Welcome to Paracanoe

Discipline Representative


Glenn Pyne




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Paracanoe is a relatively new term and literally refers to the disciplines of sprint kayaking and outrigger (Va’a) racing for the Paralympic Games. However, in a broader sense, Paracanoe is used to represent people with a disability who partake in paddling activities.

It is Queensland Canoeing’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.

Queensland Canoeing 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.

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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.

As a Paralympic sport

The Paralympic Games will include Paracanoe as a disipline in Rio Games of 2016. All races are 200m sprint events and are raced in two possible craft

  • A specifically built K1 which has an added dimension of 50cm width at some point 100 ml above the water line.
    Kara Paracanoe

    An older version of the Paracanoe K1

  • A standard V1 (Va’a) outrigger canoe
    Vaa V1

    The 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 bought home 3 Gold medals, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze individual medals all to Queenlsnad athletes. Then the combined to compete in the V6 1000 m and 500 m events winning the Gold medal in both events in world record time!

Australian Para Va'a team 2014

Australian Para Va’a team 2014

Queensland Paracanoe


  • 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 sigle 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

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

  • Most clubs have regular events that can be entered by people with a disability

Discipline Representative

Glenn Pyne

Glenn works for Queensland Canoeing and is the current Regional Pathways Coordinator/Coach. He has been involved in canoe/kayak for over 10 years and is a former member of the Australian Paracanoe team racing in K1 and V1 events.

Any inquiries regarding paddling for people with a disability can be directed to Glenn at qc.pathways@canoe.org.au or 0427557516