Paracanoe is canoeing for athletes with a range of physical disabilities. The Paralympic version of the sport is governed by the International Canoe Federation (ICF),[1] and a va'a-specific variant is governed by the International Va'a Federation (IVF).[2]

A meeting of the International Paralympic Committee in Guangzhou, China in 2010 decided to add paracanoe to the Paralympic programme.[3] As a result, paracanoe debuted at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics where single kayak races were contested.[4][5][6]


The two main types of paracanoe boat are kayaks (K), with a double-blade paddle, and outrigger canoes called va'as (V) where the paddler has a second hull as a support float and uses a single blade paddle with a T-top handle.

ICF paracanoeEdit


In the single kayak, there are three event classifications (linked to different levels of mobility impairment) for both men and women:

  • KL1 (formerly A; Arms) This grouping is for paddlers who have no trunk function (i.e. shoulder function only). A KL1 class paddler is able to apply force predominantly using the arms and/or shoulders.
  • KL2 (formerly TA; Trunk and Arms): paddlers who have good use of the trunk and arms, but limited use of their legs. They are unable to apply continuous and controlled force to the footboard or seat to propel the boat.
  • KL3 (formerly LTA; Legs, Trunk and Arms): this class is for paddlers with a disability who have good use of their legs, trunk and arms for paddling, and who can apply force to the foot board or the seat to propel the boat.[7][8]

There is also a three-tier ICF classification system in place for single va'a events (VL1, VL2, VL3).

Competition formatEdit

All international paracanoe competitions are held over 200 metres in single kayak or va'a boats.[9]

It is contested at World Championships, World Cups and continental championships. As of May 2018, nine of the twelve events (all six kayak events, both VL2 events and the men's VL3 event) are also on the Paralympic programme.[10]

ICF World ChampionshipsEdit

At the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Dartmouth, four 'paddability' races featured as non-medal exhibition events, including two male-female mixed disciplines in kayak doubles and in doubles canoe ('aka' Canadian or kneeling canoeing).

The sport made its official World Championship debut in 2010 and has been contested at every World Championship since, including the standalone Paralympic-year ICF Paracanoe World Championships in 2012 and 2016.

2012 ICF Paracanoe World ChampionshipsEdit

The 2012 ICF Paracanoe World Championships were held on 16–17 May 2012 in Poznań, Poland, as a standalone event since the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships are not held in Olympic years.[11]

Event Gold Time Silver Time Bronze Time
Men's K–1 200 m A[12]   Fernando Fernandes de Pádua (BRA) 53.550   Jakub Tokarzn (POL) 58.882   Alexey Malyshev (RUS) 1:01.250
Men's K–1 200 m TA[13]   Markus Mendy Swoboda (AUT) 44.614   Tomasz Mozdzerski (RUS) 49.938   Janos Bencze (HUN) 52.934
Men's K–1 200 m LTA[14]   Serban Iulian (ROU) 43.259   Surwilo Mateusz (POL) 44.299   Andrea Testa (ITA) 44.695
Men's V–1 200 m A[15]   Daniel Hopwood (GBR) 1:13.143   Luis Cardoso (BRA) 1:18.267   Jakob Tokarz (POL) 1:28.731
Men's V–1 200 m TA[16]   Nicholas Heald (GBR) 59.024   Ronan Bernard (FRA) 1:01.500   Dave Waters (CAN) 1:02.432
Men's V–1 200 m LTA[17]   Gerhard Browitzky (GER) 54.749   Patrick Viriamu (TAH) 55.469   Patrick Mahoney (GBR) 59.593
Women's K–1 200 m A[18]   Jeanette Chippington (GBR) 1:05.684   Marie Brtova (CZE) 1:07.112   Kara Kennedy (AUS) 1:12.024
Women's K–1 200 m TA[19]   Jeanette Chippington (GBR) 1:04.693   Maria Dos Santos (BRA) 1:05.489   Christine Selinger (CAN) 1:09.921
Women's K–1 200 m LTA[20]   Christine Gautier (CAN) 57.775   Silvia Elvira Lopez (ESP) 1:01.191   Mihaela Lulea (ROU) 1:03.071
Women's V–1 200 m A/TA*[21]   Jeanette Chippington (GBR) 1:08.655   Christine Selinger (CAN) 1:15.419   Kara Kennedy (AUS) 1:29.711
Women's V–1 200 m LTA[22]   Jeanette Chippington (GBR) 1:08.028   Anja Pierce (USA) 1:10.828   Christine Selinger (CAN) 1:14.236
  • Combined categories such as the 2012 Women's V1 A/TA have since been dissolved from the World Championship programme.

2016 ICF Paracanoe World ChampionshipsEdit

IVF paracanoeEdit

In IVF competition, a points system is used with a higher number assigned to less impaired paddlers and lower points for more severe impairment.

In team events the total number of points of a boat crew are limited; 26 points in 6-person boats and 52 for 12-person boats. In single-seat boats competition take place in three divisions; division 1 for 5 or 6-point paddlers, division 2 for 4-point paddlers and division 3 is for 2 or 3-point paddlers. 1-point paddlers do not participate in singles races.[23](p1) The three divisions approximately correspond to the three ICF va'a classes.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Canoe | IPC". Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  2. ^ "About the IVF". International Va’a Federation. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Paratriathlon and canoeing for 2016 - Paralympics news - London 2012 | MSN Sport UK". 2010-12-16. Archived from the original on 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  4. ^ "BBC Sport - Disability Sports - Canoeing and triathlon added to 2016 Paralympic Games". BBC News. 2010-12-11. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  5. ^ "Canoe | IPC". Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  6. ^ "Para-Canoeing added to roster for 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio". Paddling Life. Archived from the original on 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  7. ^ Archived 2015-04-13 at the Wayback Machine Definitions on New Zealand Paralympics
  8. ^
  9. ^ "What is Paracanoe?". International Canoe Federation. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  10. ^ Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – Qualification Regulations | Canoe (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. 15 May 2018. pp. 43–47. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^ 2012 Men's K–1 200 m A Results
  13. ^ 2012 Men's K–1 200 m TA Results
  14. ^ 2012 Men's K–1 200 m LTA Results
  15. ^ 2012 Men's V–1 200 m A Results
  16. ^ 2012 Men's V–1 200 m TA Results
  17. ^ 2012 Men's V–1 200 m LTA Results
  18. ^ 2012 Women's K–1 200 m A Results
  19. ^ 2012 Women's K–1 200 m TA Results
  20. ^ 2012 Women's K–1 200 m LTA Results
  21. ^ 2012 Women's V–1 200 m A/TA Results
  22. ^ 2012 Women's V–1 200 m LTA Results
  23. ^ "AP Rules and Classification System". International Va'a Federation. 2009-10-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-08-27. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. ^ "Paracanoe Leaflet" (PDF). International Canoe Federation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2014-07-11.

External linksEdit