Human-created whitewater courses are impressive feats of engineering, often relying on dams or river diversions and specially sculpted cement riverbeds to create nearly perfect conditions for adventurous paddlers.
Some of the world's best courses run right through the heart of towns or even major cities, making this exciting sport even more accessible to the masses. Others host the world's best whitewater sports professionals for canoe and kayak slalom and freestyle paddling events. Here are eight places to get in on the excitement, as a spectator and participant. (Text: Josh Lew)