Canoe sprint takes place on a flatwater course and races are contested by two types of boat, canoe (C) and kayak (K). In a canoe, the paddler competes in a striding position using a single-blade paddle, in contrast to the double-bladed paddle used in a sitting position in a kayak.
In addition to kayaks, Va’a (what does this mean?) boats are used in Paracanoe. Va’a boats have lateral support floats to provide added stability. Paracanoe events have been held at the International Canoe Federation World Sprint Championships annually since 2010.
In international competition, races are split into nine lanes that are determined randomly in the initial heats. Subsequently, lane positions are set by qualification time: five being the fastest to qualify, then six, four, three, two, seven, eight, one and nine. Depending on the number of entries in each race, paddlers will race in preliminary heats advancing through to A and B Finals as required to identify winners.