Disciplines of the Alberta Whitewater Association

The Alberta Whitewater Association is the provincial sport governing body for kayak and closed deck canoe paddle sports.The AWA is responsible for representing all aspects of whitewater paddling but each aspect has evolved into a unique sport discipline. All disciplines share the same basic skill development system through the pool, lake and river (Fundamentals and Developmentals). With these skills in place, paddlers have choices to make in the Transformations (Train to Train) progression of the Long Term Paddler Development model. In Transformations, paddlers get to explore the different advanced types of competition and recreational paddling.

When our elite athletes move into the Pursuit of Excellence (Train to Compete) and Train to Win stages, their training regime requires a very specialized approach. The best way to meet their needs is through specialized coaching, training programs and equipment. The AWA does not have the resources to meet all these needs for all these different components of the sport. To help Alberta's athletes to achieve success, the different disciplines have formed their own provincial associations to support their elite teams. Working together these discipline associations govern the development of athletes from the Transformations level up to the elite Train to Win levels.

The AWA works with the clubs, certifies instructors and establishes programs to help all paddlers develop their skills and abilities. The AWA also helps to coordinate the disciplines and their programs. 

The disciplines within the AWA are:

Freestyle: Paddle shorter plastic boats and do tricks down the river, click for more information.


Recreational: River running, click for more information.


Creeking: Paddle larger volume boats down extreme rapids like waterfalls, click for more information.


Slalom: This is the Olympic discipline. Paddlers use fibre glass boats and race through the rapids while navigating poles. It is similar to alpine ski racing. Click for more information.


Canoe Polo:Click here for more information on this fun and exciting sport where a team of paddlers competes against another team to get a ball in a net.


Wildwater: Race as fast as you can from point A to point B. These boats are very long and are also made out of fibre glass.