Canoe Slalom is an exhilarating Olympic sport where paddlers negotiate their way down a white water rapid of at least 200m through a series of up to 25 gates in the fastest possible time. It involves paddling, fun, adrenalin, skill, fitness, strength, risk-analysis, an ability to swim in flowing water, problem-solving skills and spontaneous decision-making.
In Canoe Slalom competitions each athlete completes two timed runs of the course passing through at least 18 gates suspended over the river. The direction through which the paddler must pass through a gate is determined by the colour of the tape around the gate (green for downstream and red for upstream). There must be six upstream gates in each course.
Paddlers are penalised 2 seconds for touching the poles of the gate and 50 seconds for missing the gate or going through in the wrong direction. The fastest of the two runs is the one that counts.
Categories of competition for individual and team events are Men and Women: K1, C1 and C2. K1 being single kayak; C1, single canoe and C2, double canoe.
Slalom Racing competitions are conducted under International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom Competition Rules 2013 applicable to international competitions but may be varied by the Paddle Australia (PA) Competition Rules and the Canoeing Competitions Bylaws.