Slalom runs through a club system in Canada. Most clubs offer introductory paddling courses in addition to programming for those who do the sport on a regular basis at the recreational or competitive level.
Learning whitewater paddling starts out on flatwater generally in a plastic playboat. This can take place in a pool or on a lake as the new paddler learns the basic skills of wet exits, rolls, paddle strokes, edging and controlling the boat.
Slalom paddlers are gradually immersed into whitewater and learn to read the river by identifying whitewater features like holes, waves, eddies and eddy lines. They learn to navigate the slalom course in a controlled manner and train to find faster and tighter lines. As they become more competitive they develop pacing skills, improve precision and refine race strategies. At higher levels athletes focus on their race tactics by incorporating elements like mental preparation and strength conditioning into their training programs.
Slalom is a fun and challenging sport for anyone who wants to navigate whitewater with both grace and power. To try slalom paddling, find a club near you and sign up for a program.