COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE EVOLUTION OF KAYAK SPRINT AND KAYAK SLALOM EVENTS
This paper presents a comparison between the constructive, competitive, technical and attractive particularities of the two distinct kayaking events. Though there was only one branch initially –kayaking on several distances –, nowadays events have diversified and the number of practitioners – especially of the amateur and independent ones – has increased. Therefore, kayak sprint has recorded a decrease in the number of practitioners and in attractiveness, considering the increase in the prize of kayaks, in the training costs; this led to a decrease in popularity. At the same time, the kayak slalom event has progressed considerably and it has become, in a relatively short timeframe, an Olympic event. This was possible because of nautical tourism development (which attracted a significant number of amateurs), of technological progress (which allowed the construction of various kayaks with accessible costs), of its spectacular character and of its easy-to-learn handling techniques.