Slalom Kayak

Slalom Kayak

Slalom, or Whitewater, racing is like downhill skiing, only athletes navigate through gates in rough, splashy, whitewater rapids.  Slalom racing uses two types of boats, which are the two Olympic sub-disciplines:  canoe and kayak.

See Slalom Canoe for Slalom History and Rules.

Kayak

Slalom Kayak

This craft is similar to the canoe, however, there are only one-person kayaks in competition, with the boat propelled by the paddler sitting inside the cockpit.  The spray skirt is the same as in the canoe.  All slalom paddlers wear a helmet and a personal flotation device (pfd) for safety. 

The Olympic Slalom Program includes singles (K1) kayak events for men and women.  "K" stands for Kayak.

Video K1 Men

(start at 1:03:00)

Video K1 Women

 

Boat

This craft is similar to the canoe, however, there are only one-person kayaks in competition, with the boat propelled by the paddler sitting inside the cockpit. The spray skirt is the same as in the canoe.

Slalom Kayak

Paddle

Kayakers use a double-blade paddle with a bent shaft.

Slalom Kayak

Photo credit to Wittke Photography, where noted.