Please read the information below thoroughly. It will help ensure things run as smoothly as possible. We are looking forward to introducing you to the wonderful world of river kayaking!
This class will be at the Collierville-Arlington Road access point to the Wolf River. Below is a Google Maps link to the location. It is very important you use Google Maps to navigate here.
Below is a link to the waiver form for the trip. Please print it out, read it, initial and sign, and bring it with you. If you have a guest besides yourself, a copy will need to be filled out by them as well. If your guest is a minor, please fill this out on their behalf and a parent or legal guardian must sign and attend.
LIFEJACKETS ARE REQUIRED: Every Blues City Kayaks participant is required to wear a US Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while paddling or in the water. Children must wear child size approved PFD’s. There are no exceptions to the PFD requirements. A PFD is included with your boat rental.
All Blues City Kayaks participants will need to meet the class location no later than the scheduled start time.
If you have any questions ,or have difficulty finding the venue, please don't hesitate to call or text (901) 762-1133.
You should bring sunscreen & bug spray, water, snacks, as well as any other personal items you may need. For a comfortable trip back home, you may want to bring a second set of clothing to keep in your vehicle to change into after the class.
Dry-wick or neoprene layers are recommended. Another recommendation is to bring a set of dry clothing in the event your clothes get wet. Please bring plenty of water and snacks for the class. Also, be sure and bring a very pleasant, accommodating attitude and come prepared to enjoy a relaxing evening laying the foundation for your kayaking skills!
Water sensitive electronic devices should be securely stored in a dry bag when not in use. “Zip-lock” plastic bags are not waterproof and will not offer protection from the water. Your instructor will have dry bags for such items so be sure let your instructor know if you need something stored. Items to consider are cellphones, electronic keys, wallets, cameras, and anything else that could be damaged if immersed in water.
During our course you will go through the following:
Introduction, Expectations, & Logistics:
- Welcome, introductions, paperwork
- Student & instructor course expectations and limitations
- Course itinerary & site logistics
- Review waiver, assumption of risk, challenge by choice, medical disclosure
- About the ACA
- PFD policy (always wear on water)
- Appropriate personal behavior
- No alcohol / substance abuse
- Proper etiquette on & off the water
- Respect private property
- Practice Leave No Trace ethics
The Paddling Environment:
- Personal ability
- Swimming ability
- Water comfort & confidence
- Fitness, conditioning, and warm up
- Safe paddle and boat handling
- Safety and rescue considerations
- Personal equipment (reviewed by Instructor)
- Judgment. In addition to learning hard skills, the importance of developing personal judgment and group responsibility increases on more difficult paddling venues.
- Warm-up and stretching
- How to pick up a kayak safely
- Car topping: loading and unloading, racks, straps
- Launching and landing
- Boarding, three points of contact, weight kept low, etc.
- Posture, safety, comfort, effectiveness, rocking, balance
- Water comfort and confidence
- Wet exits1 in two ways: (1) utilizing the sprayskirt grab loop and (2) releasing the skirt off the hip
- How to empty a kayak
- Basic Terminology
- Types of strokes: power, turning
- Stroke components: catch, propulsion, recovery (CPR), control, correction
- Safe and effective body usage
- Life Jackets (PFDs): types, fit
- Kayaks: types, materials, parts (including safety features such as flotation)
- Paddles: types, materials, parts, length, blade size & shape, hand position.
- Spray skirts: types and material, grab loop!
- Care of equipment
- Personal equipment: water, food, shoes, hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, sun glasses, eyeglass straps, protective clothing for heat or cold, sponge, bailer/pump, whistle, knife, light
- Optional equipment and outfitting
- Current (cfs), volume, direction, and changes caused by streambed features
Safety & Rescue:
- Exercising judgment, safety as a state of mind.
- Principles of Rescue ◦ Priorities: first people, then boats, finally other gear ◦ Responsibilities of the victim ◦ Responsibilities of the rescuers ◦ Responsibilities of the group
- Types of Rescue ◦ Self Rescue ◦ Boat assisted rescue, towing or bulldozing a tired swimmer, towing or bulldozing a capsized boat ◦ Shoreline Rescue: Extension rescues, use of throw ropes/bags
- J-lean / Heeling the boat
- Paddling in a reasonably straight line.
- Eddy Turns
- Peel Outs
- Moving Abeam
- Back (stopping)
- Sculling draw
- Sweep (including Stern Draw)
- Reverse Sweep
- Low Brace
- Self Rescue
- Swimming in current
- Boat Emptying
- Assisted Rescue
- From shore ◦ Extension ◦ Rescue ropes
- From boat ◦ Bulldozing ◦ Towing
Conclusion & Wrap Up:
- Group debrief / Individual feedback
- Course limitations
- Importance of First Aid & CPR
- Importance of additional instruction, practice, experience
- Importance of appropriate level of safety & rescue training
- Demo advanced maneuvers
- Life sport / Paddling options
- Local paddling groups / Clubs
- Handouts / Reference materials
- ACA Membership forms
- Course evaluation
- Participation cards