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Eiskanal in Augsburg, Germany
Kayaking and Rafting at Holme Pierrepont, England
Rafting and canoeing at Dutch Water Dreams

An artificial whitewater course (AWWC) is a site for whitewater canoeing, whitewater kayaking, whitewater racing, whitewater rafting, playboating and slalom canoeing with artificially generated rapids.

Course types[edit]

Three main types of course exist:

Flow diversion[edit]

These work by diverting a natural river through boulder placement or damming, or by creating new channels next to an existing river, possibly by a weir or power station outflow.

Tidal action[edit]

Created in estuaries with large tidal reaches, on a barrage across the river. The barrage is opened during a rising high tide to allow the sea water in, then shut as the tide turns. The water stored above the barrage is then forced through an artificial channel to provide water features.


The nature of artificial whitewater courses necessitates the need for a drop in the river, and enough water flow to provide hydraulics. When this isn't possible (often in flat low-lying areas), electric pumps are used to lift and re-circulate the water to the top of the course. The shapes of these courses are commonly circular or U-shaped.

Pumped courses are extremely expensive to run, typically 1-2 megawatts of electrical power is needed to pump 15 cubic metres per second of water down a course with a 5-meter drop in height.

Olympic whitewater courses[edit]

Other notable courses[edit]

Under planning or construction[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_whitewater — Please support Wikipedia.
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51 news items

BizWest Media
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:45:19 -0700

U.S. Whitewater Adventure Park: The park, north of the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland, would be built around a 20-acre artificial whitewater river system using recycled water that offers varying levels of difficulty designed to Olympic standards.

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 17:25:33 -0700

Zip line at the U.S. National Whitewater Center: As the world's largest artificial whitewater river and an official U.S. Olympic training site, the 307-acre facility includes whitewater rafting and kayaking (ages 8 and older can participate in some ...


Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:18:27 -0700

Each of Suchal's team members has a job and family, so scheduling is difficult, but the team finds time to train several times a week, in the gym and at an artificial whitewater course below a major dam on the Danube river. Suchal began his rafting ...

Casper Star-Tribune Online

Casper Star-Tribune Online
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 15:52:30 -0700

Kudos to Casper for installing artificial whitewater rapids on the north side of town, but being a flatwater girl, I was not inclined to try running them. However, when I came up to the first cataract, I saw the Natrona County Rescue crew plucking each ...


Tue, 15 Sep 2015 21:41:15 -0700

It promises to be a big year for canoe slalom next year, with the opening of the WERO artificial whitewater centre in Auckland and the Olympic Games in Rio, which eight Kiwis are attempting to qualify for this week. National canoe slalom head coach ...


Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:13:04 -0700

For artificial whitewater, Peoria is pretty much the center of the universe. July 10, 2015 By Jeff Moag. Stephen Wright on the Charles City, Iowa play wave. Photo via Flickr user Cory Mutch. By Andy Kravetz. Central Illinois isn't seen as a paddling ...

Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville Citizen-Times
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:00:38 -0800

He and his firm, S2O Design and Engineering, built the artificial whitewater park at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte and the course for the 2012 London Olympics, as well as many parks, such as the one proposed for Asheville, in Durango ...
Fri, 12 Jun 2015 09:18:25 -0700

An architect who helped design the artificial whitewater course used in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta visited the Willimantic site and was very enthusiastic about the prospects of developing one here, Turner said – though he noted any such project ...

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