What's it all about?
Have you ever wanted to race on water, relying on nothing but a boat, paddle and your supersonic strength? If that’s the case, then definitely check out para canoe!
How it's played
The teams: Both men and women compete in individual events.
The events: Events are divided into three sport classes, depending on the degree of physical impairment.
The equipment: There are two types of boat: the kayak and the va’a. The va’a has a float on one side to maintain its balance in the water. Boats are modified to suit the needs of the rowers (check out the photos below).
The strategy: Athletes need to keep in their own lane and reach the finish line without running out of steam!
The points: Forget the points, it’s all about timing for para canoeing!
The athletes: Upper body strength is a must to speed paddle 200 metres to the finish line!
Did you know? Va’a is a Polynesian word for “small boat.”
Things to watch for
- Some boats are modified according to the athlete’s ability.
- Some athletes may need to be strapped in for additional support.
- The va’a, which is a type of boat, is longer than a kayak and can have a float device on either side of the boat to make sure the boat doesn’t tip.
- These water-scooping blades are used with the kayak.
- The athletes will propel the boat by paddling on alternating sides of the boat.
- A single-blade paddle is used with the va’a.
Ready, Set… Go!
- On the ready command, the athletes get into position to paddle.
- On the set command, they place their paddle into the catch position.
- There will be either a loud bang, or the announcer will yell, "go!"