Flat water is is water with little current, and few waves. Commonly found on larger rivers, ponds, and lakes. Generally uses longer boats that turn more slowly, but efficiently move through the water in a straight line. Requires training to learn good paddle strokes, effectively turn the boat, and planning for long trips or open waters.
This is faster moving water with obstacles, rocks, and dynamic features commonly found on rivers, creeks and streams. Generally uses shorter boats that turn easily, and don't track well in a straight line. Requires training to help to learn to read water, and avoid potential hazards.