Next Meetup

Intro to Kayaking & Essentials of Kayak Touring - ACA Levels 1 & 2 class
The Introduction to Kayaking and Essentials of Kayak Touring courses review basic strokes and introduce safe paddling essentials such as braces (the skill which reduces your risk of capsizing), and how to rescue yourself and/or others in several ways depending on the situation. Additionally, the Essentials of Kayak Touring includes how to use a spray skirt. ---------- CALL[masked] to register. ---------- Course Prerequisite for Level 1: Completion of QuickStart Your Kayak or instructor's permission. Course Prerequisite for Level 2: Completion of Level 1 - Introduction to Kayaking or instructor's permission Skills to be covered & performed: • Forward, reverse, sweep, stopping, and draw strokes • Low and high braces • Wet exit using a spray skirt (applies to sit-in sea kayaks) • Reentering your kayak in deep water • Individual and assisted (helping others) rescues • Trip planning considerations • And lots more This course is highly encouraged for anyone even thinking of paddling in the large, open bays of our local waters. We will intentionally "get wet", probably several times, so dress accordingly. Wear wicking/quick-dry clothing, i.e. NOT cotton. Also footwear which will stay on your feet. Flip-flops are not appropriate footwear during this class. When & where is the class? Class will be from 8:00 until about 4:30, probably in the Gulfport or Flint Creek Reservoir, Wiggins area. Exact location will be determined about 24 hrs before class depending on predicted weather conditions. Plan to bring a bag lunch and/or snacks and water. To register (or for questions): Call[masked]. FYI - no txt this phone. Tuition: $85 for Meetup members. Additionally, there is a $5 charge for ACA insurance if you are not an ACA member. For the Level 1 course: Bring your own kayak. Level 1 participants will not use spray skirts. For the Level 2 course: Bring your own kayak (minimum of two dry compartments or air bags for buoyancy) with a properly fitted spray skirt. Please test your spray skirt for fit on dry land before class. NOTE: Cockpits and spray skirts come in different sizes so make sure yours fits your kayak before class. Call me early on if you have questions about your kayak and spray skirt - or if you need to order a spray skirt. CALL[masked] to register. Clicking "yes" on meetup is not registering. Unless you call, you will not receive preliminary and last minute class information.

Gulfport area - TBD based on weather forecast

Class location will be emailed to registered participants about 24- 48 hrs b4 class · Gulfport, MS

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What we're about

Calling all paddlers of sea kayaks, recreation kayaks, sit-on-tops (SOTs), fishing kayaks, and racers! (And canoeists/paddle-boarders too.)

Our mission is to form a community of people who enjoy paddling safely , meeting other kayakers, and discovering new places to paddle in the South Mississippi area.

There are many waterways to explore along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and for those hearty adventurers who complete specialized sea kayak training and emergency situation skills, even the barrier islands. Plus, we are 4 hours or less drive to outstanding paddling in Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.

It is FREE to join our paddling group. You will get emails and email updates on kayak trips we plan.

Some paddling things you can choose to do:

• Group paddles. An event organizer will coordinate each group paddle. The meet up paddles may be conducted at various levels of required paddling skill necessary to safely enjoy the event. Each paddler is responsible for his/her own safety. These are not guided paddles - the event organizer is not a paddling guide, merely a paddling enthusiast just as each of us !! The paddle trips may range from easy to very challenging (and only for trained & experienced paddlers). Almost all kayak trips sound interesting for one reason or another regardless of the difficulty, however if you do not have the skill, paddling experience, and/or equipment required for a particular paddle, understand that the event organizer may ask you to sit this one out. Please be understanding and recognize the event organizer is doing this for your safety and the safety of the group based on their personal experience.

• Safe paddling! This covers many areas of concern, some we cannot control, however the two most important items we can control are: 1) wear a properly fitting life jacket (PFD) that is buckled/zipped up at all times when on the water in your kayak, and 2) abstain from alcohol and/or drugs before and while paddling on kayak trips.

• Paddling friends. Kayaking is a team sport. It is much safer to paddle with others rather than paddling solo.

• Kayak skill development. A few meetup members are certified instructors who offer American Canoe Association (ACA) sanctioned kayaking lessons which are ideal for our coastal area. Learning to paddle efficiently and being introduced to and/or practicing with kayaking safety equipment will give you the confidence to paddle more and in more challenging conditions. Completing some classes followed by additional individual practice should make you a safer paddler. NOTE: Instructors usually charge a fee for these highly recommended ACA classes.

• Paddling advocacy. Though we have no political agenda, many of us enjoy nature and would like to see wild areas remain friendly for people to enjoy the outdoors and viewing wildlife. Sometimes we choose individually to make our voices heard.

There is also no obligation to be a part of our paddling community. We ask that you simply have a love for the outdoors and a desire for safe paddling adventure.

As our group grows we hope to create group discounts at other events, races, kayak instruction, and with local outfitters.

Please basic paddling safety: 1) wear a properly fitting PFD when on the water, and 2) no alcohol prior to or while paddling a kayak. Save any alcohol for a post-paddling celebration on land!

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