If you are interested in competition in sprint, marathon or canoe polo (or maybe have a try at them all) you can join a club.
Refer to the club page for information on coaching, training sessions and use of equipment. 
For more information about these competitions click on the tabs.


Sprint racing is usually in kayak or canadian canoes but other forms of craft such as paddle boards and outriggers are welcome.

Paddlers can be from all ages and ability, including people with a disability. Paddlers are placed in events based on times from previous races (not age or boat type) so that all paddlers get a chance to race against opponents of similar ability.

The Racing Season

The Paddle SA sprint season starts from the beginning of October and finishes with the Paddle Australia

Paddle SA event past results click to view

National Event (rotated between Sydney, Perth and Adelaide) in March.

The highlights of the sprint season are:

– Paddle Australia GP1 held in Adelaide in December, this event brings the best paddlers from across Australia- Spectators can come and support our Olympic and Paralympic paddlers!

Paddle SA  State titles are held in February.

The program varies at each regatta from a number of  events in Singles, Doubles and Fours in 200m, 300m, 500m, 1000m and a short marathon at the beginning of the season. Events are run in accordance with Paddle Australia and the International Canoe Federation rules for competition.

Sprint Races are held at Oarsman Reserve, Military Road West Lakes on regatta course which has 10 lanes.

Safety boats are present at all races to assist if required.

Entries are required prior to the event with a small entry fee.

Want to come an Olympian? Paralympian?

South Australia has a performance pathway.

Each year teenagers from 12 to 16 can be tested for key attributes for elite racers through a Talent Identification process (TID) run through the SASI. Selected teenagers are then invited for a further selection through a come and try process. Successful teenagers are then able to join the TID squad to learn the skills in a fast pace. These teenagers are expected to attend trainings and competitions.

After a set time these paddlers are required to meet set race times to continue on their performance pathway journey in the development squad. Alternatively, paddlers can continue in squads in the club environment.

Those paddlers that make national benchmarks are invited by Paddle Australia to represent Australian in international competitions and can also offered scholarships through SASI.

Keep an eye out for the SASI facebook posts for the TID process.

If you are a para-athlete and think you would like to have a go at sprint racing email Paddle SA to arrange a come and try.


Marathon paddling involves paddling a range of distances over 10km. Distances vary in each race and will differ depending on age and boat type. Marathon canoeing is a great way to get fit, enjoy good company and see some of Australia’s best waterways. With a program of races running all year round between the clubs, beginners are always welcome, so why not come along and have a go! Often finishing the race is the biggest achievement!

There are clubs that specialise in marathon paddling, contact one of these to join and become a paddling partner.

You don’t need to choose between sprint and marathon you can do both!

Paddle SA’s marathon season starts in April of each year and concludes in December. Marathon races are held at the location of clubs- West Lakes, Holdfast Bay, Onkaparinga and Encounter Bay. There is also one held at Murray Bridge. The State single and Doubles championships are held at Encounter lakes and West Lakes respectively.

All ages and ability are welcome to attend marathon events. However it is recommended that you have attempted the distance (or close to) in training previously.

Marathons are a fun, and there are safety boats as a requirement. In marathons there is also a rule that nearby paddlers must render assistance to a paddler that has fallen out. These paddlers have their times adjusted accordingly.

There is also flexibility if you talk to race organisers about altering the distance if required.

The International Canoe Federation requirements for marathon event also includes portages for u18 to open ages.  A portage is where the paddler must from the second lap run for a distance with their boat for a set distance prior to re-entering the race. This adds extra
excitement to racing as paddlers have to approach the shore avoiding obstacles, get out of the boat, carry the boat and re-enter the boat as quickly as possible. This is also the opportunity for paddlers to enter a feed lane to access water and food. Those that choose not to portage gain a time penalty. To note the marathon boats can be lighter than sprint boats so you don’t have to carry so much.
Interest in Marathon Paddling

Other Events
There are a range events marathons across  Australia. It is a great way to see the beauty of our countries waterways and meet new people.


Every June weekend there is the Riverland Paddling Marathon (RPM) This is run by the Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia and is the longest marathon event in the State. The longest distance is 200km from Berri to Morgan over three days, with the shortest distance being 35km over three days, or around 10km in one day. 

There is range of options to choose from, and all sorts of paddling craft.

This event has requires significant co-ordination with GPS trackers and co-ordination of safety boats. A speed limit for boats on the Murray also applies during the race ensuring additional safety and enjoyment.

The ultimate prize for the RPM is winning your category and receiving the orange hat. Breaking a record is
even better.

The RPM is also a great social event where paddlers come to meet and stay at various accommodation across the Murray and have a bbq or meal together at the local pub or community club. There is a lot volunteers at this event to with paddlers required to have a land crew to render assistance when required at various checkpoints during the race. Volunteers have fun to enjoying the tranquillity of the river and able to enjoy the best offerings of the river.

Refer to recreation paddling for some other fun events.

The National marathon titles are held at different locations across Australia each year usually in April or May over three days, usually co-ordinated by a paddling club with Paddle Australia.

There are a range of events for all ages, a short course, international standard distance course, singles and doubles (including mixed). There is the option to race the international standard races including portages or an alternative race without portages.

Paddlers that finish first in their category or come second within a set time are nominated to represent Australia in the World Championship event each year. Being on this team is self funded and primarily organised by the paddler.

No event found!

What is Canoe Polo?

Canoe Polo, called kayak polo in some countries, is a ball sport on water, in a “field”, for two teams of 5 players (plus 1,2 or 3 subs) for two 10 minute halves,  Teams play  to get the ball into their own  goal raised about 2 metres above the water.

Each player paddles a ‘polo bat’ –3 metres long, specially designed, low volume, with protective bumpers at front and back.  Players wear a protective buoyancy vest, a helmet with a faceguard and a fitted ‘skirt’/deck for keeping water out of the boat.

Teams playing recreationally in Australia are gender mixed or gender specific depending on levels and reasons for ‘comps’. Beginner grades are now using a mix of small boats and sit-on-tops for encouraging young players. The canoe polo community is both family and elite level sport oriented and is run by volunteers.

Players in possession of the ball can be ‘tackled’ by kayaks, ‘hand tackled’ on the shoulder and capsized (after beginner levels). Teams pass the ball by throwing or flicking with paddles and use paddles are to intercept passes and block shots at goal.

The sport has World Championships every 2 years, internationally organized by the Canoe Polo committee of the International Canoe Federation.

We are keen to promote development of canoe polo in SA regional districts.

Would you like to try canoe polo or train regularly?

Then the Canoe Polo Development Squad is the thing for you. First time or experienced paddlers welcome.

Each Sunday morning 9 – 11 am includes 2 hours coaching and games
There is a trial 3-month introductory membership to Paddle SA of $35.00 (for people under 18) and $50.00 for Adults which includes insurance.

After the 3-month introductory membership, participants can join a club for an additional fee of approx $35 (children) for the year.


Canoe Polo Schools Program

Paddle SA conducts short introductory programs for secondary school students which include

  • Physical Skills
  • balance and body co-ordination
  • hand-eye co-ordination
  • boat control
  • paddle control
  • ball skills
  • Rules – International
  • Canoe Federation rules and local variations for novices
  • Game Strategy

What does it involve?

A school with students and teacher who are keen to learn about this fast and exciting sport.
A suitable venue close to your school (swimming pool or venue such as West Lakes or Patawalonga).
Paddle SA Provides coaches and equipment for up to 20 students
4 sessions (approx 1 – 2 hours duration each).

Cost: Each student must join Paddle SA as a student member (valid for 3 months).

What does a student or school do to join in?
Schools who have students who are interested to participate can arrange an information session by contacting Paddle SA on 8240 3294.
Individual students can become part of the talent identification & coaching by contacting Paddle SA – 8240 3294.
Where possible each school will need a teacher or parent who will act as a contact or coordinator to ensure interested students get information.

Club and State Canoe Polo Contacts

Paddle SA Polo Technical Committee
Anthea Courtney – Secretary
Phone: 0417 868 066

Adelaide Canoe Club
Frances Goble
Phone: 8449 6602

Northern Districts Canoe Club
Wayne Ferguson
Phone: 0414 389 895