This is the Home page of all things slalom in South Africa. One of two canoeing Disciplines in the Olympic Games, it is the most exhilarating and exciting of all the paddling disciplines.

Slalom is all about adrenalin and river skills – not about muscle power alone. It is normally competed over a ±300m long river section. Competitors take turns to race against the clock and the combined time for two runs (in seconds) is taken as the final points. Paddlers need to negotiate about 20 gates hung over the river which they need to pass through in a specified sequence and direction – either upstream or downstream. 2 penalty points are added if the paddler touches a gate and 50 penalty points are added if the paddler misses a gate. The paddler with the least points is the winner.

The different classes in which paddlers compete in South Africa are:

• K1M (male paddler sitting with double blade paddle)
• K1W (female paddler sitting with double blade paddle)
• C1M (male paddler kneeling with one-bladed paddle)
• C1W (female paddler kneeling with a one-bladed paddle)
• C2M (2 male paddlers kneeling with one-bladed paddle)
• Open (plastics or any canoe/kayak you want – unofficial category)


The K1M class is the biggest and strongest class in South Africa. Lead by KZN stalwarts, Don Wewege(u23), Brandon Orpwood(Jnr) and Bethlehem athlete Success Mahlaba(Snr) they have amassed a large number of international semi-finals, finals, podiums and medals between them.

Closely followed in class size is the C1M and C2M class. Not that well known to most paddlers, C1 and C2 slalom is by far the most technically challenging of all the paddling disciplines. With no difference in the course run between the K1 and C1 athletes, C1’s are required to do what the kayaks do but with one blade! In these disciplines, Beijing Olympians, Master Cele and Cyprian Ngidi are the top athletes in the country. Having competed internationally since 2003, they are by far the most experienced athletes in the country.

K1W and C1W have always been quite small disciplines. The committee is working tirelessly to ensure that these awesome disciplines are grown.

Feel free contact us with any question you may have about this discipline. Also look out for where the next Slalom Road Show is in your local paddling newsletter. If you dont get those, drop us a mail and we will send you the dates!


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