Key info before you stand on the starting line

Åre Extreme Challenge is a challenging race. Here are some important tips to help you prepare. 

Seeking motivation for year-round training? Check out the "inspiration" link above.

Paddling - GENERAL

The race includes both whitewater paddling (RIVER CLASS) and flatwater paddling (ALL CLASSES).

The 2018 paddling rules apply to both the RIVER CLASS and LAKE CLASS.

Choose the right kayak! Select a boat that matches your ability — fast and tippy boats are not for everyone!  The ability to paddle comfortably in all conditions is MUCH more important than maximizing speed.

** Important message ** The paddling on Lake Åre (ALL CLASSES) can be demanding. Within minutes the weather can change and the lake can become rough -- this has happened several times since 1997 and some competitors have capsized. You must be able to "self-rescue" i.e., get back into your kayak by yourself in open water. You should NOT rely on the race organization's safety boats for help, as we cannot guarantee that these boots will have time to get to you on race day. The responsibility is on the racer to safely complete the paddling. The safety boats only provide back-up services in case of an emergency.  

Paddling - RIVER CLASS 

If you choose RIVER CLASS you will be paddling both whitewater and flatwater. You must provide a certificate proving your whitewater skills. 

The 2018 paddling rules apply above all to the RIVER CLASS. The most significant change is that all RIVER CLASS participants must provide a certificate of whitewater knowledge from a certified paddling instructor.  Our requirements are based on the European Paddle Pass (EPP), which makes it easy to accept international equivalents. We can also accept other standards. If you have questions, please email

A list of certified instructors in Sweden is found (in Swedish) on this page.

Tips. We recommend that all competitors paddle the river section of the course in the week prior to the event in order to experience the river, get a feel for water levels and practice reading the best lines. Those interested in obtaining a guide can contact the companies listed on this page under "kayaking."

How does it look? Read about "the course" for a short film of the rapids. 

Paddling - LAKE CLASS

If you choose LAKE CLASS you will only be paddling on flat water. You do not need to provide a certificate proving your paddling skills, however you should have previous paddling experience and must follow the 2018 paddling rules. See note above about "choosing the right kayak" (!).

The 2018 paddling rules apply also to the LAKE CLASS. You should read and understand all of these rules. Most important is that you must carry extra clothing and be able to conduct a "self-rescue." 


The running is challenging with over 1,000 vertical metres of climbing. Training of both uphill and downhill running is important before the race, as the trail is on technical and rocky terrain.

Running tips - read more here.

Mountain Bike

The mountain bike section is technical and includes wet sections  — including some short swamps, where it’s often easier to run with the bike.  Solo and Duo competitors should  include some “brick sessions” in their training leading up to the race (i.e., run 45-90 min and then immediately jump on your bike for 60-120 min). We can promise one thing: after running 1,000 meters downhill into the “run-to-bike” transition in Huså, your legs will not be fresh!

Mountain bike tips - read more here.


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