Canoe Slalom

Canoe slalom is an exhilarating paddlesport that demands skill, stamina, and courage. The objective is to navigate a rapid river course marked by “gates” quickly and accurately, without touching them.

A gate consists of two poles suspended over the water. Green and white gates are negotiated in a downstream direction, while red and white gates are tackled upstream. Each competitor aims to complete the course with the fastest time, as any contact with the gates incurs a penalty of 2 seconds added to their overall time. Missing or incorrectly navigating a gate results in a significant penalty of 50 seconds, which can be detrimental in serious competition. Each competitor gets two runs down the course, and their fastest run counts.

Duncan Berriman - Slalom Rep at Interclub Slalom Finals 2015

Caption: Duncan Berriman – Slalom Rep at Interclub Slalom Finals 2015

Canoe slalom competition features five classes: Men’s and Women’s Kayak, Men’s and Women’s Canadian Singles, and Canadian Doubles. There are also age-specific classes, including J12 (12 years old and under), J14 (14 and under), J16, J18, U23, Senior, and Vet/Master (35 or over). Registering for age groups in competition can often lead to trophies or medals, as events with a large number of participants often award the highest placed paddler in each category, regardless of their overall placing.

Slalom events take place throughout the spring and summer months, and into the autumn, catering to all levels of ability, on rivers across the UK. These events offer opportunities for paddlers to test their skills, gain experience, and compete against others. For photographs and descriptions of some of the rivers used in canoe slalom, visit the page.

For current national rankings of the club’s slalom paddlers, please visit the UK Canoe Slalom pages. It’s a great way to stay updated on the achievements and progress of our club members in the sport.

If you are interested in participating in canoe slalom or want more information, please contact Duncan Berriman. Duncan is our dedicated Slalom Representative and can provide you with further details about training, events, and getting involved in this thrilling discipline of kayaking.