Whitewater paddling first touched down on the Red Deer River in the late 1960s. Paddling has come a long way from the days of homemade boats giving rise to several different forms for those looking to further develop their skills. Along with the introductory canoe and kayak lessons, the SPC participates in more specialized types of Paddling. Read below to see the different styles of paddling the SPC offers.
Slalom involves racing down a river while navigating through up and downstream gates. The SPC has had athletes represent Canada at several international competitions with skills learned paddling the mountain view waters.
Solo Canoeing involves sitting on your knees in the middle of the canoe. Airbags fill the bow and stern to ensure the boat stays afloat when charging through rapids. This style of paddling is for the more seasoned paddler that knows how to properly navigate the river.
For those who enjoy team sports and are looking to further your skills on the water, Canoe Polo is the sport for you. Polo is similar to other team sports in that 5 players (including the goalie) per side attempt to throw the ball into opposing teams net 2M above the water. The SPC plays in Sundre ponds in the summer and Olds pool in the winter along with traveling to play teams in the surrounding area. Polo is a great way to learn more advanced skills including stability strokes, rolling, pivoting among many others.
Freestyle involves paddling the shortest kayaks available on one of the most entertaining features of the river, the standing (stationary) wave. Standing waves occur when the current meets an obstruction to create one continuous wave. This allows paddlers the ability to paddle a wave for as long as they want to attempt a variety of tricks similar to other extreme sports.