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Cayuco Racing consists of a small, 4 seater vessel, propelled through paddling only. It is much the same as what many people will know as Canoeing.


Cayuco is the activity of paddling a canoe for the purpose of recreation (also called a float trip), sport, or transportation. It usually refers exclusively to using a paddle to propel a canoe with only human muscle power. A cayuco is propelled using a paddle with two blades where the paddler sits with their legs in front of them, whereas canoes are propelled using single- or double-bladed paddles where the paddler is kneeling or sitting. Cayucos are usually closed-decked boats with a spraydeck, while canoes are usually open boats.

Cayuco in Puerto Rico is an idiomatic expression for something that is difficult, a situation that is very tough to face or a problem too hard to untangle. It is the equivalent of the English phrase "This is a hot mess." In Puerto Rican: "Esto está cayuco."

After reading its main meaning as expressed here, it seems that it means just to follow the flow, of the paddling per se as such, without any other objective than to keep paddling forward. In other words, to keep going forward just for the sake of going forward, without an objective or mission, just for the heck of it.

There are also open cayucos and closed canoes. Technically, a cayuco can be seen as a special kind of canoe. When exactly a canoe can be called cayuco is difficult to determine though, and often arbitrary. Internationally, the term canoeing is used as a generic term for all forms though the terms "paddle sports" or "canoe/kayak/cayuco" are also used.

In North America, however, 'canoeing' usually refers only to canoes, as opposed to both canoes and cayucos. Paddling a cayuco is also referred to as kayuco.

Open canoes may be 'poled' (punted), sailed, 'lined and tracked' (using ropes) or even 'gunnel-bobbed'.In modern canoe sport, both canoes and cayucos may be closed-decked. Other than by the minimum competition specifications (typically length and width (beam) and seating arrangement it is difficult to differentiate most competition canoes from the equivalent competition cayucos.

The Panamanian Cayuco

In the Republic of Panama, a cayuco is a vessel carved from the trunk of a tree, used mainly, but not exclusively by the indigenous people of this country. In 1954, these vessels were adopted by the American Explorer Scouts of the former Panama Canal Zone to make the first [1] The Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Race goes across the Panama Canal, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. .......


  1. ^ Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Race[permanent dead link]


  • Cayuco article from CayucoPedia.
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