Kayaking 101 with ACA & Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park

Kayaking 101 with ACA & Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park – Saturday, May 18 at meet us at the Gee Creek Campground Amphitheater (10:00am to 4:00pm).  423-263-0050

Summer is right around the corner and kayaking is a great way to enjoy Tennessee’s beautiful outdoors! Tennessee State Parks and the certified paddlesports instructors of ACA Tennessee are teaming up to get you started!

As part of National Safe Boating Week, certified ACA Kayak instructors are volunteering their time to offer you a special opportunity to take these classes for just $15. Typically, these same classes would cost between $50 and $100! We are limited to 15 slots per class so sign up now! All types of kayaks are welcome.

If you are new to paddling, looking to meet paddling friends or have had a bad experience and are looking to learn a better way to go about it, sign up now. Please reach out to contact us with any questions.

Below is a short list of the types of things that will be covered in the class:
* Trip planning, preparation, and prevention
* What equipment you should carry
* Parts of the boat, parts of the paddle
* Understanding how bulkheads/floatation help make you safer
* How to properly carry & transport your boat
* Basic posture for full body paddling and boat control
* Basic paddling strokes
* How to get in and out of your boat properly
* Basic river reading skills
* Moving water skills to control your boat and avoid obstacles: edging, how to cross an eddy line to catch an eddy, how to cross an eddy line to go straight, peel out into the current, ferry across a river without moving downstream, S-turn
* Wading across current with a paddle
* Defensive swimming position
* Understanding your options when there is a tree across the river
(strainer bar drill)

What to bring:
* Camp chair
* Life Jacket* (You will be required to wear your life jacket at all times when on the water.)
* Paddle
* Kayak
* Helmet* (Helmet required if you are in a sit inside kayak with skirt or using thigh straps on a Sit on Top
* Kayak; helmet recommended but optional otherwise
* Plenty of Water to drink
* Sunscreen or hat
* Strap for your glasses
* Lunch and snacks (We will break for lunch but we will all eat together and then resume the class so we all need to bring our lunches.)

If you need to borrow a kayak, paddle and life jacket, you will have the option to add one to your registration at no extra charge during the registration process. Tennessee State Parks are making this gear available to you at no charge as a special opportunity for this class during National Safe Boating Week. Students at this class will paddle approximately 5 river miles on the beautiful Lower Hiwassee River as part of this class.

What to wear: Keep in mind we will be paddling and practicing skills for what to do if you capsize, so you will get wet. Quick drying fabrics and shorts are better for paddling than cotton clothing…which will just keep you wet and cold all day. Please do not wear flip flops. Closed-toe river shoes or sneakers are perfect. You need shoes that attach at your ankles and provide some amount of traction.

Weather: We will meet Rain or Shine so that we can take advantage of this time with these instructor volunteers to at least receive land-based education. If the weather conditions are questionable your Lead Instructor will make safety-based decisions about when and whether to go on the water and you will always have the opportunity to choose your own level of involvement. Everything we do in this class will be challenge by choice.

Meet on that day: Please plan to meet us at the Gee Creek Campground Amphitheater at 10 am on Saturday, May 18. Contact Ranger Angelo Giansante at angelo.giansante@tn.gov with any questions about the park or registration contact ACA Tennessee State Director ANDe Demetriou at TNStateDirector@americancanoe.net with any questions about the class. By registering for this class I am hereby giving my permission for Tennessee State Parks, ACA, and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary to use any photos taken during this class.

Cancellation Deadline/Refund: Participants may cancel no later than Friday, May 10th, 5:00 PM with a 50% refund. After May 10th, 5:00 PM there will be no refunds for participant cancellation.

Weather Cancellation: There is no alternate date. In the event of a weather-related cancellation by park staff on 5/17/24 or prior we will offer a full refund. In the event of a weather-related cancellation on 5/18/24 or later, we will consider refunds on a case-by-case basis.

The event is finished.


May 18 2024


10:00 AM - 4:00 PM