Kayaking – Whitewater Slalom Course Takes Skill and Nerves of Steel

Jun 6, 2013
Kayaking – Whitewater Slalom Course Takes Skill and Nerves of Steel

Kayaking takes on many forms but none quite as competitive as that of whitewater slalom kayaking. The sport requires masterful control of the vessel combined with the competitive element of trying to achieve the best time.


It requires that athletes have absolute control of the motion of their watercraft. The slalom itself requires that the kayaker move both upstream as well as downstream depending upon the color of the gates with green gates indicating a downstream approach while red gates require an upstream approach. The sport of whitewater slalom kayaking and canoeing was first introduced at the Olympics in 1972 it did not go on to be a regular feature, however, until 1992. The sport itself is comprised of three primary categories described as K1, C1, and C2 or single person kayaking, single person canoeing, and double person canoeing, respectively. Kayaking is distinguished by the seated position that athletes take in their boats while canoeing is distinguished by the kneeling position by the participant. If you are looking for a competitive sport that tests you both physically and mentally in an extreme environment, slalom kayaking may be perfect for you.

Would love to hear from any of your extreme sport kayakers about the thrills of kayaking a slalom course. Please reply in comments section below and if you are interested in being a guest blogger on our site please let us know.

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