Does Concrete Float Your Boat? National Concrete Canoe Competition Paddles to San Luis Obispo

Reston, Va.—When you think of college sports, canoeing isn’t typically one of the first events that come to mind, let along concrete canoeing. But for more than two decades, civil engineering students  from across the country have taken this everyday building material and molding it into something extraordinary—race worthy canoes.

Hundreds of students will descend on California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo June 17 to the 19 in a bid to win the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering,” at the 23 Annual American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Concrete Canoe Competition. But to get to that point, more than 250 teams of civil engineering students will have spent hours using classroom learning, creativity and teamwork to construct a canoe worthy of competition. The best contenders from a series of regional competitions held across the country will pack their paddles and head to the national final in San Luis Obispo.

The competition is both academic and athletic, with each team’s score being based on engineering design and construction principles used in the creation of the canoe, as well as results from men’s, women’s and co-ed race events. The scores are divided into four components that are each worth 25 percent of the final score: a design paper, an oral presentation, the final product and the results of five different races— men’s and women’s slalom/endurance races and men’s, women’s and co-ed sprint races.  First, second and third place winners receive academic scholarship awards valued at $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500.

For more information on the National Concrete Canoe competition, including downloadable, high-resolution photos, visit:

About ASCE
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 144,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit