Para Canoe

The Sport

Paracanoe is the canoeing discipline for athletes with an impairment and races are contested by two types of boat, kayak (K) and va’a (V). The kayak is propelled by a double-blade paddle, while the va’a is an outrigger canoe which has an ama (second pontoon) as a support float and is used with a single-blade paddle.


There are two disciplines, each with a specific classification which is based on the same principle.

KL1/VL1 is for athletes who primarily propel with their arms only (with very limited or no trunk function and no leg function).

KL2/VL2 is for athletes who propel themselves with their arms and partial trunk and leg function.

KL3/VL3 is for athletes have full function of their arms and trunk, and partial function in the legs.

Eligible Impairment Types: Impaired muscle power, Impaired passive range of movement, Limb deficiency


Para canoe is a young sport which developed at the start of the century thanks to big efforts of the sport’s governing body International Canoe Federation (ICF) and the International Va Federation (IVF), who both pushed for the inclusion of Para canoe within abled-bodied competitions.
In 2009, the ICF organised the first Para canoe showcase event, which was a big success. One year later, Para canoe had its first World Championships and was included into the Paralympic programme at the IPC Governing Board meeting in Guangzhou, China.

Paralympic Debut

The world’s top canoers hit Paralympic waters for the first time in history at Rio 2016. The sport is exactly like canoeing for able-bodied athletes, allowing those with physical impairments at all levels to enjoy the sport.

The success of this sport lead to Va'a boat making its first Paralympic experience at Tokyo 2020.


Iran Para Canoe

Canoe for the first time was administered in 2009 and same year players represented Team Iran at 2009 World Championships in Italy.

2009 also, the first edition of the national championships was staged in the country.

Currently, para athletes are under support of IRICRSF which is member of the NPC to get support.



Watch an introduction to Para Canoe on Paralympic Sports A-Z: Canoe