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101+ Quotes About Kayaking, Canoeing And Paddling

Nicola Burridge
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They say still waters run deep. But what about those that love the thrill of paddling?

Let these quotes about kayaking, canoeing, and all things paddle-powered transport you to your favorite waterway.

Everybody loves some good inspirational quotes now and again, especially if you want to caption your adventures on your social media posts or if you’re having a rough day. 

We’ve put together a list of 110 canoe and kayaking quotes to lift your spirits and inspire your next kayaking journey. 

Happy Kayaking Quotes

Kayaking is happiness and happiness is kayaking for most kayakers. So here are some happy quotes to brighten your day.

  • “Happiness is finally leaving the shore.” – Unknown
  • “Live. Love. Kayak.” – Unknown
  • “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” – Kenneth Grahame
  • “The two best reasons to buy a kayak rather than just renting are sunsets and sunrises.” – Thomas P. Jones
  • “Good things come to those who paddle.” – Unknown
  • “Stress is caused by not enough kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a kayak and that’s kind of the same thing.” – Unknown
  • “The ocean inspires, the sunset calms and the salty air heals.” – Unknown
  • “Leave the road, ride the river.” – Unknown
  • “Life is short. Buy the kayak.” – Unknown
  • “I don’t need therapy. I just need to go kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “Adventure is out there. You just have to kayak to it.” – Unknown
  • “Couples that kayak together, stay together.” – Unknown

Funny Kayaking Quotes

It’s not all serious. Maybe some of these funny paddling quotes will raise a smile or get you laughing. 

  • “Yes, I do have a retirement plan. I plan on kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “Portaging is like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.” – Bill Mason
  • “Reality called. So I hung up and went kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “Kayaking is not just a hobby. It’s a post-apocalyptic survival skill.” – Unknown
  • “Born to paddle. Forced to work.” – Unknown
  • “Kayaking is my therapy” – Unknown
  • “I kayak to burn off the crazy.” – Unknown
  • “Never mess with a kayaker. We know places where no one will find you.” – Unknown
  • “Kayaking is the answer. Who cares what the question is.” – Unknown
  • “You know you’re a kayaker when you can’t go over a bridge without checking to see how much water is under it.” – Unknown
  • “A day without kayaking probably wouldn’t kill me, but why risk it?” – Unknown
  • “Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy.” – Bill Mason
  • “What happens on the river, stays on the river.” – Unknown
  • “Always assume I’d rather be kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “Kayaking solves most of my problems. Fishing solves the rest.” – Unknown

Kayaking Quotes For Instagram

Posting your paddling adventures lets others know just how much fun you’re having. But first, you’re going to need the perfect caption to document your kayaking trip. 

  • “Kayak more. Worry less.” – Unknown
  • “Life is simple. Just add water.” – Unknown
  • “If in doubt, paddle out.” – Nat Young
  • “Learn to kayak because zombies can’t swim.” – Unknown
  • “Life’s a river. Grab a paddle.” – Unknown
  • “If there’s a place. Canoe there.” – Brent Kelly
  • “Life’s short. Paddle hard.” – Unknown
  • “Keep calm and paddle on.” – Unknown
  • “I’d rather be kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “Kayaking is a way of life.” – Unknown
  • “Your kayak doesn’t have an expiration date.” – Unknown
  • “Kayaking is a feeling you can’t explain.” – Unknown
  • “But first, kayaking.” – Unknown
  • “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Unknown
  • “Never underestimate an old man in a kayak.” – Unknown

Inspirational And Motivational Kayaking Quotes

Nothing quite hits as hard as some inspiring canoe and kayaking quotes when it comes to dreaming of the water. Check out these inspirational quotes and get out there. 

  • “Although we are in different boats, you in your boat and we in our canoe, we share the same river of life.” – Oren Lyons
  • “With one foot in the canoe and one foot on shore, you are sure to fall into the river.” – Tuscarora proverb
  • “Paddling a canoe is a source of enrichment and inner renewal.” – Pierre Elliot Trudeau
  • “When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known.” – Sigurd F. Olson
  • “The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go.” – Richard Bach
  • “The first river you paddle runs through you the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.” – Lynn Culbreath Noel
  • “Voyage upon life’s sea, to yourself be true, and whatever your lot may be, paddle your own canoe.” – Sarah Bolton
  • “Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe.” – American proverb
  • “Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you farther from home than a hundred miles on a road.” – Bob Marshall
  • “Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go.” – Blaise Pascal
  • “A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.” – James N. Watkins
  • “Don’t try to steer the river.” Deepak Chopra
  • “Writing to me is like kayaking a river. You are paddling down and you come to a walled-off canyon and you make a sharp turn and you don’t know what’s around the corner. It could be a waterfall, it could be a big pool. The narrative current carries you. You’re surprised and you’re thrilled and sometimes you’re terrified.” – Peter Heller
  • “There needs to be balance or you will sink.” – Unknown

Canoeing Quotes

Grab your paddle, load up your canoe, and get ready for the wilderness because you’re going to want to hit the water when you read some of these canoeing quotes. 

  • “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “A canoe does not know who is king. When it turns over, everyone gets wet.” – Malagasy proverb
  • “The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten.” – Sigurd F. Olson
  • “Travel by canoe is not a necessity, and will nevermore be the most efficient way to get from one region to another, or even from one lake to another anywhere. A canoe trip has become simply a rite of oneness with certain terrain, a diversion off the field, an art performed not because it is a necessity but because there is value in the art itself.” – John McPhee
  • “Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal 500 on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.” – Pierre Elliot Trudeau
  • “Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe – you can’t take a taxi.” – Alan Alda
  • “Never trust a person whose feet are dry and who is paddling a canoe.” – Unknown
  • “About the best reason I can think of for owning a canoe is that it can take me into wilderness. And what, you may ask, is so great about wilderness? The silence, for one thing.” – Robert Kimber
  • “Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe.” – American proverb
  • “There’s no mastery to be had. You love the attempt. You feel lucky to canoe down it.” – Garrison Keillor
  • “Canoes, too, are unobtrusive; they don’t storm the natural world or ride over it, but drift in upon it as a part of its own silence. As you either care about what the land is or not, so do you like or dislike quiet things – sailboats, or rainy green mornings in foreign places, or a grazing herd, or the ruins of old monasteries in the mountains…Chances for being quiet nowadays are limited.” John Graves
  • “Six days shalt thou paddle and pack, but on the seventh thou shall wash thy socks.” Aldo Leopold

Paddling Quotes

There’s nothing as serene and relaxing as watching your paddle slowly hitting the water of an undisturbed lake as you head off on your adventures. Grab your paddle and explore.  

  • “First rule of canoeing: never lose the paddle.” – Unknown
  • “You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” – Mark Twain
  • “Open water is a highway to adventure, best traveled by canoe or kayak.” – Unknown
  • “Paradise is just a paddle away.” – Unknown
  • “She wasn’t drifting away. She was paddling her own boat.” – Unknown
  • “Water in the boat is the ruin of the boat, but water under the boat is its support.” – Jalaluddin Rumi
  • “As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.” – Katharine Hepburn
  • “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus
  • “The path of the paddle can be a means of getting things back to their original perspective.” – Bill Mason
  • “If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.” – William H. McRaven
  • “You don’t paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.” – Kris Kristofferson
  • “Paddle boarding is like walking on water. Standing atop a board in the middle of the ocean, you see everything from sea life to the coastline and across the channel. Having that sweeping expanse in front of you, you just want to go exploring.” Laird Hamilton
  • “I’ve always thought you should concentrate on paddling your own canoe.” – John Dos Passos
  •  “Paddle faster. I hear banjos!” – Unknown

Quotes For Rivers, Lakes And The Sea

Pair of kayaks peacefully resting on a tranquil lakePin

We can’t paddle without rivers, lakes, and the sea. These waters are essential for life and kayaking. Enjoy the water but respect its power.  

  • “So lovely was the loneliness of a wild lake”. – Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” – A.A. Milne
  • “A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin
  • “You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” – Jim Harrison
  • “Life is better on the river.” – Unknown
  • “Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “A man of wisdom delights in water” – Confucius 
  • “A rough day at sea is better than any day at the office.” – Unknown
  • “Life is better on the river.” – Unknown
  • “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.” – William Wordsworth
  • “The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” – John Muir
  •  “A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Adventure Quotes

Life is an adventure. But a life on the water is the best kind of adventure with a world of wilderness to explore. 

  • “The outside is the only place we can truly be inside the world.” – Daniel J. Rice
  • “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”. – William Shakespeare
  • “The goal of a wilderness canoe trip should be to collect enough of the wilderness experience to last the whole year… A full cup is the only way that the winter can be endured.” – Greg Went
  • “The journey not the arrival matters.” – T.S. Eliot
  • “The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.” – George R.R. Martin
  • “It is not down on any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
  • “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” Amelia Earhart
  • “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse
  • “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman
  • “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Unknown
  • “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your element in each moment.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “I learned that the richness of life is found in adventure… It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security.” – William Orville Douglas
  • “The traveller is active; she went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; she expects interesting things to happen to her. She goes ‘sight-seeing’.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

Conclusion: The Final Anchorage Of Kayaking Quotes

Hopefully you’ve been uplifted by some of these inspiring canoe and kayaking quotes. 

Whether you’re embarking on a sea kayaking journey or you just want to feel like you’re on the water, these quotes can fuel your next kayaking journey and let nature lead the way.

Let us know your thoughts.

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