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Kayaking Lessons

The Basics:
Event Type:Water
Event Location: -
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jul 13 2002  9:00 am >> N/A
Registration Opens: Mon, Jan 1 2007 12:00 am
Registration Cut Off: Mon, Jul 1 2002 11:59 pm
Event Duration:per itinerary
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
Katherine Martin
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:40
Minimum Group Size:5
Number Registered So Far: 6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Easy to Moderate

Sean will hold the clinic on the Hiwasee River, near Etowah, TN. This site offers a convenient flat-water site for the initial portion of the course, and an absolutely gorgeous Class 2 whitewater river run that flows through an incredibly scenic mountain river gorge. There is also a convenient campground nearby for those that would be interested in camping. We can provide more information concerning the site, directions to camping for any interested in camping in the area.

This will be a basic whitewater and a whitewater courses combined into a one day class taught 1/2 day on flatwater...break for lunch....1/2 day class 2 river trip.

  • Course outline:
    • American Canoe Association
    • Whitewater Kayak Course
  • Purpose:
    • The ACA Whitewater course is a program emphasizing safety, enjoyment, and skill acquisition for entry-level through intermediate individuals in public, private and commercial settings.
  • Goals:
    1. Safety- To safely paddle on whitewater, perform self rescue and respond to emergencies that arise.
    2. Enjoyment- To become aware of paddling opportunities and the rewards of lifetime participation in paddling.
    3. Skills- To acquire the skills to safely and enjoyably paddle a kayak on whitewater.
  • Prerequisites:
    • NONE
The Basic Whitewater, and Whitewater classes are not progressive. They are typically taught as separate courses with no prerequisites or recommended following courses. The following is a summary of course content for the whitewater kayak program. The REQUIRED information is required for all courses. All other information should be considered optional and included to best fit the students, class locations, and time allowed.

  • Basic Whitewater
  • Flatwater and easy (Class 1) whitewater
  • Whitewater
  • Flatwater and up to Class 2 Whitewater
Successive Courses: Advanced Whitewater

Course Outline*

  • Introduction and Logistics (REQUIRED)
  • Welcome
  • Introduction of Instructors and Participants
  • Overview with expectations and limitations
  • Waiver/Assumption of Risk/Medical Form
  • Site specific procedures, regulations, times
  • WARM UP and stretching to reduce injury
  • ACA Safety Packet
  • Hypothermia
  • Alcohol/Chemical Substances abuse
  • Group Responsibilities/ No Peer Pressure
Personal Preparation (REQUIRED)
  1. Learning Judgment
    • Continue learning from other experienced paddlers
    • Responsibility to support other paddlers ( no peer pressure)
    • Group Equipment: extra paddle, rescue sling, drybags, maps, first aid kit, rescue gear
    • Guidebooks, local knowledge
    • Assessing Current enviormental conditions, including water, weather, time of day, temperature, accessibility
    • Assessing personal and group dynamics (Skills, equipment, group makeup, logistics, group selection, leadership)
  2. Safety and Rescue
    • Principle of Rescue
      1. Priorities - People, Boats, Gear (required)
      2. Responsibilities of Victim
      3. Responsibilities of Rescuers
    • Types of Rescue
      1. Self Rescue in moving current (required)
        • -body/boat positions
        • -handling equipment
      2. Boat Assisted Rescue
        • -Tired Swimmer
        • -Towing
      3. Bumping
      4. Shoreline Rescue - Extension Rescues
        • -Use of throw bags/ropes
        • -Pinned craft
  1. Kayak: types, materials, flotation, parts (including safety features: walls, foot braces, grab loops) Kayak outfitting: comfort and safety; back rests, hip pads
  2. Paddle: types. Parts, length, blade size and shape, fitting, hand position
  3. Spray skirts: types and materials, grab loop
  4. Care of equipment
  5. Personal equipment: water, food, shoes, sunscreen, bug repellant, sun glasses, eyeglass straps, protective clothing for heat and cold, sponge, hat, foot protection, whistle
  6. Car topping: loading and unloading, racks, tie down
  7. life jackets (PFDs): types and fit
  8. helmet: types, fit
Getting Started (required)
  • Launching, carries, landing
  • Water confidence and comfort
  • Rescue Priorities: People, gear, and boats
  • Wet exits
  • How to empty a kayak
The terminology of Paddling
  1. (frequently blended in with stroke instruction)
  2. Types of strokes: power, turning, and bracing
  3. Stroke components: catch, propulsion, recovery, control and correction
  4. Effective body usage and bio - kinetics
    • Use of larger torso muscles
    • Arms as struts connecting paddle to torso
    • Avoidance of positions that contribute to shoulder injury or dislocations
The Paddling Environment (* items required)
  • Fundamentals of River Currents
    1. *Characteristics of current
    2. Downstream and upstream Vs/chutes
    3. Eddies / Eddy lines
    4. Waves / Wave holes
    5. Bends
  • Effects of Obstacles
    1. ledges / horizon lines
    2. strainers and sieves
    3. Rocks / pillows
    4. Holes / hydraulics
  • Other hazards
    1. Power of the current / river level
    2. cold water
    3. dams / flow diversion structures/ pipelines
    4. Undercut Rocks / Ice
  • International Scale of River Difficulty
River Running
  • Strategies in running rivers
    1. How to paddle in current
    2. spacing / avoid tunnel vision
  • Scouting
    1. from boat / from shore
    2. how to establish the best line / Plan B
  • Portaging Hazards
    1. Group Organization on the river
    2. Group cohesiveness (lead, sweep boats, etc…)
    3. Universal River Signals System
Emergency Procedures

  • Forward Sweep (aggressive and reactive technique)
  • Reverse sweep
  • Stern draw
  • Bow draw
  • Forward
  • Back
  • T (eskimo) rescue
  • Optional at instructors discretion
    • Roll
    • High brace
    • Low brace
    • Bow draw
    • Stationary draw
    • Sculling draw
    • Duffek and other draw variations
Maneuvers (practiced on flatwater)
  • spins: boat pivots in place
  • forward: boat moves in reasonably straight line
  • reverse: boat moves in a reasonably straight line
  • stopping: boat stops within a reasonable distance
  • turns: boat turns in broad arc made while underway
  • veering, carving, and paddling the inside circle
  • abeam: boat moves sideways without headway
  • sideslips:boat moves sideways with headway
Whitewater practice
  • Ferriers
  • Eddy turns
  • Peelouts
    1. wide (exit wide from eddy line)
    2. shallow (exit close to eddy line)
  • Sequences of maneuvers
    1. C - turns (peel out and eddy into same eddy)
    2. S - turns (peel out one side and eddy into opposite side)
  • Surfing (for whitewater course only)

Next steps (required)
  • Emphasize the need for further instruction, practice and
  • Experience
  • River reading
  • Hazard recognition and avoidance
  • Boat control
  • Managing, reducing, eliminating risks
  • Recommendation for first aid, cpr, and rescue training
  • River etiquette
  • Other paddling options
  • Local paddling clubs / groups
  • ACA membership forms
  • Participation cards
  • Evaluation of course
Please Note: Instructor may adjust the course at their discretion

Required Items to Bring:
The students without gear should either borrow the gear or contact area outfitters for purchase or rentals
Spray skirt
Life jacket
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
A spray jacket, wetsuit, or drytop is not required but is highly recommended.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:Hiwasee River, near Etowah, TN *10:00 am Hiwasee River, near Etowah, TN (approximately a two hour drive from Atlanta)
*Class times are always subject to change due to the almighty TVA river god
Directions to be provided to participants

Please provide any information concerning any pre-existing medical conditions (asthma, injuries, heart problems etc...), and allergies (this is important...if a student is allergic to a bee sting we need to make sure an epi-pen is available, etc...)
Are Dogs Permitted? NO
Will this event occur rain or shine? In most cases
* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost Includes:*$85.00 per person (equipment rental to be arranged by the student)
Absolutely no refunds or cancellations permitted after payment has been received.

*Class times are always subject to change due to the almighty TVA river god

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.