Canoe Slalom

Canoe slalom is an exciting Olympic whitewater sport where competitors negotiate a whitewater course by passing through a series of poles or ‘gates’. The timed course is generally 200 to 300m in length and includes a maximum of 25 gates that are colour coded. Red gates must be navigated in an upstream direction and green gates must be navigated in a downstream direction. Penalties are incurred for touching a gate (two seconds) and missing a gate (50 seconds).

Competitors race in canoes (C), where the paddler is kneeling in the boat and using a single blade paddle or kayak (K), where the paddler is sitting in the boat and using a double bladed paddle.

Race categories generally include C1 Women, C1 Men, K1 Women and K1 Men (Olympic disciplines) with the addition of C2 Women, C2 Mixed and C2 Men (non-Olympic disciplines).

Check out more info via the tabs below.

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  • Is fun and a great summer water sport!
  • Is a great sport for kids and adults alike.
  • Builds resilience, co-ordination, problem solving skills and a love of the outdoors.
  • Is often held in beautiful, natural settings.
  • Is a great spectator sport.
  • Develops lifelong skills for wilderness river trips.
  • Is an individual sport that also fosters a great community of like-minded people.

NSW is fortunate to have the Penrith Whitewater Stadium which was the competition venue for the slalom events during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The world class course venue is used to host a number of local, national and international events every year.

There are also several regional areas throughout NSW where slalom is practiced at a club level.

2021 NSW Canoe Slalom Team Selection Policy

The best way to get started is to contact a club and find a beginner event that works for you.

If you or your kids decide to pursue the sport beyond a club level, there is a PaddleNSW endorsed pathway that provides for coaching, training and competitive opportunities.

The most active clubs, that can connect you with other clubs in NSW are:

Many of the world’s best slalom paddlers learnt their skills in NSW including (but not limited to) :

  • Jessica Fox (the most awarded slalom paddler in history and Olympic gold medalist) and her sister
  • Noemie Fox (World Cup medalist)
  • Lucien Delfour (Olympic finalist and World Cup medalist)
  • The Lawrence sisters, Jacqui (Olympic medalist), Ros (multiple World Cup Champion) and Kate (World Cup Champion)
  • Olympic athletes Matt Pallister, John Wilkie, John Felton and Andrew Wilson.


NSW State Slalom Championships, 29/10/2022

K1 Women K1 Men
C1 Women C1 Men


NSW State Slalom Championships, 12/12/2021

K1 Women K1 Men
C1 Women C1 Men


NSW State Slalom Championships, 15/11/2020

Class Results Age Category Results

Slalom News