Boating activities are as varied as the boats and boaters who participate, and new ways of enjoying the water are constantly being discovered. Broad categories include the following:
Paddle sports include ears (lakes), swift water (rivers), and oceangoing types, usually covered-cockpit kayaks.
Canoes are popular on lakes and rivers due to their carrying capacity and efficiency on the water. They are also easy to portage, or carry overland around obstructions like rapids, or just down to the water from a car or cabin.
Kayaks can be found on calm inland waters, Whitewater Rivers, and along the coasts in the oceans. Known for their maneuverability and seaworthiness, kayaks take many shapes depending on their desired use. Rowing craft are also popular for fishing, as a tender to a larger vessel, or as a competitive sport.
Rowing shells are extremely long and narrow, and are intended to convert as much of the rower's muscle power as possible into speed. The ratio of length of waterline to beam has much importance in marine mechanics and design.
Row Boats or dinghies are oar powered, and generally restricted to protected waters. Rowboats are generally heavy craft compared to others.