Project Description


Slalom is second oldest of the competitive canoe-sport disciplines and an Olympic event.

Competitors race alone against the clock. The challenge is to pass through approximately twenty gates suspended above the water, avoiding a touch with any part of the boat, paddle, or body.

The competitor must pass through the gates in the correct order and direction. Green and white striped poles must be passed in a downstream direction and red poles in an upstream direction.

The object is to negotiate the course as quickly as possible without incurring any penalty points. Penalty seconds are added on to the overall time to produce a total score.
Each competitor has two timed runs and both are combined to give a final time and result.

The course designer’s job is to hang the gates in a sequence which forces the competitor to work out best possible route choices.


Within Canoe Slalom there are four categories

      • Men’s Kayak (MK1)
      • Women’s Kayak (WK1)
      • Canoe Singles (C1)
      • Doubles (C2).

Where can I do it?

There are a number of slalom training facilities at clubs on the river Liffey and several other sites around the country. Alterations are often made to natural rivers to create more interesting slalom courses. Where natural rivers do not provide enough power, artificial courses can be made, which pump water through a man-made river channel.

Examples include Holme Pierpoint in Nottingham and the Olympic courses in London, Sydney and Athens.

Type of boat:

A slalom boat is specialized for its role, being extremely light and manoeuvrable.

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