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Canoe Extreme Slalom

Extreme Canoe Slalom (originally called Slalom Cross) is a spectator-friendly fast-paced kayaking sport, combining all of canoeing’s white water disciplines. Four athletes race each other on a whitewater course through upstream and downstream gates whilst also completing an Eskimo roll. A sport with similar head-to-head kayak racing is boater-cross (a part of wildwater canoeing), though that is on natural rapids and usually with no gates to negotiate.

The competitors race in identical plastic creek boats. They begin side-by-side, sliding down a ramp two meters above the water. From there they battle each along the course, negotiating both downstream and upstream inflatable gates. There is also a compulsory Eskimo roll, which is a complete 360-degree flip.

Contact is allowed, though competitors can be disqualified for breaking the start, missing a buoy, dangerous paddling, and failing to complete the Eskimo roll within the allocated area. Unlike in traditional slalom events, the paddlers are allowed to touch the gate poles without incurring a penalty.

kayak slalom kayak slalom

Extreme slalom first appeared on the ICF’s World Cup program in 2015. At Paris 2024, Extreme Canoe Slalom will be featured for the first time on the Olympic program.

Extreme canoe slalom also has similarities to the ice or snow sports of ice-cross downhill, boardercross and ski-cross.

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