Fun Kayak Games on the Water (Canoe Included!)

Kayaking is a fun-filled activity, and you can make it even more enjoyable by playing different games. There are many types of kayak games that you can try, and we will list them in this article. We will also discuss other queries related to the topic.

Two people playing a kayaking game

Best Kayak Games

Here are some of the best kayak games that you can try:

Kayak Race

You can play kayak race when you are kayaking. Two or more individuals reach a destination or target in this race, and there isn’t any time limit. The person that reaches the end destination first is declared the winner.

Interestingly, in this game, it is perfectly normal to distract participants from each other. However, the route and endpoint should be the same for all the participants.

Scenery Sums

To play this game, the kayakers will need an object. You can pick an object along the waterway or banks. Some examples of objects are:

  • Tree Species
  • Birds
  • Fish

This game is perfect when played in teams, and the person sitting on the kayak’s bow counts the object on the right side of the kayak. The person sitting in the stern will count the objects on the kayak’s left side.

Pirate Ships

Like the Lost Treasure, the Pirate Ships is a very enjoyable game, and you can play it while Kayaking. In this game, some imaginary pirates try to depredate the other kayaks. The kayak team tries to escape the pirates.

In other words, this game represents a confrontation between thieves and police. The police will try to grab the thieves, and the thieves will attack the police. The game is incredibly interesting and is highly recommended for kayakers.


You can also play Kayak tag, as it is a very enjoyable game. In this game, the participants will chase others, and then the caught ones are eliminated. This game is recommended for kayakers as the game is easy to play and simple. The game rules are straightforward and increase teamwork and stamina.

Kayak Frisbee

Kayak Frisbee has been extremely popular among children and adults. While kayaking, playing with a Frisbee will keep you busy and increase your enjoyment level. One needs a paddle, whistle, kayaks, and a ball of floats or Frisbee to play this game. There are clear boundaries and rules set for this game so that the paddlers don’t get too far apart.

Kayak Volleyball

Kayak volleyball is a fun-filled game, and you can play it during kayaking. All you need is a volleyball or a football and a boundary. You will first need to split the kayakers into a pair of teams and place them on different sides of the boundary.

All the members of the teams will throw balls at each other. If some team fails to hit the ball, the other team will score the point. After reaching a certain score, a referee will declare a team the winner. However, this game is a bit more physically absorbing than other games.

Kayak Basketball

This is one of the best Kayak games that you can play. This game will increase your enjoyment level during kayaking. For Kayak Basketball, you will need a couple of teams and a basketball. However, you can also use a floating squishy or tennis ball.

The goal of each team is to hit the ball in the basket. The team that scores first will be declared the winner of the match. This game is highly recommended for kayakers.

Treasure Hunt

For treasuring hunt, you will need to assign a coach. The coach will pre-determine the clues so that each team can find a treasure. The coach strategically places these clues. The coach will stand at a dock, where each team will have a dock after collecting a clue and then go back to finding treasure again.

Each team will have its treasure that they will need to find. The coach will have clues for the treasures. The team will return to the dock to find another clue when the treasure is found. All the team members will need to work together to find the treasure.

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light teaches kayakers to paddle and stop quickly. This game will start with a leader, and the game will be positioned far away from the group. When the sound of the Green Light is heard, each participant will paddle quickly to the leader.

When the leader calls Red Light, everyone will instantly stop paddling and stop their kayaks. They will be eliminated from the game if a kayak doesn’t stop kayaking after Red Light is called. The first person, who is not eliminated and reaches the leader, will be the winner.


LeapFrog is a simple game and will require focus. To play this game, you will need conditioning and paddling control. All the members of a group will need to make a straight line. Each kayak will be lined with a bow and stern in the water.

When the new leader is in front, the paddler at the back will now move forward and in front of the group. Everyone in the group will have their chance to paddle the kayak and become a leader for a short period of time.

Monkey in the Middle

In this game, the participants will need to form a large circle, and there will be a person in the center of the circle. With the help of paddlers, the participants will move from one side to the other. The participants will need to avoid the player standing in the circle’s center.

The ball must be passed all around the circle, and if the person in the middle (Monkey) snatches the ball before someone else catches it, the last person who threw the ball will become the new money and stand in the center of the circle.

Gunwale Bobbing

In this game, participants will have to take turns and face off against each other, balancing on the gunwale of a kayak. One player balances at the bow and the other at the stern. Each player can move towards the canoe bob up and down in a body of water.

This game is extremely beneficial and can increase your balance. This game will also give players the practice to easily come back into the kayak from the water. Two individuals play the game; however, you can also play in a tournament.

It is recommended that you always wear a PFD. However, you should always have a PFD on when kayaking.

Sticky Situation

In this game, each participant will be given 10 to 12-inch pieces of tape. The tape is placed at the stern or bow of the kayak. The tape should at least behave as 4 to the 6-inch adhesive so the team members can easily grab it.

The Sticky Situation game involves a boundary, and the boundary should be of a reasonable size. The game starts with each team spread out around the boundary’s edges. The game’s goal is to paddle towards other teams and grab their tape.

When the leader blows the horn, the game will start, and the paddlers will go after the tape. Once the set amount of time is over, the team with the most pieces of tape will win.

Basic Kayaking Safety Recommendation

Two men kayaking looking afraid

When you go kayaking, you need to ensure your safety. The only way you can ensure your safety is to follow safety recommendations. Unfortunately, some people have no regard for their safety and can seriously injure themselves.

While we wholeheartedly encourage playing fun-filled kayak games, not at the expense of your safety and well-being. But how exactly can you keep yourself safe while kayaking? Do you require special safety arrangements? Not really, but these safety tips can be the difference between life and death.

Below we have listed five key safety tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable kayaking trip. In addition to that, these tips will also help you come back home in one piece:

Don’t Drink While Kayaking

Believe it or not, avoiding dangerous obstacles or rough spots in the water is not that hard. Avoiding these obstacles is a fun-filled and challenging activity. But things can go south abruptly, and you won’t even realize it before it is too late.

The danger is not far from you when you are on the water and kayaking. The simplest thing you can do to avoid danger is not consuming any alcoholic drinks while kayaking. Drinking alcohol and kayaking don’t mix well together, and if you get drunk while kayaking, you could die.

A drunk paddler can easily drown or ram into a huge rock. So take care of your safety, kayak responsibly, and don’t consume alcoholic drinks.

Kayak in your Skill Level

You might be skilled as a kayaker, but you are not the most skilled kayaker. As a kayaker, it is important to understand your skill level so that you don’t end up in a dangerous or life-threatening situation. The ideal kayaking environment typically has protection from natural elements such as waves and winds.

This environment also has landing and launching access. What you need to do is simple, always look for a calm lake or stream where you can kayak safely without facing many obstacles.

The general rule of thumb that you should always follow is that if you venture out into water that is not protected from waves and winds, then you have entered a new world, and in this part of the lake or stream, you will need to protect yourself.

Another problem you might run into is that if you have learned sea kayaking but don’t know how to kayak in other water bodies, you are in trouble. Remember your skill level, and try to kayak in water bodies safe from harsh weather and other natural elements.

Practice the Re-Entry

This is one of the most important safety tips we will discuss with you: practicing the re-entry for your kayak. You should always remember that it is easier to do re-entry with a sit-inside kayak.

However, no matter which type of kayak you use, you should have the confidence to do re-entry with it. A tip that will be useful is to stay as close to the shore as possible, especially if you are not good at re-entry. Try to practice re-entry as much as possible, and hopefully, one day, it will all come together for you.

Immersion Dressing

Another important rule is that you need to dress according to the conditions. Some people have this misconception that kayaking is a fun-filled activity, and we can wear whatever we want to. This misconception is wrong; you will find it tough to kayak if you are not wearing appropriate clothes.

For instance, if you are kayaking in cold water, you will need to dress accordingly. Some people take their LFT off because they feel uncomfortable in it. Not only is the LFT protecting you from drowning, but it will also protect you from the cold weather.

Want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately for Kayaking? Check out my article on What To Wear For Kayaking.

The most important thing is to kayak in calm conditions, whether the weather and the water conditions are bearable, and you don’t need to worry about anything. If you are new to kayaking, we recommend not doing it alone.

Always Wear a Life Jacket

I don’t think we need to elaborate on how essential an LFT is; you probably have a general idea by now of how important it is. However, we will still request to wear an LFT whenever you go on a kayaking trip.

Even if you feel uncomfortable in the LFT, you need to understand that this piece of equipment can save your life. So always remember the importance of an LFT, and don’t forget to wear it before a kayaking trip.


This article thoroughly discusses some fun-filled Kayak games that you can try next time you go kayaking. We have listed down several games, so pick one and try it now. Towards the end of the article, we have given some important information about kayaking safety. Please go through the safety tips, and ensure they are implemented the next time you go kayaking.

Vanessa Hopkins

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Long-time kayaker who's proud to be part of this community. I strive to provide our visitors with insightful guides with the aim to improve their kayaking experience. I've been working with SunshineKayaking for over 5 years, providing world-class services.

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