List of artificial whitewater courses

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The first whitewater slalom race took place on the Aar River in Switzerland in 1933.[1] The early slalom courses were all set in natural rivers, but when whitewater slalom became an Olympic sport for the first time, at the 1972 Munich Games, the venue was the world's first concrete-channel artificial whitewater course, the Eiskanal in Augsburg. All Olympic whitewater slalom competitions have taken place in artificial courses, which now exist in 16 countries on five continents.

Streambed slalom courses still outnumber concrete channels, but most international competition takes place in the more controlled environment of an artificial course. The standard parameters for such a course, patterned on the Olympic model, are a length of about 300 meters, a slope of 2% (20 m/km, or 105 ft/mi), and a flow rate of 17 cubic metres per second (600 cu ft/s). Within those parameters, designs vary. Water diversion features can be natural rocks, shaped concrete boulders and wing dams, plastic bollards, wooden dams, or truck tires. Channel walls can be straight or slanted, and smooth or cobbled. The floor of the channel may have raised turbulence generators to slow the water speed. The course may be a single straight channel, parallel channels, one or more loops, or a figure-8.

Water can be supplied by diversion from a nearby river, tidal current, electric pumps, or a combination. The expense of operation is largely dependent on the water source. A single channel on the Olympic model — a 6-meter drop at 17 m³/s — represents one megawatt of energy, either supplied by pumps or sacrificed in the case of diversion around a hydroelectric generator. Ironically, diversion is often more expensive than pumping if the diverted water would have made a bigger drop inside the hydroelectric facility. The extreme example of this is the Ocoee Whitewater Center where water must bypass a 96-meter drop in a dam, tunnel, and penstock, in order to water the 9-meter drop of the whitewater course.

Most artificial whitewater courses cover their operating costs by charging passengers for guided raft rides. Canoe and kayak slalom training and competition do not generate enough revenue.

The four riverbed courses on this list are all extensively engineered and used for major competitions. Ocoee is no longer used for slalom, but it was the 1996 Olympic venue. The other courses on the list have concrete channels, often built in former industrial canals or mill races. Every city that hosts a summer Olympics is now expected to build a spectacular new whitewater stadium, usually powered by electric pumps. The Lee Valley White Water Centre, constructed for four days' use in the London 2012 Summer Olympics, cost £31million.[2]

In the table below, the location of each facility for which there is no Wikipedia article is noted in the Comment column. If the facility is more than two years old, there is often a good satellite or aerial (bird's eye) picture available via the link.

Artificial Whitewater Canoe/Kayak Slalom Courses — Grouped by Country — Listed by Completion Date
Slope Streamflow
Date Course Name Location Water Source Power Source Shape ft/mi (m/km) cu ft/s (m³/s) Comment
Australia
2000 Penrith Whitewater Stadium Penrith Penrith Lakes Pumped Loop 91 (17) 494 (14) 2000 Olympics Sydney
Brazil
2006 Itaipu Slalom Course Foz do Iguaçu Itaipu Lake, Paraná River Flow diversion Loop 115 (22) 441 (13) 25°25′55″S 54°34′52″W / 25.432°S 54.581°W / -25.432; -54.581
Proposed Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics Rio de Janeiro
Canada
- Canoe Meadows Race Course Kananaskis Kananaskis River Dam release, Natural modified Linear - (27-31) Normal 51°03′18″N 115°01′08″W / 51.054965°N 115.018834°W / 51.054965; -115.018834
- Pumphouse Tailrace Ottawa Ottawa River Flow diversion Linear - - 45°25′01″N 75°42′40″W / 45.417°N 75.711°W / 45.417; -75.711
- Rutherford Whitewater Park Whistler Rutherford Creek Flow diversion Linear - - 50°16′26″N 122°52′01″W / 50.274°N 122.867°W / 50.274; -122.867
China
2004 Whitewater Stadium of Nanjing Nanjing Xuanwu Lake Pumped Loop 79 (15) 565 (16) 32°03′54″N 118°48′36″E / 32.065°N 118.81°E / 32.065; 118.81
2007 Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park Shunyi Chaobai River Pumped Loop 110 (21) - 2008 Olympics Beijing
2007 Xiasi Canoe Slalom Course Xiasi Qingshui River Flow diversion Linear 102 (19) 424 (12) 26°31′37″N 107°48′14″E / 26.527°N 107.804°E / 26.527; 107.804
2007 Rizhao Canoe Slalom Course Rizhao Rizhao Harbor Pumped Loop - - 35°25′05″N 119°33′40″E / 35.418°N 119.561°E / 35.418; 119.561
Miyi Canoe Slalom Training Base Miyi Peace River Flow diversion Linear 119 (23) 494 (14) 26°54′22″N 102°07′01″E / 26.906°N 102.117°E / 26.906; 102.117
Czech Republic
1983 Prague-Troja Canoeing Centre Prague-Troja Vltava River Flow diversion Linear 63 (12) 565 (16) 50°06′47″N 14°25′30″E / 50.113°N 14.425°E / 50.113; 14.425
- Ceske Vrbne Slalom Course České Budějovice Vltava River Flow diversion Linear - - 49°00′47″N 14°27′07″E / 49.013°N 14.452°E / 49.013; 14.452
1984 Veltrusy Slalom Course Veltrusy Vltava River Flow diversion Linear 53.50 (10) 353 (10) 50°16′37″N 14°18′54″E / 50.277°N 14.315°E / 50.277; 14.315
- Trnavka Slalom Course Zeliv Zeliv Lake, Trnava Stream Flow diversion Linear - - 49°31′26″N 15°13′08″E / 49.524°N 15.219°E / 49.524; 15.219
- Roudnice nad Labem Roudnice nad Labem Labe (Elbe) River Flow diversion Linear - - 50°25′44″N 14°15′36″E / 50.429°N 14.260°E / 50.429; 14.260
France
1992 Lannion Whitewater Stadium Lannion Leguer River Flow diversion, Tidal Linear 47 (9) 530 (15) 48°43′44″N 3°27′32″W / 48.729°N 3.459°W / 48.729; -3.459
1992 Parc des Eaux Vives Huningue Rhine River Flow diversion Loop 75 (14) 353 (10) 47°35′24″N 7°34′55″E / 47.590°N 7.582°E / 47.590; 7.582
1993 L'Argentière-la-Bessée L'Argentière-la-Bessée Durance River Natural flow Riverbed 47 (9) 2470 (70) 44°46′48″N 6°33′36″E / 44.780°N 6.560°E / 44.780; 6.560
1996 St Laurent Whitewater Stadium St Laurent Scarpe River Gravity, Pumped Linear 86 (16) 424 (12) 50°17′53″N 2°48′14″E / 50.298°N 2.804°E / 50.298; 2.804
1997 Bourg-Saint-Maurice Bourg-Saint-Maurice Isère River Dam release Riverbed 184 (35) 883 (25) 45°36′11″N 6°45′58″E / 45.603°N 6.766°E / 45.603; 6.766
1997 Nancy Whitewater Stadium Nancy Meurthe River Flow diversion Linear 72 (14) 706 (20) 48°41′38″N 6°12′04″E / 48.694°N 6.201°E / 48.694; 6.201
1999 Cesson-Sévigné Whitewater Stadium Cesson-Sévigné Vilaine River Gravity, Pumped V-shape 39 (7) 424 (12) 48°06′54″N 1°36′25″W / 48.115°N 1.607°W / 48.115; -1.607
2000 Cergy Whitewater Stadium Cergy Oise River Pumped Loop 103 (20) 565 (16) 49°01′44″N 2°03′07″E / 49.029°N 2.052°E / 49.029; 2.052|-
2000 Millau Whitewater Course Millau Tarn River Flow diversion Linear 31.5 (6) 565 (16) 44°05′36″N 3°04′44″E / 44.0934°N 3.079°E / 44.0934; 3.079
- Saint-Pierre-de-Bœuf-Paradise Saint-Pierre-de-Bœuf Rhône River Flow diversion Linear - - 45°22′44″N 4°45′19″E / 45.379°N 4.7554°E / 45.379; 4.7554
- Épinal Slalom Course Épinal Moselle River Flow diversion Linear - - 48°10′23″N 6°26′46″E / 48.173°N 6.446°E / 48.173; 6.446
- Isle de la Serre Sault-Brénaz Rhône River Flow diversion S-shape - - 45°50′56″N 5°24′50″E / 45.849°N 5.414°E / 45.849; 5.414
- Slalom Ardèche Vallon-Pont-d'Arc Ardèche River Flow diversion Linear - - 44°23′56″N 4°23′06″E / 44.399°N 4.385°E / 44.399; 4.385
2008 Pau-Pyrénées Whitewater Stadium Pau Gave de Pau Flow diversion Loop 94 (18) 494 (14) 43°17′10″N 0°21′29″W / 43.286°N 0.358°W / 43.286; -0.358
2008 Châteauneuf Whitewater Sports Châteauneuf-sur-Cher Cher River Diversion, Pumped 110 meter Loop 58 (11) 459 (13) 46°51′22″N 2°19′12″E / 46.856°N 2.320°E / 46.856; 2.320
2013 Sainte Suzanne Whitewater Stadium Sainte Suzanne, Réunion Island Sainte Suzanne River Pumped 20°54′47″S 55°36′54″E / 20.913°S 55.615°E / -20.913; 55.615
Germany
1971 Augsburg Eiskanal Augsburg Lech River Flow diversion Linear 79 (15) 353 (10) 1972 Olympics Munich
2006 Kanupark Markkleeberg Leipzig Markkleeberger See Pumped 2 Loops 111 (21) 494 (14)
Greece
2004 Heleniko Whitewater Stadium Athens Gulf of Athens Pumped Figure-8
-
618 (18) 2004 Olympics Athens
2008 Evinos River Slalom Course Nafpaktos Evinos River Diversion 520 meter Linear 53 (10) 530 (15) 38°27′14″N 21°42′29″E / 38.454°N 21.708°E / 38.454; 21.708
Italy
2007 Ivrea Whitewater Stadium Ivrea Dora Baltea River Flow diversion Linear 168 (32) 706 (20) 45°27′50″N 7°52′30″E / 45.464°N 7.875°E / 45.464; 7.875
Mexico
Union de Tula Union de Tula Rio Ayuquila Dam Release Altered stream 19°57′36″N 104°22′16″W / 19.960°N 104.371°W / 19.960; -104.371
Netherlands
2006 Dutch Water Dreams Zoetermeer Plas van Poot Pumped Loop 88 (17) 572 (16) 52°02′49″N 4°31′16″E / 52.047°N 4.521°E / 52.047; 4.521
Poland
2003 Krakow-Kolna Canoe Slalom Course Kraków Vistula River Diversion Linear - - 50°01′55″N 19°49′30″E / 50.032°N 19.825°E / 50.032; 19.825
Russia
2008 Okulovka Whitewater Canal Okulovka, Novgorod Oblast Peretna River Dam release, Natural modified S-shape 100 (10) 309 (30) 58°24′40″N 33°17′47″E / 58.411°N 33.2965°E / 58.411; 33.2965
Slovakia
1978 Ondrej Cibak Whitewater Slalom Course Liptovský Mikuláš Vah River Diversion Parallel Linear 113 (21) 530 (15) 49°04′26″N 19°37′08″E / 49.074°N 19.619°E / 49.074; 19.619
1996 Čunovo Water Sports Centre Bratislava Danube River Diversion 2 Loops 98 (19) 777 (22)
Slovenia
1990 Tacen Whitewater Course Ljubljana Sava River Dam Spillway, Tailrace Linear - 989 (28)
Spain
1991 Segre Olympic Park La Seu d'Urgell Segre River Flow diversion, Pumped 2 Loops 114 (22) 618 (17.5) 1992 Olympics Barcelona
2008 El Canal de Aguas Bravas Zaragoza Ebro River Pumped Loop 101 (19) 424 (12) Expo 2008
2012 Parc del Mig Segre Ponts Segre River Dam release, Natural flow Linear 13 (4) 1272 (36) 300-meter course 41°55′22″N 1°10′58″E / 41.9228°N 1.1829°E / 41.9228; 1.1829
United Arab Emirates
2012 Wadi Adventure Al Ain Pumped 3 loops 24°05′46″N 55°44′24″E / 24.096°N 55.740°E / 24.096; 55.740
United Kingdom
1982 Cardington Slalom Course Bedford River Great Ouse Flow diversion Linear 60 (11) 530 (15) 150-meter course 52°07′37″N 0°25′44″W / 52.127061°N 0.428897°W / 52.127061; -0.428897
1986 Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre Nottingham River Trent Flow diversion Linear 30 (5.7) 883 (25) 500-meter course 52°56′44″N 1°05′27″W / 52.94569°N 1.09074°W / 52.94569; -1.09074
- Canolfan Tryweryn Bala, Gwynedd Llyn Celyn / Afon Tryweryn Dam release Riverbed - 350 (10) 1000-meter course 52°56′49″N 3°39′05″W / 52.94705°N 3.65137°W / 52.94705; -3.65137
1999 Nene Whitewater Centre Northampton River Nene Flow diversion, Pumped Loop - - 300-meter course 52°13′43″N 0°52′06″W / 52.2285°N 0.8684°W / 52.2285; -0.8684
1995 Tees Barrage International White Water Course Stockton-on-Tees River Tees Flow diversion, Pumped Loop 53 (10) 353 (10) 250-meter course 54°33′56″N 1°17′08″W / 54.56545°N 1.28565°W / 54.56545; -1.28565
2010 Cardiff International White Water Cardiff fully enclosed Pumped 1½ Loops 565 (16) 250-meter course 51°26′55″N 3°10′55″W / 51.44864°N 3.18186°W / 51.44864; -3.18186
2010 Lee Valley White Water Centre London Groundwater Pumped 2 Loops 88 (17) 460 (13) 2012 Olympics London 51°41′17″N 0°01′00″W / 51.688°N 0.0168°W / 51.688; -0.0168
United States
1984 East Race Waterway South Bend IN St. Joseph River Flow diversion Linear 33 (6) 500 (14) 41°40′34″N 86°14′42″W / 41.676°N 86.245°W / 41.676; -86.245
1991 Dickerson Whitewater Course Dickerson MD Potomac River Pumped Linear 91 (17) 600 (17) Heated water
1996 Ocoee Whitewater Center Ducktown TN Ocoee River Dam release Riverbed 99 (19) 1560 (44) 1996 Olympics Atlanta
2006 U.S. National Whitewater Center Charlotte NC Catawba River Pumped 2 Loops 113 (21) 550 (16)
2007 Adventure Sports Center International McHenry MD Deep Creek Lake Pumped Loop 91 (17) 550 (16)
Proposed Oklahoma City OK Pumped Loop -
Note: Slope and Streamflow numbers refer only to the 300-meter section used for Olympic-style slalom training and competition.