For Power Cruising there are basically two different game modes. Slalom is the main game and up to four players can take turns driving their jet ski through circular slaloms. The faster you get from one slalom to the next, the more points you earn. Occasionally a smaller life preserver will pop up inside the slaloms. If you can drive your jet ski through it, you'll receive double the points. Once you cross the finish line your score is then tallied.
Piloting the jet ski is very much like you would operate one in real life, as you hold the Wii Remote and Nunchuk out in front of you as if you're holding the handlebars of a real jet ski. You can use the or buttons to accelerate, and you can even twist back on the Wii Remote for a temporary speed boost, although this can drag you a bit off course if you're not careful. You just turn the Wii Remote and Nunchuck like you would the handlebars to steer your jet ski. You'll even have to deal with wakes that are constantly moving across your path during each run. The whole experience takes a bit of getting used to, but it becomes very intuitive with a little practice. There's also a VS mode where two players can race each other driving through the slaloms and trying to reach the finish line first. The control in Power Cruising is about as authentic as you can get without a real jet ski and the Wii Motion Plus makes the control very responsive and easy to make use of.
Canoeing is probably the Wii Sport that will give you the best overall workout. It's also one that requires some practice in order to get a feel for it. There are two game modes in Canoeing: Speed Challenge and VS. Speed Challenge can be played with up to four players and basically sets a distance goal for you to reach within the required 60 second time limit. Each time you complete a distance, the game increases the distance to see how far you can ultimately paddle your canoe within the set time limit. The farther the distance, the better the record. This will also allow you to unlock the Intermediate and Expert modes. These play virtually the same, but there are more hazards to deal with like sharks that will knock you off course or grass and lily pads that can slow you down. Of course the actual channel way gets smaller which requires you to be more accurate with your paddling as well.
VS mode allows you and up to three more players to race to various channel markers. The first player to make it to a channel marker gets a point. The first player to five points wins. You'd be surprised how challenging the VS game can be given that you can make up some serious ground in a hurry if you can get into a good paddling rhythm. You basically hold the Wii Remote upright with both hands just as you would a real paddle. You then tilt it to one side or the other and come down in a paddling motion to get your canoe moving. You can navigate to one side or the other by paddling an extra time or two on the same side depending on which direction you want to steer your canoe in. The control is fairly precise and about as authentic as you can get without an actual canoe at your disposal. It can be very tiring on the arms after long playing sessions, so you might want to heed the advice of the game when it tells you to take a break on this one. While not as much fun as some of the other sports, it can be quite enjoyable if you give yourself time to become accustomed to the controls.