Eight Excellent Facts about Paracanoeing

With the Paracanoe World Championships taking place this week, we thought we’d give you a packed feature full of interesting facts on the sport that is sure to be a highlight at this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio! What’s more, Paracanoe is set to burst onto the scene when it makes its first Paralympic appearance at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

A Team GB Paralympic Paracanoe athlete in action

Knowing the difference?
The differences between paracanoeing and able-bodied canoeing are slim. The rules and competition events are pretty much the same. Both disciplines are set along 200 metre straight courses in competition, with the fastest athlete winning.
Paracanoe is regularly referred to as ‘paddling’, mainly by the athletes who participate in the sport.

Where it all began 
The sport originated in Southeast Asia. Outriggers – a structure that is attached to the side of a boat or canoe to keep it from turning over in the water – have played an essential role in travelling by boat as well as being used for fishing for quite some time in the region.

There are three classifications that differentiate the classes in paracanoe, which are LTA, TA and A. To explain these classifications, athletes who compete in the LTA category can use their legs, trunk and arms for rowing. TA athletes use their trunk and arms, and A classified athletes solely use their arms.

Who’s in?
At present there in excess of 30 countries that compete in paracanoe events.

Competing in a kayak is one of the two options athletes have when it comes to the types of boats used for paracanoe. The shape and materials used for the vessel allows for it to go fast in the water with athletes using double bladed paddles.

Like kayaks, canoes are long and narrow, however, the canoes can have an outrigger attached on one or both sides of the canoe as a way of giving stability to the vessel. The outriggers are used to manage rough water and also to maintain a fast speed.

To do paracanoe you need to be good with your balance and having a lot of strength is very important too. You need to utilise your balance as a way of keeping up your speed and getting through those not so smooth areas of water at times. This is where your strength comes in too.

You can canoe too!

Here at Outdoor Adventure, we offer provision for residential school trips includes tailored curriculum based programmes for BTEC Sport/Public Services, GCSE PE and Geography Fieldwork, which makes a visit great for those who fancy trying canoeing for themselves!


Image courtesy of 17sportsmanagement/Instagram.