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As far as we can tell the National Student Rodeo is the largest freestyle paddling event in the world, and the best paddling party in existence! The event is held annually in March at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham. We camp at the campsite just around the corner and put up a huge marquee next to the Old Nottinghamian's Rugby Club for the parties.

The event is designed for all abilities, from those who’ve never paddled white water before to those who’ve been paddling since they could walk. NSR is primarily aimed at students who are in higher education, but fear not; those of you who aren’t students can enter in the Old Skool event, you just need to find a university to enter with or register with us as an individual.

We have a fantastic safety team covering the whole white water course to ensure you’re always covered. We hope that our event encourages people into the wonderful world of kayaking. Most importantly, the best prizes go to the beginners!

Your club captain is responsible for entering all online details for your university club, so pester them to ensure you're entered. If your club is a first time attendee or you don't know your registration login details, please contact us and we'll sort you out.


Extreme Slalom

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All standard competition ticket holders (C1 and K1) are automatically entered into the Extreme Slalom event (extra event holders for Duo, Old Skool and Squirt competitors are not required to compete in this event). Each competitor is given a numbered bib that they will wear over the whole weekend and also given a Saturday morning start time for their Extreme Slalom event, make sure not to miss your slot!

This isn’t like your average slalom run - there will be a number of tasks for people to attempt to complete on their way down the course, impressing the crowds (and judges!) as they go. Time to be creative and bold with your moves. This allows us to place competitors into beginner, intermediate and advanced categories for the freestyle competitions.


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The K1 (single person kayak) event is the largest event over the weekend; it will be split into 3 categories: beginners, intermediate, and advanced (as well as by gender) using the Extreme Slalom event. The heats and final will then be judged differently in relation to the skill level of the competitors in each category. Beginners will try to wow the judges with crowd pleasers (the more original/creative, the better!), intermediates will attempt to show off old and new school moves to gain points and the advanced competitors will be judged like any standard freestyle contest. It’s also worth noting that bonus points are very likely to be awarded to any of those sporting fancy dress on the water!


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The C1 event runs very similar to the K1 event. Depending on interest levels in 2020, there will be at least one heat and final. The level of paddlers will be determined through the Extreme Slalom event. In the same style of the K1 event, beginners will achieve most points through original crowd pleasers, intermediates need to show off any old/new tricks they have and advanced competitors are judged like any standard freestyle competition! And don’t forget - on-water fancy dress will get your more points!


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There will be at least one Squirt boat heat and final (dependent on the level of interest at the weekend). Squirt boat competitors do not need to compete in the extreme slalom. Judges will be looking out for the original squirt moves, so get squirting!


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There will be a Duo (two person kayak) heats and a final. The heats are comprised of a boater-X style race down the course. The final will be held in the looping pool, where points will be awarded for absolutely anything and everything, the more inventive the better! The Duo final is our highlight of the competition and is definitely not one to miss! Entries are for per boat (just tick "Duo" for one person for each Duo you enter - the system will then charge for both paddlers).

Old School event

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The Old Skool event is for anyone who is over the age of 18 and not a student in 2020. Anyone wishing to enter the Old Skool event can enter alongside a university canoe club that’s attending or as an individual (and make sure you have the appropriate insurance). All that is required is a pre-2002 boat, and the more retro the kit, the better! There will only be one final, with no heats for this event - meaning the number of places are limited! Ensure you sign up early to avoid disappointment! It will take place in the looping pool and points will be awarded for any old or new school moves you achieve, as well as any crowd pleasers you throw in the mix!


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New for 2020 the BoaterX is a fast paced race for groups of 2-6 people, with obstacles, slalom gates and must make moves along the way. There will be heats and then a grand final for this mixed-gender event. We will let anyone compete in the BoaterX but it is suggested that you have the workings of a roll if you want to take part. Fastest down the course wins!!!


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River Legacy will once again be returning to bring the entertainment! They'll be bringing the glorious party tent, with lights, music, and of course, the bar! They'll also serve your Saturday night dinner before you get your freak on the 'dance floor' (with Friday night food also available as an additional option)!

River Legacy is a charity who provide funding, facilities, and support for paddlesports; the money you spend in the bar goes straight back into the paddling community! Every year they bring a small army of volunteers who arrive days before the weekend starts to prepare for the party of the year. A huge thanks goes out to their whole team for continually doing an excellent job helping to make NSR the great success it is!

The Red Bull Truck will be returning in 2020 to provide banger after banger, keeping all of you pumped throughout the day and making sure the party never stops!

Prices & Merch

Party & Competition Ticket: £53.00

Extra Events: £5.00 (each)

Friday Food: £7.00

Hoody: £25.00

T-Shirt: £10.00


Click on the markers for more info.


Contact Us

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Have a look at our sponsors for 2020! Please visit their websites - without our amazing and generous sponsors NSR wouldn't be possible and you wouldn't be able to win the glorious prizes that you do!


Wave Sport travel the globe searching for new drops, new waves, and new experiences.   For us and for our extended family of Wave Sport customers, kayaking isn't just a destination. It's about the journey!


Paddle 365

Red Bull

Exo Kayaks UK and Ireland

Robin Hood Watersports

Above and Below

Kayak Session

Flying Gecko

Previous NSR Websites