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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.  They are typically 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.  WKC's longtime classic racing weekend is held near Cle Elum Washington, at the Salmon La Sac Campground 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 in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum and near Issaquah on the Cedar River.  You do not have to be a club member to participate in these WKC events.

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

2017 Northwest Cup Schedule of Local Events:
Cedar River Races #2
Nov 12 & 13

Cedar River; Maple Valley, WA

Cedar River Races #1
March 19 & 20
           Cedar River; Maple Valley, WA          
Salmon La Sac Races
Jun 1-3
Salmon La Sac
Cle Elum River; Roslyn, WA

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 Cedar River Races #2
Nov 12 & 13

Whitewater Slalom


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