What we're about

Nashville Kayak Lessons ranks #1 in Tennessee for the number of lessons taught according to a contest held by the American Canoe Association. This was made possible by thousands of students who told their friends, family and co-workers about the lesson and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Home of the original American Canoe Association certified recreational kayak instructor in Nashville! I teach private and personalized three hour kayak lessons restricted to groups of five. No large group teaching here! Lessons are held at my waterfront home allowing you to concentrate on the lesson with no distraction from the public. It's safe, calm water.You'll learn how to kayak or improve your skills, and have fun with a small group and one-on-one instruction. I enjoy passing the love of the sport to others and make learning fun! The three hour private instruction class includes how to transport your boat, what to buy (and not buy), and practice your first Oops! with the safety of an instructor on hand.

I'm now certified to instruct Boy Scouts. I've taught many children over the years and would love to help your scout earn their Kayak Badge!

This is my 12th year of teaching over 2,300 people ages 8-72 in Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana and Kentucky and Georgia. My business has grown by word of mouth. Sign up for a hands-on private and personalized kayak lesson with tons of practical and money-saving tips. By the end of the lesson, you will navigate a kayak like you've been doing it for years. That is my promise to you.

I'm an ACA (American Canoe Association) Certified Kayak Instructor and wrote a book, "A Beginner's Guide to Kayaking (https://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Guide-Kayaking-Leslie-Dunn/dp/1735723312/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=how+to+kayak+leslie+dunn&qid=1624653680&s=digital-text&sr=1-2)," based on the lessons and 17 years experience. Kayak lessons includes all gear at no extra charge. During the lesson, you will try out a variety of kayaks to find the one that suits you perfectly.

Comments from students:

• “ Lesson was great! Leslie, Thank you so much. Learned what to do, learned what not to do(and buy) and met some great people . Now to need to get out there and practice :) ” — Louise Stroop (https://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Kayak-Lessons/members/14051566/)

• “ It was great. I got everything and more out of the lesson that I expected. Leslie was very informative and a fantastic instructor. I feel sure that I can now get in a Kayak and paddle with confidence. ”—Cindy Woodring (https://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Kayak-Lessons/members/189180675/)

• “ My husband and I took our first kayaking class last Saturday. It was absolutely the best! Leslie taught us about paddling, getting in and out of the boat and so many skills for safety. We were also able to try out a variety of kayaks to see which one was best. Don't wait, take her class and you will be hooked. ” — Nora C. (https://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Kayak-Lessons/members/188589763/)

• “ I just did a Moonlight event . We had so much fun . I am still playing with this amazing group a year later . Always feel at Home with Leslie Dunn and the group. ” — Séamus McMeel (https://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Kayak-Lessons/members/167296392/)

Happy Paddlin'

Leslie Dunn

615-461-0711 (Like everyone else, I don't answer numbers I don't recognize. Please don't let that stop you from calling with any questions, though. I always call people back.)

p.s. I've been asked by students to include this: Do not purchase any gear or boat until after the kayak lesson. After the lesson you will be able to make informed money-saving decisions and maybe save yourself a trip back to the store.

Upcoming events (3)

Private Kayak Lesson

Nashville Kayak Lessons


You'll be treated to three hours of a private kayak lesson with no more than four other people with a five star instructor that’s taught over 2,300 new kayakers. I teach from my home on Bledsoe Creek; there's no onlookers and it's calm, quiet water. Perfect for learning how to kayak!

Everything you'll need to learn is provided with the lesson at no extra charge including trying out different kayaks to find out what suits you perfectly.

What you'll learn: Learn to control and navigate a kayak where you want it to go, paddling safety, Universal River Signals, how to load and unload a boat, what to buy and not buy, and hot tips on safe kayaking and river etiquette. By the end of the lesson, you'll talk and feel like a paddler and have fun! Please feel free to read the great comments (https://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Kayak-Lessons/about/comments/?op=all) left by previous students.

What to bring: Wear or bring shoes that can get wet, and comfortable clothes. If you want to get 'baptized' and get your first flip out of the way, bring a change of clothes and a towel.

Children ages 8+ welcome to attend. Please contact me regarding your child's size so I can determine if any special accommodations are needed. No problem if that's the case, I love teaching children.

***At the end of the lesson, you'll receive a free copy of my book, "Quiet Water Kayaking - A Beginner's Guide" and a free quality safety device as my way of saying Thank You.***

Please Note: OPEN AND CLOSE THE GATE on the left side when you arrive and then proceed 1/3 mile to the parking area. There are cows on the property which is why the gate is closed when you arrive. I teach where I live, and I live on the water. You'll be on private property with plenty of parking and no distractions from the public. Due to the proprietary nature of the instruction I’ve developed over ten years, no guest observers will be allowed.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Use "Nashville Kayak Lessons" instead of my address for navigating. I've lived here 10 years and seems Google cached in the name of my business superseding my address.

In case of bad weather, please check email and/or website evening before and day of event for any potential updates. As much as I treasure everyone's opinion, I'll make the decision about whether or not to proceed. In the event that I cancel the lesson, you will have the choice of a refund or choosing another date to receive a lesson.

Volunteer Op! Thanksgiving food prep at Gallatin CARES

330 N Durham Ave

Gallatin CARES need extra hands to help prepare Thanksgiving meal. This is a shared event with the Fresh Air and Freedom Meetup.

Stay for an hour or as long as you like cutting, chopping, dicing and mixing. They also need help with serving the meal on Thanksgiving which I'll post, too. I'm for sure attending the food prep. If you're looking for a way to give back for all your blessings, mark this on your calendar. It's a great opportunity to teach children about helping others, too. If they're under 16 they have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

I hope to see you there!

Volunteer for Thanksgiving at Gallatin CARES

330 N Durham Ave

The Meetup Fresh Air and Freedom is hosting this event (thank you, Laura!). This is a copy paste from her site:

"A statistic from 2019 shows that more than 934,000 people in Tennessee, about 30% of them kids, deal with limited or uncertain access to food. Gallatin CARES says not on their watch.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week are big days for Gallatin CARES and they need volunteers. Tuesday will be a day of preparation and Wednesday will be a day of serving. Would you like to join me serving the least of these? You can chose one or both days (Yes, I am that bold to ask LOL)

All volunteers under 16 have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Also, please consider a cash donation or items for the thrift store."

I'm not sure if I'm attending this event but will be doing food prep the day before Thanksgiving. When you get there, tell them that you are with the Fresh Air and Freedom Meetup.

Past events (623)

Private Kayak Lesson: Last Saturday class for 2021

Nashville Kayak Lessons


Photos (2,071)

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