SKILL BUILDING by SLALOM RACING
Atlantic Slalom Committee
SLALOM EVENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Build Slalom Gates
SLALOM EVENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES

ACA OCS Racing Rules: Article XVIII: SLALOM COMPETITION
Para. 3. Marking and Hanging Gates

a. The gates consist of two suspended poles painted with five green and five white rings for downstream gates, and five red and five white rings for upstream gates, with the bottom rings always being white. Gates flush to the current may be either red or green, whichever seems more appropriate in each instance. The width of the gates is 47 inches (1.2m) minimum, and 11'6" (3.5m) maximum, measured between the poles. The poles must be round, at least 6 ft long, 1 1/2 in. to 2 in. in diameter, and of sufficient weight that motion caused by the wind is not excessive. The lower ends of the poles should be a minimum of 6 in above the water, and the poles must not be put in motion by the water. Gates must be numbered in the order of negotiation. The gate number panels must measure 12 in. x 12 in. The numbers must be painted on both sides of the panels, black on a yellow or white background, and must be at least 8 in. high and have a line width of 1/2 in. On the side of the panel opposite the direction of correct negotiation, a diagonal red line is painted, bottom left to top right.

b. The gate supports should not be placed so high as to permit excessive motions due to the wind. If such placement is unavoidable, a second crossbar and/or additional strings should be used to stabilize the gate.

c. The course must be the same for both heats as nearly as practicable. Gates and gate poles should not be changed after competition has begun unless to restore the course to its original condition. Such changes may only be made under the direction of the Chief Gate Judge.

Parts List
  • Poles can be made from six foot by 1½ inch closet coat hanger rods.
  • Crossmembers can be made out of one by two inch pine by six feet.
  • Most of the hardware will be one inch eye bolts by two inches.
  • Conections between the crossmenbers and the wires across the river should be a spring hooks.
  • Likewise the number placards should be attached to the crossmembers with spring hooks also.
  • Green, red, white and black paint will be required.
  • Two sets of eight inch black plastic sticky back numbers, 1 thru 25.
  • Roll of one inch red plastic tape.
  • Bruches and clear varnish or equivalent.

  • Directions
  • Affix a eye bolt to one end of each pole.
  • Fashon "S" hooks out of old gate wire to hang the poles.
  • Paint all the poles white and hang them on a strong line to dry.
  • Now mark off six inch bands on the pole, (you're right this will give you six bands not five!).
  • Start at the bottom, (without the eye bolt).
  • Leave the first band white and paint the 2nd, 4th and 6th band red or green.
  • Hang the completed poles to dry with the "S" hooks again.
  • A full set of gates will have about 40 green & white poles and 20 red & white poles.


  • Now for the crossmenbers. Paint them all white.
  • Add eye bolts to the very ends.
  • These will be used to pull the gate out over the river from the control river bank.
  • Additional eye bolts will be requied as follows:
  • Two in the middle on the bottom to attach the number pacard.
  • Two well spaced on the top to attach the crossmember to the cross river wire.
  • And several on the bottom to allow the different distances between the poles or gate widths.


  • The number placard can be 12 by 12 inch pieces of 3/16 plywood.
  • Paint the pacards white on both sides. Make about thirty of them.
  • Unless you're really good with a brush, forget the black paint.
  • Buy eight inch black plastic sticky back numbers and a roll of one inch red plactic tape.
  • Put the same number on both sides of each placard, 1 thru 25 and save the five extras for spares.
  • Put a diagonal red slash through the number on one side of each placard with the red plastic tape.
  • The placards should be coated with clear varnish or the equivalent to protect the numbers.



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