Susan races a K1 (individual kayak) boat with a rudder for steering. However due to her disability she is unable to use the foot controls connected to the rudder and has to steer using her paddle. A sprint racing kayak is propelled by a double-bladed paddle and is designed for flat-water racing. Sprint race distances include 200m, 500m, 1km, 5km and marathon races are distances over 10km.
Susan has competed for Australia in K1 at six ICF World Paracanoe Sprint Championships and won a Bronze medal in 2015, 2016 and 2019. Paracanoe made its debut at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games with the 200m K1 sprint race event. Susan won a Paralympic Bronze and was the first Australia in history to win a medal in Para-canoe at Paralympic level.
Susan races a V1 or single person Va’a canoe boat, which is an outrigger canoe without a rudder. Outrigger canoes have a narrow hull and outrigger float for stability. Canoes are paddled with a single blade paddle which is also used for steering.
In this boat Susan has won a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. She won three Gold medals and the World Champion Title at the 2015, 2016, and 2017 ICF World Sprint Championships. She achieved a Silver medal in the event at the 2019 ICF World Championships.
Susan also takes part in team boat canoeing races and competes internationally with the Australian Team in an outrigger canoe with six people (OC6). Paddled in a similar way to the V1, except the OC6 has a team of five paddlers and one paddler reasonable for steering. Sprint race distances are 500m in a straight line and 1000m with turns. Marathon races are of varying distances in open water.
Susans’ Australian Team won two gold medals at the 2014 IVF Outrigger Canoe World Sprint Championships in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Her team place 3rd in the Open Mixed category at the 2020 Sydney Harbour Challenge over 22km.