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Canoe/Kayak 101: Courses

Andrew Weber; USA TODAY

Canoe/Kayak 101: Courses

Learn more on the courses of Olympic canoe/kayak.

Canoe/Kayak Sprint
Located at Lagoa Stadium, the sprint course is always held on calm waters with 200 meter, 500m and 1000m long courses where each boat has their own lane. The starting line is marked by electronic sensors and each lane is nine meters wide, marked by white and yellow buoys until the final 100m which is marked by red buoys.

Canoe/Kayak Slalom
Located at Whitewater Stadium, the slalom course is comprised of an artificial 250 meter stretch of whitewater. The course consists of 18 to 25 green or red gates that competitors must negotiate as they make their way to the finish line in the shortest time possible. A two second time penalty is added for touching the gates and a 50 second penalty for failing to pass through the gates. Green gates are negotiated in the direction of the current and red gates against the current. While going through these gates, competitors must also make their way around both natural and artificial obstacles.

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