The first person to find all the treasures wins.
Various puzzles and themes can be made to make this classic game more fun and unique.
5. Competitive fishing: Many people enjoy kayak or canoe fishing, so much so that it becomes the only way for them to go about catching fish. It is more optimal because you are closer to the fish and it is therefore easier to catch them.
To turn it into a game, you can organize a fishing competition where the winner is the amateur angler who catches the biggest, heaviest, or most fish.
This needs to be done over several hours and it is best done when all participants care about fishing equally as much.
It can be relaxing but also very competitive. You can specify techniques and equipment, or make it a free for all where anything can be used and caught.
6. Kayak movie night: Just like it is popular to watch movies from a car on a large screen, you can do something similar and do it from the water. All you need is a blanket to act as a screen and some basic tech to set it up.
7. Quiz night: Gather around in a circle, put your anchors down or tie the kayaks together, and organize a quiz night on the water. It would be best if the quiz has a theme, like pirates, fishing, water animals, etc.
8. Cards: Here is something to do in a tandem kayak or a vessel that allows for more than two people to paddle at once.
Bring a deck of cards and play it as you paddle. It is not much different from doing it regularly, except that you will be on the water and in pristine nature.
Conclusion and Takeaways
Overall, kayaking and canoeing are great ways to have fun on the water on their own.
However, as you can see, there are many fun games that you can play while on the water to make the experience even better.
These games are very engaging, competitive, interesting, challenging, and relaxing. Depending on what you and your group enjoy and are in the mood for you can even play several during a single day of paddling.
The next time you want to grab your kayak or canoe and head out onto the water for some fun and excitement, be sure to remember some of these and try them out. You will not regret it.