MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Want to learn how to kayak? The Tennessee chapter of the American Canoe Association (ACA) is offering low-cost instructions in a joint effort with Tennessee State Parks for National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 21-27, 2022.
Twelve Tennessee state parks will be taking part in the classes at 9 a.m. on May 21st. They will cost $15 per person, and the money will go to the state parks. All instructors are nationally certified volunteers who can give paddling and rescue training.
A limited number of kayaks, paddles, and life jackets are available fore free, but participants need to reserve the equipment during registration. Folks can register HERE.
In person space is limited, but a free online class is also available. Learn more HERE.
Each park will offer either introductory flatwater kayaking or river kayaking, depending on the park.
Participating Tennessee State Parks include:
- Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
- Chickasaw State Park
- Harpeth River State Park
- Long Hunter State Park
- Fall Creek Falls State Park
- Seven Islands State Birding Park
- Big Ridge State Park
- Harrison Bay State Park
- Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park
- Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park
- Cove Lake State Park
- Warriors’ Path State Park
ACA Tennessee estimates there are about one million people regularly paddling Tennessee waterways who have not had any formal training. Andrea White, state director for ACA, said Tennessee lead the nation in 2020 and 2021 in river-related paddling deaths.
“We are fortunate to have Tennesseans who are certified ACA paddle sports instructors volunteering to partner with our park rangers to conduct the training as part of National Safe Boating Week,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “This is an opportunity to learn good paddling practices so Tennesseans can safely enjoy our waterways.”
Tennessee State Parks, TWRA, and ACA Tennessee, ACA instructors will also help launch a new national ACA paddlesports angler curriculum in a class designed specifically for Kayak Anglers.
The event, called “Hooked on Safety: Kayak and Safety Skills for Kayak Anglers,” on May 27-29 will be the inaugural class nationally. It will be held at TWRA’s Buffalo Ridge Refuge facility in Waverly, TN. A limited number of kayaks are available for participants, if needed. Registration is open HERE.