Cardington

The Client:

Cardington Artifical Slalom Course
Canoe England

What we did:

  • Design Advice
  • Prototyping and supply of retrofit baseplates
  • Testing and Commissioning

Check out some video



RapidBlocs obstacle system has taken this channel forward as a valued venue for canoe slalom with improved stable features, better depth throughout and wider water space down the entire channel.

Rob Bates, Chairman, Canoe England Eastern Region, Chairman, Viking Kayak Club, Bedford.

“Paddlers are very happy with the much improved course.”

— Rob Bates, Chairman, Canoe England Eastern Region, Chairman, Viking Kayak Club, Bedford.


Originally opened in 1982 this flood relief channel doubles as a Canoe Slalom course when conditions allow. The first system of creating rapids was using plywood boards, this then developed into the infamous “hippos” and “dollies” made from GRP and strapped down to the concrete, combined with pipes and other concrete lumps formed a series of shallow rapids.

A retro fit system was developed to allow the quick and easy fixing of the obstacle anchor rails using GRP insert boards. These have the rails moulded into them and are only 41mm, thus having no effect on the flood conveyance capacity of the channel when left in situ.

After a development phase and initial trial by RapidBlocs Ltd the GRP insert boards were installed by the club volunteers over a number of work days and then the RapidBlocs added to form the pools and rapids.

The flow available to the course can vary greatly depending upon the natural river flow at the time, thus the RapidBlocs system has allowed the course to run on very low summer flows, yet maintain good depth throughout for improved canoe slalom. By opening out the constrictions, more flow, when available, can be sent down the channel hence increasing the whitewater overall and the Blocs adjusted accordingly.

The project was funded by Canoe England.

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