Forming a Team for Competition

What’s keeping you from competing at a National Event?

So, you’ve heard of the USA Raft Team and you are interested in being on Team USA. Do you apply to be on the team? Do you go to a try out? How do you find a team to train with?  How do you train with the USA team? 

Teams competing at Nationals in 2016

The best thing to do for this sport and for yourself is to start a team, train, get some experience at local races and compete for the National title.   The USA doesn’t have tryouts or applications to fill out nor are paddlers named to the USA team similarly to how teams are formed for other National teams.  The USRA has some training advice to start with on their website here. Already formed teams register to compete and challenge all other teams present at a National event.  The winner of the National Event is named Team USA and has earned the bid to compete at the World Rafting Championship.  

The hardest part is getting started and preparing for this kind of mutli-faceted race.   Where does one start? Here is a list of some organized teams/organizations who’ve established themselves and competed Nationally or Internationally. Finding out if there is an open paddling position or just reaching out to get more pointers to start a team is a solid first step.

  • Animas Amazons
  • Red Ladies (US w’s team)
  • Canon City Gargoyles
  • 9ball – US Men’s raft Team 
  • CORT
  • U23 mens raft team
  • Dandy Lions
  • BIBS – u23 women’s raft team
  • Ark Aces
  • Sweets of the East
  • California Development Team 
  • Team WV- Men’s US Masters Team 2018

The International Rafting Federation rules outline requirements for each of the four age categories as well as describes the types of races that each team competes in and the number of paddlers for each team. The rules also describe the types of races that take place over the course of a week. Click on the links to see some video footage of teams at World Events

The US men and Women practicing for slalom.

Here is a short video on the H2H race in 2018 r4 WRC in Argentina.

The Norwegian Women’s Masters team is another team that has stood the test of time. Most of them beginning their careers as racers when racing started, these ladies continue to be forces of nature. Here is their 5 min highlights from the hour long downriver race in Argentina in 2018. 

Like the Norwegian Women’s Team, the Brazil Men’s Open team has set a standard for others to meet. They and the Czech men’s raft team are experts in Slalom. See their slalom run in New Zealand from 2013 here.

What does it mean to paddle fast? Find out how important paddling starts are with this video from Japan in 2017.