Getting Into Slalom Kayaking - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-16-2012   #1
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Getting Into Slalom Kayaking

Hello. I'd like to get into slalom kayaking but have no idea where to start. I suffer from an extreme lack of desire to run progressively harder whitewater but I love challenging myself and learning new things so I'd like to play around with slalom progression. So, I was hoping someone could help point me in the right direction...

How do I get my hands on a slalom boat? I hear they're hard to get ahold of in the US, especially on the West Coast. What should I be looking for in a slalom boat?

Where can I get some slalom training? Are there any clinics or camps specifically targeted toward slalom? I live in California but am open to anywhere in the US.

Any good resources to consult, like books or websites or forums?

Any other advice or questions I'm not asking?

I've played around with the slalom gates a time or two in my creek boat but that's the extent of my practical exposure.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-16-2012   #2
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Join Date: May 2005
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For the US start here: - Home

For CO, most events can be found here:

Lyons Kids Kayaking | Lyons is to kayaking as Mayberry is to fishing
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Old 11-16-2012   #3
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Hey i've been slalom boating for the last 5 years and have a couple of old boats im trying to sell if you are looking for one. Also that Lyon's kayak site is great and run by Olympian Scott Shipley who is an awesome coach out in CO. I believe there are some clubs out in CA, but the ones I know of are in Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, and Wisconsin. If you wanna learn more about the sport I would recommend checking out the US Canoe and Kayak website Hope that helps.
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Old 11-20-2012   #4
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Intro to slalom video's. Good at explaining the difference between a K1 and C1.

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Old 11-20-2012   #5
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I should plug going open, too:

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Old 11-20-2012   #6
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
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So, you don't need a slalom boat to do slalom. All you need is to find races near you and enter them. A slalom boat will enable you to be more competitive yet it's not strictly necessary or even wise to buy a slalom boat until you know if you like it. There are a lot of races where boaters share boats.

Where I learned slalom, once you got to know the other racers you were both welcome and encouraged to practice/race in every boat class you felt comfortable with. Further to that, anyone racing in their creek or even play boat was encouraged. We made classes for short boats, long boats, duckies, and race boats. Some races lump all boats together which makes the competitive nature of mixed boats a bit skewed but no less fun!
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 11-21-2012   #7
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In California, Kernville is a good place to train slalom. Here is a training camp there that happens every spring just before Kern river festival.

GMC - Home

There are also races on the American and mokelumne rivers.

Here is a site about slalom boats Davey Hearn
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