DONT SELL THAT BOAT! Just cuz it's not easy doesn't mean it's not fun! My family had me canoeing since I was 3, on flatwater trips in Canada and the easy stretches of Colorado/Green/Yampa out here. From there I took it to rafting and kayaking but through my last year in OR I went full circle and got back into WW canoeing. I agree with what people are saying here, mostly. Some hard core OC1 ers really think that a canoe is a better craft for tough rapids, they claim boat length, weight and a higher paddling vantage point all give them an edge that kayaks don't generally have.
I personally think kayaking is a lot easier, but only at the top end. In the beginning stages, a canoe feels a lot less entrapping than a kayak and you can see more of the river ahead (cuz we're not running horizon lines our first few months...). The number one thing I've seen people freak out about with kayaking is being upside down and trapped in the boat, a non-issue in a canoe. The debate of canoe vs kayak will go on forever but I think that the WW canoe has a definite place in a good quiver for any level of paddler. The alpine/tele analogy is apt, there is a fluid art to canoeing that is somehow diminished with a kayak. They have to plan a rapid almost like a raft but stay flexible in their micro decisions like a kayak.
Having my ww canoes made me enjoy easier stretches of water more, opening up my variety of padding options. They let me share rivers with more people (for much cheaper than a raft
) and I can still bring beer, lunch and fishing rods!
keep the canoe, get used to it, 14 years old is perfect age to get excited about the river, whether in a canoe, a raft or a kayak. Give each their fair due!
Oh yeah, Dagger used to make some of the best ww canoes, they stopped producing them a few years back however. A lot of the molds got sold to other companies like Mad River. There's lots of companies out there with different models for different functions. If it floats, it'll do to learn on!