Sport-Specific Information
Sport-specific information and Technical Packages will be available in the fall of 2019.

Sport Contacts
Head Office
Canoe Kayak BC
(604) 465-5268


Created with flickr slideshow.

Canoeing in several different cultures began as a means of transportation on long waterways or between land masses, although the origin of canoeing for sport is attributed to John MacGregor, the Scottish explorer.  In 1866 he founded the Royal Canoe Club where the first canoeing competition was held.  In 1924, canoeing associations from several European countries founded the early forerunner of the International Canoeing Federation (ICF) and by 1936 canoeing had became an Olympic sport.  The ICF is now a worldwide canoeing organization which oversees the Olympic disciplines of Sprint and Slalom, while recognizing various other competitive and non-competitive disciplines of canoeing.

Canoe/Kayak Facts

  • Races are identified by the type of boat and the number in the boat
  • K1, K2, K4 – Kayak races for one, two, or four athletes
  • C1, C2, C4 – Canoe race for one, two, or four athletes

Internationally, the use of the term “canoeing” refers to canoe/kayak and varied paddle sports, although in Canada we tend to make the distinction between canoe and kayak.  Despite design differences in these eclectic boats, assorted canoe/kayaks can share some confusing similarities.  A noteworthy distinction in the Olympic sport of sprint canoe/kayak is that kayak competitors use a double-bladed paddle and remain seated when competing, while competitive canoers generally kneel on one leg and use a single-blade.

At the BC Summer Games, athletes (under 16 years old) are encouraged to participate in multi-discipline paddling events:  Canoe (singles, doubles and fours), Kayak (singles, doubles, and fours), a six-person outrigger canoe (team event), a whitewater slalom event and a skills competition.  In all cases, the goal is to be the fastest and with the exception of slalom, the athletes race in straight lines from start line to finish.  Slalom paddling requires the paddlers to pass through or around, without touching, markers and/or “gates” and still finish with the best time.

As different areas (zones) of the province tend to participate in different disciplines, encouraging participation in all events not only ensures an exciting and competitive weekend, but helps to equalize the playing field between individual athletes and their skill sets per discipline.  This ensures challenging experiences and engaging competitions for all.

CanoeKayak BC and the provincial clubs it represents, follow the developmental pathway of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and embrace Canada Sport for Life (CS4L) values, offering youth throughout BC the opportunity to learn varied paddling disciplines which engage, challenge, strengthen, and encourage Sport for Life.