Canoe Slalom is a kayaking and canoeing sport (once known as whitewater slalom) in which athletes use a kayak or canoe to navigate through a course that consists of hanging gates on river rapids. The objective of the sport is to complete the course in the fastest time possible.
The gates used consist of one or two poles. The poles hang down from a wire that stretches across the river. There are a total of 18-25 gates used, of which 6 or 7 must be negotiated in an upstream direction. All gates are numbered, and the downstream gates are colored green and the upstream gates are colored red. Most courses take about 80-120 second to complete.
In competitions, each rider run through the course is timed. If a rider's paddle, boat, or their body touches any of the poles, a 2-second penalty is added to their time. If a rider misses a gate, is off by more than 45 degrees, or clears the gate in a wrong order, a 50-second penalty is enforced. The rides with the fastest net time is declared the winner.
The sport is currently a part of the Olympics where a singles medal event is conducted for both men and women, in canoe and kayak. There is also a World Championship and World Cup event for the sport.
- Extreme Canoe Slalom — a fast-paced kakayaking sport in which four athletes race each other on a whitewater course through up and downstream gates whilst also completing an eskimo roll.
- 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.
- Canoe Freestyle / Playboating — a whitewater sport in which athletes on kayaks or canoes perform various moves in a fixed place called the playspot.
- Canoeing — paddle sport in which the rider kneels or sits facing forward in a canoe.
- Rafting — the objective is to navigate downstream on river rapids using an inflated raft.
- Canoe Polo — like polo on water, the objective is to score by throwing or hitting a ball through a goal suspended two meters above the water.
- Kayaking at the Summer Olympics
- About Paddling Sports
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports