Hey Vikings and fellow paddlers!

Jedi Dave here with a quick update on coming events, spring paddling, and where you can find Vikings in the wild. With 2023 already underway, I want to go ahead and start talking about some of our favorite spring events. First things first though let’s talk a bit about spring paddling safety. Up first is “Always dress for the swim.” Often you will hear about the rule of 80/100/120 where they talk about thresholds for combined air &  water temperatures and the relation to the gear you need. 80 or less, and a drysuit is really the only option. 100 degrees is a decent threshold for it being wetsuit weather. As an inflatable kayak driver I’m wet all day so I typically wear wetsuit up past the typical 120 threshold where many kayakers start wearing just a drytop. Just remember to dress for the swim cause were all “between swims”. I prefer my swims to be relaxing and in a heated pool or hot tub… but as kayakers sometimes our swims aren’t quite that enjoyable, LOL. My next point is that it’s a new year and a great time to start looking into a Swiftwater Rescue training (ACA SWR Level 4 for paddlers). These classes are often offered by numerous paddle clubs and outfitters throughout the year. The first one I know of is tentatively scheduled with Ben Mudd on the Elkhorn in March, the 4th & 5th. There are always classes available at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, ACE (Ocoee), and I know the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club “TVCC” usually hosts at least one a year.

Stay tuned for updates on Viking club trips, and our future plans for summer and fall paddling. We’re considering some new trip formats this year, such as, “Overnight”, “Family Friendly”, “Local Cookouts”, and “Intermediate/Advanced Clinics”. We will be starting our club plans for the clinic and other trips soon. For now I have the following list of events in the near future that many of our members are looking forward to.

  • February 18th – Jess Cup – Frankfort, KY – REGISTER HERE
  • February 18th – NPFF – Frankfort, KY
  • March 4th – 5th – *Tenative* SWR on the Elkhorn with Ben Mudd
  • March 17-19 – US Whitewater Center, Charlotte – First day of water (Green for St. Patricks)
  • March 18 – 19 – Ocoee Weekends First Release – Ocoee River, TN
  • April 14 – 16 – Nolichucky Fest – Erwin, TN
  • April 21-23 – US Whitewater Center, Charlotte – Tuckfest!!!
  • May 5 – 6 – Cheat Fest – Kingwood, WV
  • May 13 – 14 – BWA Clinic (Pigeon River) – Hartford, TN
  • June 9 – 11 – East Race Festival – South Bend, IN