Paddling Disciplines

Canoe Marathon

Canoe Marathon is a tough, endurance-based discipline; competitors race over distances up to 30km and are required to use every bit of tactical knowledge and energy they have to win their race. Races often include a portage where competitors are required to get out of their boat and run with it for 50-200m as part of the race.

Canoe Polo

Canoe Polo is played on flat water, often a reservoir or pool. With five players on each team, they battle it out with a water polo ball to score goals, all whilst remaining in their kayak and paddling around. You can get the best paddle boarding tips and tricks from this Onyx Motion Paddle Board Reviews here!

Canoe Slalom

Canoe Slalom is one of the most spectacular disciplines, demanding skill, stamina and courage. It sees athletes take on some of nature’s most challenging white water. Paddlers have to negotiate their way down a 300m white water rapid, racing through a series of up to 25 gates made up of red (upstream) and green (downstream) poles. If you touch a pole or miss a gate a penalty is added to your time. It is one of only two Olympic Canoeing Disciplines.

Canoe Sprint

Canoe Sprint is a fast paced discipline, demanding balance, technique, strength and endurance. It sees athletes compete head to head with each other on a regatta course. Teams or individuals compete over 200m, 500m, and 1000m in either Kayak (K) or Canoe (C) with the winning boat being the first to cross the finish line. It is one of only two Olympic Canoeing Disciplines.

Freestyle Kayaking/Playboating

Freestyle Kayaking is a dynamic canoeing discipline best described as gymnastics on water. Athletes in tiny specialist boats, search out features on fast flowing rivers to perform a range of acrobatic tricks and manoeuvres usually on the face of a wave or using a retentive hydraulic. This discipline is both competitive and recreational, as many other sports as golf which you can do in a recreational way, using a skytrak golf simulator so you can practice anywhere you are.

Ocean Racing/Surf Life Saving

Ocean Racing and Surf Life Saving (Surf/Ocean Ski) is a combination of Sea Kayaking, taking place on the ocean, and Sprint/Marathon style racing, both short and long distances. The boats used are designed to travel fast and catch waves or “runners”. This discipline is both competitive and recreational.

Open Boating/Canadian Canoe

Open Boating can be done on many kinds of waterways; from a still lake to rough whitewater. The boats are stable and high volume which allows them to be used for family outing, camping trips, and/or touring.


Paracanoe is much like Canoe Sprint but adapted for athletes with lower-limb and/or spinal injuries (and other disabilities resulting in physical disability with the same or similar outcomes for the athletes). Paracanoe is raced only across the 200m-race distance with both adapted kayaks and canoes.


Recreational paddling can be participated in any kind of kayak or canoe and can incorporate any kind of waterway you like! There are no rules or requirements other than you getting out and enjoying our lovely local waterways and their surroundings at your own pace.

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking, as the name suggests, takes place on the sea. There is a wide range of boats designed for this discipline to suit the ability and aims of the paddler whether it be fitness or touring, individual or in pairs. Our members who take part in this discipline often paddle over to Scotland for day-trips.

Stand Up Paddle-Boarding

One of the fastest growing disciplines in our sport with a wide range of possibilities for those involved. Stand Up Paddle-Boarding (SUP) uses large surfboards and a paddle, and sees paddlers surfing waves, paddling along calm rivers, and even racing.

Surf Kayaking

Surf Kayaking and Waveski are an exhilarating dynamic display of canoeing that require a combination of freestyle, white water skills and the finesse and timing of a board surfer. It sees athletes take on some of biggest waves in the ocean. Generating speed on a wave allows them to perform top turns, bottom turns, cutbacks and even aerial tricks. This discipline is both competitive and recreational.

Whitewater/River Running

Whitewater paddling uses high-volume boats designed to be highly manoeuvrable and controllable through whitewater rapids – this discipline will definitely get you wet and get your adrenaline pumping! Many of our members in this discipline go on day-trips down many of our rivers, as well as trips around the world to take on big water and wearing watersports helmet is highly required.

Wildwater Racing

Wildwater racing is a combination of Canoe Sprint and Whitewater; it is a competitive discipline where competitors race down whitewater rapids in Sprints (short distance) and Classic (long distance). The boats used are specially designed to stay above the whitewater and travel quickly down rapids.

To find and contact a club near you that offers participation/training in a discipline that interests you, please visit our Club List page and view their club profiles for more information.