Abbreviated rules of the Whitewater slalom

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Speed ​​, strength and resilience are important characteristics of the Whitewater slalom. The aim is to navigate a decked canoe or kayak through the course of hanging gates on a wild river or artificial channel. The gates are positioned to best test the competitor's skills. However, these are not the only obstacles - rocks, force and velocity of the water can play a decisive role.

Race against time

The final race is against the clock. Time measured from the time the competitor starts until the time he crosses the finish line gives his time. But this is not the final time of the competitor; two seconds are added for touching gates and 50 seconds are added for missing gates. During the ride, the competitor must deal with a number of unexpected pitfalls and that's what makes water slalom competition and exciting sport.

What are the gates ?

The gates consist of two six feet tall pols that are from 1.2 m to 3.5 m apart and are hanging above the water. The task of competitor is to navigate through them. The number of the gates ranging from 18 to 25.  If the gates are green and white (downstream), they must be passed in the direction of the water. If the gates are red and white, it is necessary to pass them in the opposite direction to the water.

What does going through the gate without penalty mean?

Competitors must go through all the gates in sequence and without contact. If a competitor touches the gate ( boats , paddles, body ), he gets a 2 seconds penalty. If the competitor misses the gate, he gets 50 seconds penalty . All penalties are added to the based time of the competitor.

What's the slalom race?

The race includes two qualifying, semi-final and final sessions. Total time, including penalties, made ​​in the qualifying sessions determines which competitors make their way to the semifinal. Consequently, the total time in the semi-final determines competitors advancing to the final. The competitor who achieves the lowest combined time in the semi-final and the final sessions wins the race.


K = Kayak (competitor sits in the boat and uses a double bladed paddle)

C = canoe (competitor kneels and uses a single-bladed paddle).

Individual disciplines: men : K1 , C1 and C2; Women:K1

Team events : The team consists of three boats of the same category ( 3xK1 men, 3xK1 women , 3xC1 men, 3xC2 men). All boats start at the same time. The time is measured from the time the first boat crosses the starting line until the third boat crosses the finish line.