Sprint canoe/kayak is an Olympic sport performed in one person, two person and four person canoes or kayaks (C1, C2, C4, K1, K2, K4) in 200m, 500m and 1000m distances on flat water. The boats are designed for speed so they are long, narrow and very light. They are often constructed from a carbon composite.
The sleek design of the boats also means that they are difficult to balance. Depending on how frequently a paddler trains, it can take a beginner months or even more than a year to go from a trainer to a racing canoe/kayak. In addition to balance training, strength training and proper paddling technique is required in order to get an efficient, powerful stroke in the water for reaching top speeds.
The sport is not very big in the United States, but here are some videos of prominent American paddlers.
These are some of the fastest women in the United States being led by Carrie Johnson of San Diego, CA.
This is Morgan House of Gainesville, GA in a K1. He is currently one of the the United States’ fastest paddlers.
Here is the US National Sprint Kayak Team K4.
Here, again, is Carrie Johnson in an inspirational video about her fight with Crohn’s disease and how it has impacted her journey to the Olympics.
Here are some videos that illustrate the sport of sprint canoe/kayak at the international level.
This is a montage of clips from the 2006 ICF World Championships in Szeged, Hungary.