Welcome to Paracanoe

Latest Paracanoe News


Paracanoe is a term adopted from the Paralympic games and literally refers to the sport of Canoe/Kayak for people with a disability. As a more general term it has come to be used for anyone with a disability jumping into a canoe, kayak or other paddling craft and enjoying themselves along with their friends for social, fitness, recreational and competition.

It is Paddle Queensland’s desire to see an integration of people with a disability into all our disciplines. Many clubs are already involved with people with a disability and probably don’t even realise it and others have taken active steps to include all people into the activities of the club as much as possible.

Paddle Queensland wants to aid clubs in developing pathways and inclusion of people with a disability into these disciplines whether at recreational level or representing at the elite end.  If we can assist you, please don’t hesitate to call or email us.

state champs paracanoe purple boat

As a Paralympic sport

The Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 included Paracanoe as a disipline. All races were 200m sprint events and were raced in two possible craft.

Kara Paracanoe Vaa V1
A specifically built K1 which has an added dimension of 50cm width at some point 100 ml above the water line. A standard V1 (Va’a) outrigger canoe

Queensland is at the forefront of canoe/kayaking for athletes with a disability as the location of the Paracanoe head coach, Andrea King, and the National Paracanoe program located at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.

Australia is very competitive in Paracanoe and finished third on the medal count at the 2014 World Sprint Championships in Moscow, Russia. Queensland athletes finished with a Gold and Silver medal to Curtis McGrath and Kara Kennedy respectively, both V1 paddlers.

Paracanoe events are held at the Queensland State Sprint and Marathon Championships and more often than not included in most club events.

Other Elite opportunities

Because of the link between Va’a and the Paralympic games. Many of our athletes will compete in Va’a racing.

At the World Va’a Sprints in Rio de Janeiro three of our athletes from the Moscow World Canoe/Kayak Championships joined 4 other Va’a paddling athletes to compete. The team brought home 3 Gold medals, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze individual medals all to Queenlsnad athletes. Then they combined to compete in the V6 1000 m and 500 m events winning the Gold medal in both events in world record time!


International events include

  • Paralympic Games (every 4 years)
  • International Canoe Federation World Sprint Championships (every year)
  • International Va’s Federation World Sprint Championships (every two years)

National events include

  • Australian Canoeing National Sprint and Marathon Championships
  • Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA) National sprint and marathon titles

State events include

  • Queensland Canoeing Sprint and Marathon Championships
  • Various Outrigger state events in sprint and marathon

Club events

  • All Paddle Queensland clubs have regular events that can be entered by people with a disability


  • Athletes must have a recognisable physical disability
  • Athletes are classified into functional classes depending on the type of disability
    • LTA – athletes who have lost some function but can effectively apply power to the craft using their Legs, Trunks and Arms (typical LTA paddler might be a single above or below knee amputee)
    • TA – athletes who have little or no function in their lower limbs are classified trunk and Arms paddlers (a typical TA paddler might be a bilateral above or below knee amputee or incomplete spinal damage)
    • A – athletes in the Arms only class usually only have function in their upper limbs and can apply power to the boat in this way (a typical A paddler might have a complete spinal lession at the T12 level)
  • Craft
    • K1 Paracanoe – 5.2 m in length, 12 kg mass and 50cm beam at 100 ml above the bottom of the boat
    • V1 outrigger – 7.3 m in length, 10 kg hull mass, paddler situated between the iakos and the ama situated on the left side of the boat where applicable
    • modifications can be made inside the boats to aid the paddler
  • Races
    • Paralympics
      • Women and Men K1 200m – LTA
      • Women and Men  V1 200m TA
      • Women and Men  K1 200m A
    • National/State
      • Women and Men K1 & V1 200m, 500m and 1000m – LTA
      • Women and Men  K1 & V1 200m, 500m and 1000m – TA
      • Women and Men  K1 200m, 500m and 1000m – A
    • International, National and State (AOCRA and IVF (outrigger))
      • Ocean racing V6 – various distances
      • Oceian Racing V1 – various distances
      • Sprints V6 – 1000m, 500m – combination, mixed crews
      • Sprints V1 200m – LTA. TA, & A