Canoe Sprint

What’s the deal?

People race across a straight course as fast as they can.

I didn’t know canoeing was so popular that it’s considered two separate sports. I know, right? The big difference between this event and Canoe Slalom is that Canoe Sprint has to be on calm water.

But aren’t some of those racers using kayaks?

You are correct! The sport of canoeing can be a little confusing because there are both canoe and kayak events. You can tell which boat they’re using by the event name — it’s C for canoe and K for kayak.

Who’s competing?

Men compete in both canoe and kayak, but women only kayak. The event name tells you what you’re watching: C(anoe) or K(ayak), the number of people in the boat, M(en’s) or W(omen’s), and the distance. So C1M 1000m would be men’s individual 1000 meter canoe race, while K4W 500m would be the 4-woman kayak 500 meter race.

Why should I watch?

There’s something inherently tribal about watching canoe–it’s a connection with our past, when canoes and kayaks were the way to get around on the water.

If history doesn’t do it for you, think about paddling a long boat as fast as you can–while you are balanced on one knee. It takes some amazing skill and strength to not fall over.

Potential drinking game:

If anyone wins their race by a full boat length, drink.

The perfect snack:

Hollowed-out cucumber boats stuffed with cut up veggies and glued together with a little bit of hummus.


Paddle over to the International Canoe Federation for more info on competing. Want to be part of the excitement in a different way? Become an official instead.

Feed your Feverr!