If you’re addicted to the rush of racing downstream, then Slalom Kayaking is the event that’s definitely worth experiencing. Because of the fast speed involved in this competition event, it is also important to have quick reflexes and the ability to make split-second decisions. This section will give you an overview of this very exciting sport.
Slalom Kayaking, otherwise known as whitewater slalom, is a race that involves negotiating a course that goes both upstream and downstream while passing through numbered gates that are made up of suspended poles along the course.
There are two kinds of gates: one that is colored white and green which is passed through upstream while white and red ones are passed through downstream. The kayakers should avoid touching the gates with any part of their body and Kayaking Equipment. Doing so would result to penalties in the form of added seconds to the competitor’s final time. The same penalty also applies to those who miss gates along the course.
Each of the competitors is given at least one time trial and two timed runs. The best two timed runs are counted towards the final result. The one who has the best timed run in the overall results is declared the winner.
There are four categories in Slalom Kayaking. These are the following:
- MK1 – Men’s single Kayak
- LK1 – Ladies’ single Kayak
- C1 – Single-decked canoe
- C2 – Double-decked canoe
The Kayak used in this competition event has specific dimensions. Its length must be 13 ft (4 m) and at least 2 ft (60 cm) wide. Meanwhile, the C1 class has the same length as the Kayak, although the canoe is wider at 2 ft 4 in. (70 cm). The C2, due to the number of riders it carries, is longer and wider. It is 15 ft long (4.58 cm) and 31.5 in. (80 cm) wide.
Slalom Kayaking is a test of one’s ability to concentrate on the course and depends much on a kayaker’s firm grasp of the sports’ fundamentals. So if you think you’ve trained hard enough to take your Kayaking Skills to the next level, then prepare yourself to enter the world of Slalom Kayaking.