"Paddle as fast as you can..."


The new Paralympic sport of Para-Canoe involves racing over a short distance in a kayak on flat water.

Similar to sprinting in Athletics, you are held in the start blocks, the starter brings you on to the start, you settle yourself, the starter then calls: “READY ... SET...” Beep! The gates are released and you paddle as fast as you can from start to finish.

Para-Canoe includes two boat classes: Kayak (K1), and Va’a (V1), which is the Tahitian name for a canoe. The distance raced is 200m, in a straight line on flat water.

There are three international Para-Canoe classifications:

  • The LTA class is for paddlers with an impairment, but have functional use of their legs, trunk and arms for paddling, and who can apply force to the foot-rest.
  • The TA class is for paddlers who have functional use of the trunk and arms. They are unable to apply continuous and controlled force to the footboard or seat to propel the boat.
  • The A class is for paddlers who have no trunk function (i.e. shoulder function only). An A class paddler is able to apply force predominantly  using the arms and/or shoulders.

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