The public is invited to join Outdoor Chattanooga and Rock/Creek for a free day of kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), dragon boating, kayak fishing, SUP racing and paddling education at the Outdoor Chattanooga-Rock/Creek Paddle Sports Clinics and Demo Day, happening on Saturday, June 21, from 9-3 p.m., at Harrison Bay State Park.
The paddling festival will feature beginner clinics, open paddling sessions and fun races, all designed to familiarize the public with programs, activities and gear that can get them on area lakes and rivers.
"With all the accessible water in the Chattanooga area, it's important to us that we introduce people to safe, fun and inexpensive ways to enjoy these recreation resources," says Outdoor Chattanooga Executive Director Philip Grymes. "By partnering with Rock/Creek and other area clubs and outfitters, we are able to bring some of the best knowledge and gear in the paddlesports industry to Chattanooga, for free.”
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event will feature beginner paddling clinics and demo’s from Wilderness Systems Kayaks, Hobie fishing kayaks, L2Boards, Mohawk Canoes and the Chattanooga Dragon Boat Club.
Chad Wykle, lead buyer from Rock/Creek, says: “We’re excited to work with the City and local paddlers to have a fun day out on the water and to bring some of the top vendors in the industry to this event. We’ve tried to create a variety of activities that will appeal to everyone from total beginners to experienced paddlers. We’re also pumped about hosting everyone for a Pint Night after a fun day on the water. We’re doing that at our new-ishpaddlesports store and outlet across from Boathouse Restaurant on Riverside Drive.”
Waconda Bay SUP Yoga will offer an introduction to standup paddleboard yoga, Werner Paddles will host a paddling technique clinic, and NRS will introduce people to the essentials of layering when getting out on the water. Jackson Kayaks will bring in their brand ambassador Samantha Christen & her dog Abbie to give attendees important tips how to take their four-legged-friends on paddling adventures.
At 1 p.m., Rock/Creek will host a fun SUP sprint race, the BIC SUP One Design Challenge. Grown-ups and kids alike are invited to join a novice-friendly SUP race, all competitors will race about a half a mile on the same kind of boards provided by Rock/Creek. There are three categories to choose from: Women, men and youth, for eight years and older. Winners will be rewarded with a medal. All interested racers can sign up for free at the BIC SUP booth beginning at 12.30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a life jacket, if they own one.
Throughout the day, the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club and the Rapid Learning Whitewater Program will offer information about their whitewater training programs and Outdoor Chattanooga will have information about a full summer of flat water canoe and kayak activities.
The public can sign up for all clinics, demo’s and races by visiting vendor booths at the festival between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Anyone participating should come prepared to get wet and bring water and sun protection. Sturdy river shoes, swim shoes or old tennis shoes are recommended.
The event will happen at the far end of Harrison Bay State Park, just past Campground #3. (http://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/park-maps/harrison-bay_park-map.pdf)
After all the fun and fresh air at Harrison Bay State Park, the day will end with a Pint Night at Rock/Creek Paddlesports Store at Riverside Dr from 5-7 p.m. Local stand-up paddle boarder Ben Friberg will present a slideshow from his past adventure at the Yukon river and upcoming endurance challenges. Please RSVP to the Pint Night here: www.rockcreek.com/event