Canoe Slalom - Kayak Slalom, Whitewater Slalom
Dynamic and exciting, Canoe Slalom, also called sometimes Kayak Slalom or Whitewater Slalom requires courage, skill and stamina as it is probably one of the most spectacular water sports.
Originally modelled on ski slalom, it began in Switzerland back in 1932, it was done initially on flat water but was then moved to white water instead to add an extra dynamic quality to it and the aim is for the competitor to run the length of the river avoiding touching the slalom gates yet manoeuvring the canoe through the gates which are strategically placed down the river and these gates mean that the competitor has to make difficult cross-current moves.
Canoe slalom is an exciting spectator sport whether watching live or on the television as the difficulties are clearly visible as the competitor battles the elements with great determination. A touch on these gates means that 2 seconds is added, yet an additional 50 seconds is added if the gate is missed completely and as the competitors have to battle with the clock consistently, gaining unwanted extra seconds can soon put the canoeist out of touch of the winning position.
Without a doubt, the difficulties of the canoe slalom test the skill and experience of all who take part. Canoeists must be intuitive to the pull of the white water and incredibly reactive, ready to battle against the sheer power of the water as it courses over jagged rocks with underlying currents ready to take the control of the canoe away from the competitor.
This is not a sport for the faint-hearted, but it is ideal if you are a competent canoeist seeking an additional challenge, there is a great deal of information available on this subject and it makes sense to read up on the rules prior to investing time and expenditure. Joining a good local club is invaluable as is speaking to those who have gained both experience and credibility in this difficult yet exciting sport.
As an Olympic sport, it is a fiercely competitive game and Canoe Slalom, Kayak Slalom or Whitewater Slalom has gained ever increasing popularity from all ages and levels of skill.