What do C-1 and C-2 mean?

These are canoe classifications for racing?What are the specs?

"Covered Canoe For One"
and “Covered Canoe For Two” as opposed to OC1 and OC2 – opened canoes for 1 & 2.


Thanks.That simple?

ICF did it
I believe that way back in the early days of composite boats (late 50’s and 60’s) the Europeans (International Canoe Federation) referred to canoes as “Canadians”, hence “C-1, C-2”. K-1’s and K-2’s are obvious. Olympic flatwater racing has 1’s, 2’s, 4’s in both C and K. In the British Isles they refer to “sea canoes” as we refer to sea kayaks. Confused yet?


In whitewater, racing or recreational,
C-1 means a decked boat which is paddled kneeling, with a single bladed paddle. C-2 is the same with two paddlers. Paddlers are “c-boaters.” They are often known as “pain boaters,” because the low kneeling position is not user-friendly.

In whitewater kayaking, k-1 means a decked boat, paddled sitting, with a double bladed paddle. There are a few k-2s. Paddlers are sometimes called “butt-boaters.”

Whitewater open canoes are OC-1 and OC-2. Paddlers are “open boaters.”

If you are referring to flatwater racing, C1 is a solo boat and C2 is a tandem boat. The specs depend on where you are racing and who is organizing the race. Two good places to look for generally acceptable specifications are the Wenonah Racing website, which describes the USCA specs


and the website for the General Clinton


come to think of it, you could poke around on the USCA website and see what you can find:


OC-1/OC-2 also refer to
outrigger canoe, one-person/two-person. Can get a little confusing sometimes…

Maybe OR-1, etc, would work.

officially ?
C-1 stands for solo Canoe and K-1 stands for single Kayak,

where C-2 is a tandem Canoe and K-2 is a double Kayak.

These short designations originally come from racing,

but have found their way into recreational use.

The designations C-1 and OC-1 (for solo Open Canoe)

are used when differentiation is required. In Olympic

flatwater canoe racing there are no decked canoes,

so plain C-1 is clear.

In whitewater racing, where open and decked canoes can

be used, the terms OC-1 and C-1 are used respectively.

Let’s add to the confusion
The USCA also throws Pro-boats into the marathon mix which allows decks on THEIR c-1’s & 2’s. Ow, my head’s spinning.

We need to sik ISO 9000/2000 on
these people and straighten their terminology.Thanks for the education.