A statewide effort to offer low-cost kayaking instruction will take place Saturday, May 20, at several North Carolina state parks, including a three on the coast.
The state park system, North Carolina chapter of the American Canoe Association, or ACA, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary are offering “Kayaking 101” as part of National Safe Boating Week, which begins the same day.
Classes offered by the ACA will cost $15 per person for the day, a discount of over $35. Register at https://tinyurl.com/Kayaking-101-NC. In-person spaces are limited to 15. A free online class is also available but in-person training with a certified instructor is strongly encouraged.
Division of Parks and Recreation Interim Director Brian Strong said they love providing opportunities to paddle for our residents and visitors to North Carolina.
“Paddling comes with some of the greatest responsibility for visitors,” he said. “Being educated and prepared improves safety not only for paddlers but also for emergency personnel.”
Participating state parks are the following:
- Jockey’s Ridge State Park
- Hammocks Beach State Park
- Carolina Beach State Park
- Morrow Mountain State Park
- Hanging Rock State Park
- Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
- Lake Norman State Park
- Falls Lake State Recreational Area
- Lake James State Park
- Jordan Lake State Recreational Area
All instructors are volunteers who are nationally certified to provide paddling and rescue training. Each park’s event will be limited to 15 participants. Participants can either bring their own kayak or indicate at registration that they would like to borrow a kayak, paddle and life jacket at no additional cost.
“The volunteer instructors are excited to help out again this year to bring new paddlers into our sport,” said ACA Southeastern Chair Andrea White. ”Just one day of training can make the difference between setting yourself up for a bad experience that ruins the sport for you versus setting yourself up for a whole lifetime of paddling fun, enjoying our amazing waterways.”
These classes are made available by certified instructor volunteers and safety boaters from multiple organizations and businesses. Equipment and financial support were donated by other sponsors. All partners and sponsors have helped to make this event possible with one goal in mind: to help educate paddlers statewide who enjoy North Carolina waterways and paddlesports.
The ACA is the national accrediting body for paddle sports education.
Contact William Holman with ACA North Carolina at 910-578-392 for more information.