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A Guide to Racing at Nationals

Page last updated Thursday, December 15, 2016

How Do I Qualify to Compete at USCA Nationals?
You may already be (you probably are) qualified!

There are no qualification rounds prior to USCA Nationals.

To compete at USCA Nationals all you need is to:

1. have current USCA membership ($20 adult, $7.50 youth): click here to join on line;

2. have the right canoe, kayak, or paddleboard* — and the basic required safety equipment. 3. pay your race fee(s) (deadline for most races is 6:00 pm the day before — only Youth Sprints (Thursday) and the (unofficial) Biathlon (Wednesday) allow same day registration.

... oh, and: 4. get to the start line on the Allegheny River in good time — the race schedule will be posted here in due course.

              *while many canoes, and all kayaks and paddleboards do technically fit into one class or another, it is important to understand that some are by their nature faster than others, and that most that fall "a long way" inside the "specs" will not likely be competitive: they are not designed for speed.

Skill levels required.

"From weekend warrior to elite racing paddler." In many classes you'll line up with some of the fastest racers in the country, including Olympians. You'll also line up with other racers of a wide range of speeds, experience, and levels of training. That's the fun of these events.

At least a basic level of paddling skill and endurance paddling experience is, let's say, highly recommended.

What kind of canoe/kayak do I need? Which class spec does my boat fit?

The specs can be found in the Competition Rules (2014 Edition) (you can download them here).

... but there is an easier guide to boat specs and classes in preparation. It's not complete yet, but it is building daily, and here is what we have so far:
A Guide to USCA Classes and Boat Specs.

If you don't find your answers here yet, then in the meantime email your questions to:

    For canoes:
    For kayaks:
    For stand up paddlboards:
Take part in the discussion: join USCA's Facebook group.
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