Canoe Freestyle or Playboating (also previously called Rodeo Kayaking), is a whitewater paddle sport sport in which athletes on kayaks or canoes perform various moves in a fixed place called the playspot. The moves made are similar to those done in surfing or skating where the riders are airborne while tricks are performed. The sport is mostly practiced for fun at a recreational level, but is also contested at a competitive level, where it is more commonly known as freestyle kayaking or canoeing (formerly called rodeo).
At a recreational level any type of boat can be used, but at a competitive level, boats that are specially designed for playing are used.
Some of the basic moves performed in runs are, Surfing - front and back surfing, Spinning - through any of the three axes, Stalls - where the boat is vertical, Flips (like airscrews), Cartwheels, and Blunts. Riders also perform moves that combine two or more of the basic moves.
Paddlers are given a fixed time limit in which they perform as many moves as possible. After each move the rider has to stay surfing to prevent from being washed off. The moves are judged and are awarded points based on the International Canoe Federation rules. Riders are also offered additional points based on style.
Playboating is not currently a very popular competitive sport with very few competitions being conducted every year.
- Canoe Slalom — is a kayaking and canoeing sport in which athletes use a kayak or canoe to navigate through a course that consists of hanging gates on river rapids.
- Rafting — the objective is to navigate downstream on river rapids using an inflated raft.
- Wildwater Canoe — kayaks or canoes are used to negotiate a natural stretch of rapids on a river as fast as possible.
- Kayaking — boat races using a small, narrow boat propelled using a double-bladed paddle.
- Canoeing — paddle sport in which the rider kneels or sits facing forward in a canoe