We watch the weather and the Dam release schedules very closely. Sometimes we do have to reschedule. The decision is usually made the night before the class around 6 pm. It is imperative that you check your email late the night before or first thing in the morning of the class for any last minute changes.
The class we teach is the "Essentials of River Kayak" as approved by the American Canoe Association (ACA). Classes will be taught by an experienced ACA certified instructor.
Please read the more detailed info that follows these bullet-point reminders:
Do NOT trust your GPS to get you to the park! Please click on the park for a link to a map.
We provide a boat, pfd and paddle unless you indicate that you have your own boat. (This is not a 'roll' class)
Please arrive early or on time - if you are late, you are delaying every member of the class.
Class ending time varies, however, we typically are done between 5:00-6:00pm.
BRING: lunch (no coolers except small soft shell ones), plenty of water, a snack/protein bar, and sunscreen.
What do we do: equipment and safety overview, stoke/paddling technique/boat control practice, learn to 'read the river' and use its currents to your advantage, get WET...most importantly, we have FUN!
What to WEAR: water shoes (no flip flops), quick-dry clothing (not cotton or denim), hat (optional).
All GLASSES/Sunglasses must be secured by a cord. There is a possibility of loss.
...Keep reading to ensure you have all the information necessary to enjoy the class...
This is an introductory class in which you will learn the skills needed to become a competent recreational paddler on lakes and easy rivers. This is for brand new paddlers or paddlers with a little experience that want to take their skills to the next level. After mastering these skills, transitioning to white water paddling becomes much easier if you decide to follow that route.
Course Description: THIS IS AN ALL DAY CLASS. WE NORMALLY GET BACK TO THE CARS BETWEEN 5:00 AND 6:00. We spend a day on the Hooch teaching basic kayaking skills. The class begins at Johnson Ferry Park where we discuss river safety and paddling principles. This part of the river is slow moving and essentially flat. We cover basic paddle strokes and boat control before moving down the river.
We stop for lunch somewhere down stream around 1-1:30 so eat a good breakfast and maybe bring a granola bar to keep you going.
After lunch it is back to the water where we continue to practice our skills. You will be learning boat control in class I and I+ rapids. Our take out point will be Paces Mill Park. At the end of the course, you should feel comfortable paddling rivers with Class II rapids which means you can paddle the Chattahoochee from Buford Dam to Florida! Expect to spend approximately 1 hour in a riverside class, then approximately 5-6 hours on the river. We will furnish the boat, the paddle and the PFD (personal flotation device/life jacket) or you can use your own equipment. If you have your own equipment, I recommend bringing it so you can practice with what you normally use.
You will need to bring a lunch, plenty of drinks and of course sun screen. (ice chests do not fit in the boats unless they are the very small soft type)
Dress to get wet. Cotton and denim are the two worst things you can wear. If you have a light weight rain jacket, it is always a good idea to have it with you. Good water shoes are recommended. FLIP FLOPS ARE NOT ALLOWED! Shoes without laces are best. Sunglasses should be on a safety cord. Assume that everything you bring to the river will get wet. ZIPLOC bags are not water proof. Your instructor will have water proof bags for any items that might get damaged by water.
We do not teach the kayak roll in this class. We meet at the boat ramp below Johnson Ferry Park at 8:30. We will self shuttle from this location so do not worry about how to get back to your car.
If you have any questions please call or email John Miller at[masked] or [masked] ([masked])