Flatwater

Marathon and Sprint

Marathon Racing involves paddling over long distances, on either the flatwater of lakes, and dams, or the flowing water of a river.

Traditional Marathon Racing competitions, like the World Cup and World Championships, involve a fixed flatwater course with regular portages, where the paddler must carry the canoe or kayak.

National Championships are raced over approximately 38-42km. Club races typically range from 3km up to 20km.

Sprint Racing is a race to the line on a flatwater course with international competition set over four distances: 200, 500, 1000 and 5000 meters.

Races are contested as individuals and teams with up to four athletes in a boat.

Both canoes and kayaks compete in the sprint discipline. In a kayak, the paddler is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to propel the boat forward. In a canoe, the paddle has a single-blade and the athlete uses a striding position with one knee on the deck and the other foot forward allowing room to pull the paddle down their preferred side of the canoe.