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Dave Kingshott shares the following update:

Spring is here Y’all and it’s time to get our paddle on!

With warmer temps we will be getting out on the water with friends who may not have all the same cold water gear. Be aware of paddlers around you who may be showing signs of hypothermia especially if they’ve had a swim. Always dress for the swim, because it might be 75 degrees in the air, but some of these rivers could still have water in the 40’s. Some signs to watch for: uncontrollable shivering, blue lips, slurred speech, difficulty with simple decisions. If in doubt, eddy out. Take a break out of the water to warm up, build a fire, and don’t be afraid to walk. With new friends joining us on our trips remember the rule of 80/100/120. If you add air and water temp together and that number is less than 80, plan to have thermals and a drysuit. With a combined temp of 100 many people go for a wetsuit/drytop combo depending on what they’re paddling and personal preference. Once those combined temps start reaching 120+ you’ll have the comfort to wear your personal level of comfort. Personally as ducky guy, I am in water all day, and typically wear a wetsuit up to the 140 mark.

It’s a new year and a great time to score some new (or new to you) gear! Don’t forget to tag your new gear like boats and paddles with contact information. In the event of lost gear its easy to get it back to you, but more importantly it can help reduce the search and rescue load from first responders if they’re able to reach out and contact you quickly if gear is found in uncertain circumstances.

Roll practices over winter have ben a great success with multiple members getting a solid pool roll as well as a few new faces to whitewater. Stay tuned for roll practices to shift to Long Run park, which is always a great time and sometimes includes “Jedi Daves Cooler Corn”.

Speaking of training, SWR classes are offered through the NOC, ACE, and NOLI kayaking schools, as well as other paddle clubs in the region including the TSRA, APES, and CCC. Clinics are forming now in all the regional paddling clubs, so those are another great source of learning.

Our Start of Sumer clinic is forming now May 31-June 2. We need river volunteers as well as camp volunteers. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to reach out to any Viking Officer. Volunteers at Viking clinics always camp and eat free.

Theres lots of events coming up with Vikings paddling in the wild, come check out some of these events:

Ocoee River Weekends – running all weekends through Memorial day, then they start releasing for summer season

Viking Spring Clinic (free for members)
Clinic signup: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gsbC_mQagmEEeLdSpq5mx3dzXUnhHxE-4rdj2_k4t7c/

Being a member of the VCC is all we ask. Join here if you haven’t already: vikingcanoeclub.info/join/

  • NoliFest – April 12-14 – Erwin, TN
  • Nantahala Open – April 19-21 – Endless River Adventures, Bryson City, TN
  • NOC Spring Fling – April 19-21 -NOC Bryson City, TN
  • Tuckfest – April 19-21 – USNWC Charlotte, NC
  • BWA Spring Clinic – April 26-28 – Ratliff Hole Russel Fork
  • Chattooga Fest – May 3-5 – Longcreek, SC
  • CheatFest – May4-5 – Albright, WV
  • NRG Race & Rodeo – May 10-11 – Fayetteville, WV
  • StoneyFest – May 19-21 – Johnstown, PA
  • Louisville Hike Bike & Paddle – May 27 – Louisville, KY
  • Women’s Paddlefest – May 31-June 2 – Nantahala Outdoor Center – Bryson City, NC
  • Viking Clinic – June 7-9 – Location TBA
  • Eastrace Whitewater Festival – June 7-9 – South Bend, IN
  • Viking Summer Party – July 27-28 – Location TBA