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  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

Slalom Racing

The Washington Kayak Club provides a series of slalom and wildwater races to challenge and entertain river paddlers of all levels.

At a whitewater slalom race, slalom gates hung over the river provide 'must make' moves on what might otherwise seem an easy rapid.  It gives you the chance to hone your whitewater skills and prove to yourself that you can put your boat where it needs to be the next time you're up against that new scary rapid.  In slalom, 'must make' means that you'll face a time penalty if you don't quite make the move; on the scary rapid the penalties can be a bit harsher!

If you're a speed demon and love the pure joy of bombing down the river as fast as you can, wildwater racing is for you.  There are no gates to maneuver, simply a timed run from the start and to the finish.  A wildwater race will have two heats: a short one the length of a typical rapid, and a long one that will be 3-5 miles.

Several times a year, the Washington Kayak Club holds racing weekends.  One annual event is held at a campground next to the rapid.  The slalom course is put up on Friday, and then paddlers practice on the slalom course, run the river, and/or compete in the wildwater race on Saturday, with the slalom competition held on Sunday.  This is WKC's longtime classic racing weekend  held near Cle Elum Washington, at the Salmon La Sac Campground always (and has been for 60 consecutive years!)  the first weekend of June.  Saturday night a group campfire includes our 'Salmon La Sac music festival' and paddlers bring out their guitars, mandolins, flutes and fiddles.

Clinics and informal practice sessions are held sporadically.  Permanent slalom gates are located near  Issaquah on the Cedar River at Cedar River Park in Ravensdale.   A race weekend is held on the Cedar twice a year - in the Fall and again in the Spring.  There can even be a one day fun Pop-Up event, so watch the Events Calendar.  You do not have to be a club member to participate in these WKC events.

2023  Slalom Cedar Workouts at the Cedar Slalom site are every Wednesday 4:30-7:30 pm with Daylight Savings and during the day in the winter.  Any type of whitewater boat works fine!  Come join us.  Free instruction on paddling skills available.  See also facebook page for when there's will be out paddling on the gates.

If you are interested in joining us for informal practice sessions or want to learn more, please send our Slalom Chairperson an email.

2023 Northwest Cup Schedule of Local Events:
Spring Cedar River Slalom/Downriver Practice
& Races

March 27-28, 2023

Cedar River
Maple Valley, WA
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 Salmon La Lac Slalom

June 3-4, 2023
 Salmon La Sac Cle Elum River
Roslyn WA
 Fall Cedar Races

November 4-5, 2022
  Cedar River
Maple Valley, WA

Whitewater Slalom


WKC Calendar

Upcoming Events
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