Canoeing / kayaking

Image of Australian para-canoeist Susan Seipel with paddle resting on her shoulderCanoeing and kayaking are popular water-based activities that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities as a social/recreational/fitness activity or as a competitive sport. Canoeing and kayaking involve small water craft that can seat one to four people who propel the canoe or kayak with paddles. Canoeing and kayaking are a great way to escape and explore due to their low impact, affordability and mobility.

Download our canoeing and kayaking fact sheet for more details.

Local programs

Contact your local canoe or kayak club for information about come and try days, beginner courses and membership. For a list of clubs in your area, visit Queensland Canoeing.


Coaching and development opportunities are provided through local clubs and governing bodies for the sport.

Competition opportunities and pathways

There are many disciplines including sprint, slalom, whitewater, ocean and canoe polo. Para-canoe is one of the newest Paralympic sports, debuting at the 2016 Paralympics for people with a physical or intellectual disability. Para-canoeists can also compete in national and world championships, with further events being developed at the state and local level.

Para-canoeists have to be classified to compete nationally and internationally.


There is a wide variety of canoes and kayaks, including some with fixed seating and specialised controls. Personal flotation devices are recommended at all times. Local clubs will be able to assist with equipment for beginners and advice on purchasing your own. Para-canoeists identified in talent squads have access to specialised equipment through Australian Canoeing. Contact your local club or Queensland Canoeing for more information.

Other roles

You don’t have to canoe or kayak to be involved. You can make a contribution as a club volunteer, coach, team manager, official, administrator of the sport or as an enthusiastic supporter. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact your local club or Queensland Canoeing.

Working with mainstream sport

We are pleased to welcome Queensland Canoeing as part of the Sports CONNECT Queensland network as the organisation aims to develop more opportunities for people with a disability to participate in canoeing and kayaking as athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers.

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