Kayaking vs Climbing

I recently fell in love with both sports, but cannot decide which one I like more. The best part about it is… I don’t have to pick a favourite.


If you’ve read any of my previous posts you know that I am by no means an expert at kayaking. I am a beginner, making my way to novice and hoping to become intermediate by the end of this summer. I have already been kayaking quite a few times since the snow has melted. I have successfully ran a creek that was on my bucket list a couple times which is a rewarding feeling. I think that’s part of the addiction; the feeling of butterflies followed by the feeling of success!
Kayaking and climbing are very similar in a lot of ways… they both have “lines”, they usually have ridiculous names, they both involve determination, and are both quite expensive to get into. One thing about kayaking is I like to scout my lines (in some cases) whereas with climbing I like to just climb and figure it out from bottom up. That being said, I am a beginner at both and maybe that will change with time. I find I have butterflies when I kayak, but climbing I have none. I think that comes down to my underwater breathing problem (for kayaking). When I go underwater I have to blow through my nose. I don’t know how to hold my breath without letting air come out of my nose. Therefore I need nose plugs, but I find the nose plugs decreases my confidence. Climbing, I can breath. I like being able to breath. It’s something I need to work on with my kayaking. I can roll but I need to get confident with my roll and learn how to use it when I actually need it. I find when I get to the bottom of a creek/river I have a greater feeling of success compared to when I reach the top of a climb. I love kayaking and will love it even more once I get better at it.



I am a beginner to climbing as well as kayaking but feel like I have gotten better at climbing a lot faster. Maybe it’s because I can breath while I climb so I don’t have the constant fear of not being able to hold my breath long enough to roll back up. The only time I would need to hold my breath while climbing is if I’m trying really hard to reach a hold and you hold your breath before letting out a good grunt. When I am climbing I don’t like to scout my line (I’m sure I’m mixing up the terminology here, but oh well) I just like to climb. If you read my post “Climbing Mentality” I go into more detail about it but basically I will have more fear in me if I top rope a climb first before trying to lead it. I am less nervous if I don’t know what is ahead of me… totally opposite when I am kayaking, does that make sense?
I really love climbing because it challenges me in a different way than kayaking does. I am definitly a more confident climber than I am a kayaker.


I don’t prefer one more than the other at this point. They both get my adrenaline going and make me feel good.
I have a hard time when I learn a new sport because I just want to be really good at it right away. I want to skip learning and go from a class I to a class V right away, or go from a 5.9a to a 5.12b. It doesn’t work like that. That’s something I have to keep reminding myself. Everyone was once a beginner, everyone swims and everyone falls, that’s how you learn and that’s how you get to where you want to go.