The Freestyle Kayaking World Championships

Event Schedule

Whitewater competition

This premier freestyle kayak occasion is supposed to draw on 300 top freestyle paddlers from all over the planet, in addition to thousands of audience, into the Nantahala Gorge, at the core of the North Carolina Smokies.

Wave is the centerpiece

It's made by a Wave Shaper, an underwater concrete construction that changes water flow, improving the present fall at the time and generating a word-class aggressive characteristic.

A Successful World Cup

On September 9, the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Series came to a dramatic conclusion with down-to-the-wire successes in both the men's and women's K1 classes.


Men's K1 Medalists

Silver: Peter Csonka, Slovakia
Gold: Dane Jackson, USA
Bronze: Tomasz Czaplicki, Poland

Women's K1 Medalists

Silver: Hitomi Takaku, Japan
Gold: Claire O’Hara, Great Britain
Bronze: Adriene Levknecht, USA

Women's Squirt Medalists

Silver: Motoko Ishida, Japan
Gold: Claire O’Hara, Great Britain
Bronze: Yoshiko Suematsu, Japan

Men's Squirt Medalists

Silver: Dane Jackson, USA
Gold: Clay Wright, United States
Bronze: Max Karlsson, Sweden

Junior Women's Medalists

Silver: Nuria Fontane, Spain
Gold: Rowan Stuart, USA
Bronze: Kimberlee Aldred, Great Britain

Junior Men's Medalists

Silver: Thomas Richard, France 
Gold: Hunter Katich, USA
Bronze: Alec Voorhees, USA


See last year event highlights

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Day 1 / meet & greet

Latest News & Updates

Basic Safety Rules When Kayaking


Like with all recreational activities, there is that unexpected case of death or injury. This is why people must prepare themselves and arm the knowledge on how to keep yourself safe as much as possible.

  • Be extra wary of the water temperature and the weather conditions. You must be prepared for the changes in the weather and also the possibility that you’ll capsize. If you are going to paddle on cold water, make sure you wear a dry suit or a wet suit that it will keep you comfortable and warm. When kayaking in warm weather, wear a long sleeved shirt that provides your body protection against the rays of the sun.

Make sure you invest in the right clothing for the right climate. One of the best advantage of using sit-inside kayaks is that it will shield your body from certain elements, while the sit-on-tops will leave your body more exposed. Make sure you dress yourself appropriate for the expected weather of the day.

Beware from the off-shore winds as this will make it more difficult for you to go back to shore.

Always follow boating rules established in the area you are kayaking.

Avoid mixing drugs or alcohol with boating, whether the drugs is non-prescription or prescription.

Avoid exceeding the boat’s weight capacity and make sure you check the equipment you are going to use for any wear and tear prior to paddling.

Look for qualified instruction where you can learn how to properly paddle with the right paddling techniques, basic first aid and water safety.

  • Train yourself on a self-rescue first, but do this on shallow and calm waters. Do it again in the a more extreme weather conditions. Don’t forget to bring along someone with you that has more experience so that he or she can guide you on what to do and rescue you when you are being dragged by the waves. Make sure you wear your PFD, which is a term referring to Personal Flotation Device. You will learn more about this below. The regulations of the Coast Guard require all kayaks carry its own lifejacket on board. You can wear your lifejacket as this will keep your head up above the water and also puts up insulation to your body, thus keeping you warmer when you are immersed in cold water. You can find a lot of great PFDs that are designed specifically for the paddlers. Buy a PFD that fits you very well and you must always wear it whenever you go kayaking.
  • Tell someone else about your paddling plan. It must include the place you are going, what you are going to do there, how many people are going with you to that place and how long will you be gone. Don’t forget that you must stick with your plan.Paddling right in the rivers or at the surf zone can be very dangerous. You must always wear a helmet.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Always bring with you plenty of water and food. When you are paddling in the new area, make sure you check out with the locals and ask them about the currents, weather patterns and the shoreline conditions. Plan beforehand your “escape” route, which is an alternative area that you can get off from the water when you see the environmental conditions are telling you about it.

About PFDs

Your Personal Flotation Device is a very essential item to carry with you when you go kayaking. They offer buoyancy in order to keep your head above the water in the event you capsize. They can also make for rolling, rescues and bracing easier when adding that extra upward force in the event that the upper body is under water. When in cold conditions, the PFD provide that added warmth to your body.

The Coast Guard requires that each boater to have an approved PFD. Ensure that you wear your PFD at all times when you are paddling. They can be very difficult to put on when you capsize, particularly when conditions are very rough and you are already busy with trying to hold on to your paddle and boat.

Flotation Bags

If you carry this item with you, it will lessen the amount of water that gets collected in kayaks and canoes, thus preventing them against sinking when capsized. These bags are commonly carried around when doing whitewater kayaks. The sea kayaks mostly comes with built-in bulkheads that traps in the air at the stern and at the bow.

Outdoor Archery


You might have found the Olympic archery tournament very attractive that you want to try it out yourself. But if you have never tried archery before except just watching others play it, you should engage yourself in one. Archery looks easy at first glance, because all you will see from competitors is that they are standing there, looking at the target, aiming at the target and release the arrow. But once you try out archery for the first time, you might feel overwhelmed and wanting to give up.  We recommend using only the best crossbows for this hunting competition. Remember to  also buy the best crossbow bolts! The professional competitors that you saw in TVs or the Olympics have honed their skills by attending and joining different kinds of Archery tournaments. The more you compete in the stage, you will gain more experience and knowledge on how to shoot better. To get high scores, these are sometimes obtained through the best preparation and proper execution. Scores that are a bit off from the pace of the leader are mostly due to the mental lapse, failure from the equipment or the lack of preparation of the physical. If you are aiming for success, search for advice from the other archers and do not lose points for any preventable causes.

Mental Preparation

Shot in the same target, style and distance. If you ask competitive archers, they will tell you that they prepare themselves by shooting with the same targets, same style and same distance that the tournament you are trying to participate in uses. If you have no experience with shooting an NFAA Hunter round, going for the white circle that has a black background may yield interesting yet undesirable results. It is better that you go for the bright green pin as it will show well when used with a black background, but the red circle in the scope of your bow may not be very visible at all. What all these means that you should shoot the same target that the same target is being used at the competition. For example, when participating at a 3 spot tournament, make a routine and order for shooting on the 3 spot. You won’t get a solid routine and develop from it if you are shooting at a 5-spot target. Another tip for the 3 spot – many archers put 3 arrows right at the front slot of their quiver because they will know when they are done with a single round since they are already out of arrows. For the 5-spot, put 5 arrows at the first slot, too.

Determine on how you get to turn things around during the competition. No matter how much you prepare, there are unexpected times that the arrow goes the wrong way you intended it to be in the first place. When this happens to you for the first time, especially when you are so used to hitting your targets one after another, you will feel your thoughts straying away. A simple mental distraction will affect all your future shots. How are you going to break this cycle when it happens to you and go back to your usual pace? This is where you develop the shot process and at the same time gain the comfort and strength that will help you guide back to your success.

Keep a log of your performance. Take a record of your date, time and location; the time that you started and then finished; note the weather conditions when you played so that you can assess whether any of the changes affect the trajectory or behavior of the arrow; what you did, which is a description of your shoot; which and what went well; which part that you need help and what are your future goals. Record your equipment and each time you made any changes. Record the scores in the competition that you joined and show any set backs or improvements. Keep your log performance as this is an analysis of all the things you’ve done and keep it together with the equipment you used so that the records can be made right away after every shoot routine you make.

After you have determined the challenges that you’ve made by just looking at the performance log, work on your shots or distances that you are most challenged with. Do not assume that once you have already defined the kinks from your worst shots, your other shots you consider as good are still working. Make sure you try out all the shots that you’ve made and develop your confidence before you head for the tournament.

How to Prepare for Your Kayak Race

If it is your first time competing for kayak racing and you don’t know what to do or what to prepare, here are some basic guidelines for you.

Preparing for the first Regatta

Your first major regatta will not be a walk in the park. That is what will always happen when you get involve in something that you have no experience about. However, in your future regattas you will apply what you have learned in the previous ones that you have joined. But it will give you more advantage if you read the following advice below a few days prior to travelling where you will be joining for the competition.

Boats and Boat Transport for First Time Kayak or Canoe Race

Here are some questions that will guide you on how to prepare for your transport to your kayak race:

  • Where are you racing with the in-crew boats and have you already worked out on who will be taking which boat?
  • Do you know the boat or boats that you will be using?
  • Will you fit in the boat and are they at the right weight?
  • Does the boat come with a number on the board holder at the back deck?
  • Do you have the club racing vest? This is necessary since this represents the club color you are racing for.
  • Have you already worked out on how you are going to put your kayak or canoe on the regatta? Is it okay on a club trailer? If this is the case, when will be at the reception in order to get help ready as you arrive? Will there be anyone else in your boat?
  • If the kayak is not going to be on the club trailer, have you already prepped the straps and roofrack where you can tie up the boats with?
  • When will you be able to get into the club so that you can collect your boats?

You have to make sure that based on the questions above, you already have everything sorted out prior to the race day. If there is any need to put on weight, you need to work your way for this or fix up the weight in the boat you are going to use.

Time of the Race

Depending on where you are going to compete, a couple of days prior to the regatta, there will be a program that will be published. The programs can be quite confusing, not to mention it is quite long. You will have to muster the patience in order to understand these classes. You can find copies online about this program, especially with the organizer of the event. You can also ask your coach to help you highlight all the races using the highlighter pen. It should also include the summary of the races and details of the names and the lanes.

You are expected to be present in the regatta course an hour before the first race you are participating in. It is even more reasonable for you to be there at least 2 hours prior. Make sure you time your arrival and also allow for any hold ups in that time frame.

What to bring

Make sure you do not forget your buoyancy aid and paddles. This is a good start for you. Even if it is allowed not to wear any buoyancy aid, there are unexpected times that the conditions can really get rough that the organizers of the regatta will insist on you wearing the buoyancy aids at that time. So it is best that you bring one with you just in case. This will save you from the stress.

Clothing. Never underestimate on how cold your body will get at the regatta if you do not bring with you a change of clothes. Although you may be expecting that the weather will work on your favor, but there are times that it can be unpredictable. The regatta courses are sometimes exposed and its wind can get really chilly. Count out the races that you are going to participate in, add it on any of the finals and include the warm up – the result to this will be how much you are getting wet or at least being damp. You may not have the complete change kit for every race, but you should take as much as you can. The least is that you take very warm clothes with you to change in between races. Wearing back your wet kit may not be nice, but this can still be done. Make sure you take a waterproof or windproof jacket so that you can put it on over your wet clothing to keep off the wind as much as it can.

The Different Types of Kayaking Strokes

The Different Types of Kayaking Strokes

Kayaking is a great way to spend your time in the water. It may look quite simple, but you need to understand the personality of water and paddle accordingly. Kayaking is all about controlling the boat, and just by learning a few strokes you will be able to go anywhere efficiently.

The Different Types of Kayaking Strokes

The following are some of the types of strokes you will need to know to manoeuvre in the water:

Forward stroke:

Forward stroke is one of the most fundamental strokes in kayaking. You will be using forward stoke most of the time, and this stroke requires a lot of arm power. As the name implies, this stroke will make you move forward. You also need to involve your core and back muscles to do most of the work in the forward stroke. You need to pull the blade in the water in a counter-clockwise manner, and you need to make sure that your elbows are close to your body. In the forward stroke, you need to keep an upright body position so that you will be able to maintain balance and gain efficiency.

Reverse stroke:

When you want to apply brakes on a moving kayak, you can use the reverse stroke. You need to know this stroke in case of an emergency. You need to follow the same steps as the forward stroke but reversely. First, you need to immerse your blade into the water on the side of your hip. Now try to rotate your torso as the blade in the water moves in front of you and then pull the blade slowly out of the water.

Sweep stroke:

Sweep stroke is needed when you want to turn the boat in a particular direction. You will have to do continuous forward stroke on the same side of the boat to make it turn in a particular direction. To perform the sweep stroke, you need to extend your arm forward and put the blade in the water near your feet. You need to do this one the opposite side of the direction you want to turn.

Draw stroke:

These strokes are used to move the boat on the sideways, and it is quite useful when you need to pull yourself closer to another kayak. To perform a draw stroke, you need to rotate the blade in a horizontal position and with the tip of the blade should touch the water. Now using your hand pull the blade towards you while keeps the tip of the blade still in the water. You need to do several draw strokes to move sideways.

Kayak spin:

A kayak spin is used when you want to go in circles on stationary water.  You need to do this by altering between the forward step on one of your side and the reverse side on the other side. When you complete the forward stroke, your body immediately needs to turn the other side and do the reverse stroke.


Kayaking Tips for First-Time Paddlers

Kayaking Tips for First-Time Paddlers

Kayaking is a brilliant sport, and it is quite simple to pick up. It is an up and going sport and also a great way to spend your time in the water. It may look hard, but if you get the hold of some of the basic skill sets and practise them regularly, you will quickly master kayaking. So if you are interested in having an adventurous ride paddling through the waters, the following are some of the tips you can use if you are paddling for the first time:

Kayaking Tips for First-Time PaddlersLearn the basics:

Do not get into the water without getting yourself a lesson in Kayaking. You might think it is not hard, but there are certain things you need to know before paddling your way through the waters. You might end up paddling in circles if you do not get proper instructions and waste a lot of time and energy. There are many kayaking lessons that you can take up, and most of them are not expensive.

Dress accordingly:

You are going to be in the water, so choose a dress that is suitable for the water and not the weather. On a sunny day, you might tend to wear shorts and shirts, but the water you get into might be very cold. Thus, make sure that you wear clothes that are appropriate for the water.

Choose a good boat:

There are varieties of kayaks out there, and you should choose the one that suits you the most. Try out the boat before buying. You can also consider renting the kayaks if you are not planning to use it regularly. For beginners, a sit-on kayak is suitable as it is quite stable and easy to paddle. If you choose the wrong kayak, it can get dangerous. They have different kayaks for different type of waters, so you need to buy them accordingly.

Have a good paddle:

Getting a good paddle is as important as getting the kayak itself. As you need to hold the paddle in your hands the entire time, you need to choose a paddle that has a lighter weight. For a beginner, it is advisable to get small paddles as it enables them to maintain a higher cadence. Try not to get plastic or aluminium paddles. Also, choose the right length and the design for the kayak.

Know your way:

Make sure that you pick a familiar route when you are paddling for the first time. You don’t want to get lost the very first time. Try to have a map to guide you and know which places have stronger winds and in which places the waters are rough. Avoid areas that are covered with fog as it is tough to paddle through the mist and there are many chances for you to get lost. Always have a paper map as your GPS might go out of signal and you might be stuck in the same place for a long time.

Amazing Places to Go Kayaking

Kayaking is an awesome experience. You get to see places that your feet can’t take you. There are so many beautiful things to see in this world and with a little bit of skills and muscle power you can paddle your way through the waters to see some of the most beautiful places on the earth.

Amazing Places to Go Kayaking

The following are some of the amazing places to go kayaking:


When people come across Maldives they think about beaches and sandy beaches but the small island has more to that than just sunny beaches. Maldives is an excellent place for kayaking and they have some brilliant resorts where they provide you with some of the best water sport activities. Gilding through the clear waters can never be any better.


The blue glaciers of Greenland are one of the best views you will ever see in your entire life. The blue river is crystal clear and it is filled by the melting ice. Once of the best times to visit is during the month of August when the summer is intense and you will not find much tourist during that time. But the place might have mosquitoes at that time. The bed of the river changes slightly every year but kayaking in the blue river is an experience that you will never forget.


Geirangerfjorden in Norway is listed as a world heritage and UNESCO protects the site. The atmosphere is perfect for kayaking. It has lush green vegetation and rock cliffs in which waterfalls plunge the walls of the rock. The waterfalls add extra beauty to this place and it is breathtaking experience. Kayaking in this kind of unspoiled environment is something which you will remember for a long time.


The volcanic island is also an excellent go kayaking. You can kayak your way and admire the coast of the island. You can go to the island any time of the year. Hawaii is perfect for you to bask on the beach or indulge yourself in an outdoor activity.

New Zealand:

Fiorland is yet another wilderness that you must explore to satisfy the adventures thirst in you. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Fiorland is a kayaker’s paradise as it has calm waters and a beautiful lush green environment. There are no cities nearby and thus you are away from all the noise and the pollution. The area is extremely remote and most of the places here can be accessed only by a helicopter or by a boat.


The rainforest is a home to thousands of wildlife species and kayaking on the Amazon is a brilliant experience. You will get to see a totally different world as you pass through the rivers. There will be indigenous people and amazing wildlife. The atmosphere is humid and hot and thus can make you sweaty. Some places are quite muddy and you need to have the right equipments as it can be a challenging trip.

Freestyle Worlds o Feature Revolutionary New Scoring System

New Technology Brings All-New Spectator Appeal to Developing Discipline

For the first time ever, a completely paperless real-time scoring system will help determine the winners of the International Canoe Federation’s Freestyle World Championships. A new, custom-designed scoring system will debut in championship-level competition at the 2013 Freestyle Worlds, which begin September 2 on the Nantahala River in North Carolina. Designed by the event’s host Nantahala Outdoor Center, the system promises to take freestyle competition to the next level, informing spectators and athletes of competition status and results immediately after each run.

Until now all freestyle competitions — even international-caliber events — have been scored and tallied with pen and paper, a process that includes time-consuming compiling and review processes before scores can be published. Consequently, spectators could rarely be certain of the ongoing status of the competition, including basic information such as which paddler is in the lead and which tricks counted.

Thanks to Nantahala Outdoor Center’s IT System Administrator Raymond Brugger, the creator of the new scoring program, athletes at this year’s Worlds will know exactly how many points they need in order to earn a place on the podium before they begin their runs.

Brugger, a whitewater kayaker himself, has worked for over a year developing and perfecting the system. Beyond the instant results, the system also provides a comprehensive solution to event organizers by handling athlete registration, and auto-generating competition heats. For judges, the system essentially removes the risk of human error by using an intuitive touch-screen scoring interface, and by using large, illustrated score cards that allow the head judge to quickly but accurately scan for glaring anomalies before issuing his/her final approval.

“Imagine watching a basketball game without a scoreboard,” Brugger said. “You would be able to see players score baskets, but you wouldn’t have a clue which team was winning. This is basically how the old scoring system worked. The new system gives instant feedback to the athletes and spectators allowing fans to invest more in the competition emotionally and follow their favorite athlete’s progress.”

Brugger explains that the system will also introduce a new dimension of strategy for the athletes. “Instead of feeling like you have to give your absolute best ride all three rounds, if you nail your first two rounds then you can relax and conserve energy on your third round since you will know what your scores look like going into the round.”

NOC’s goal for the project was to help make freestyle kayaking more spectator-friendly and more suitable for a live television broadcast. The project was a key component of NOC’s bid for the 2013 Freestyle Worlds, and it should remain a valuable contribution for many years to come.

World Champions Opening Ceremonies Draws Large Crows to Bryson City Nc


September 3, 2013 – Last night kicked off the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships with the parade of athletes and opening ceremonies in Bryson City, NC. Athletes marched through crowds of people sporting their nation’s flag and getting rousing cheers from the spectators. Speeches were made by ICF officials and event hosts to welcome all athletes and guests.

After the official opening, spectators enjoyed watching the Warriors of AniKituhwa perform a traditional Cherokee dance. Spectators also had the opportunity to watch the “Big Air Show,” where kayakers launched their boats off a custom-built ramp into the Tuckasegee River in downtown Bryson City.  Athletes and paddling enthusiast alike enjoyed taking on the challenge of the ramp and showing off their best moves to onlookers watching from the Everett Street Bridge. This was by far a crowd favorite, especially with local youngster Brody Miller. When asked what he liked most about the opening ceremonies he had no problem answering with an enthusiastic “Yes!” to the “Big Air Show.”

Being the first time this type of event has been held in the United States since the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, and the first time ever in this region of the states, the opening ceremonies were met with great excitement from Bryson City locals. The turnout was quite impressive as the spectators lined both sides of the street throughout downtown. “It was extremely exciting to see Bryson City come out for this event,” said Australian kayaker Jez Jezz. “This was our “Olympic opening ceremony’ for freestyle kayaking and it was very cool to see all the local support.”

Last night was a great introduction to the event for anyone wishing to come out and watch freestyle kayaking. The athletes gave onlookers a taste of what the competition will be like and the crowd loved it. As the week of competition gets underway, the athletes will certainly be showing off their best moves on the water and they hope to have as much fan support as possible.

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