On May 20, numerous state parks in North Carolina, including three coastal locations, will offer affordable kayaking lessons as part of a statewide initiative.
This event, which coincides with the beginning of National Safe Boating Week, aims to provide accessible and budget-friendly kayaking instruction to a broad audience, according to a report by the Coastal Review.
The North Carolina state park system, the American Canoe Association (ACA) North Carolina chapter, and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary have teamed up to present “Kayaking 101” classes.
The ACA will conduct day-long classes at the discounted rate of $15 per person, a savings of more than $35. Registration is available online at https://tinyurl.com/Kayaking-101-NC, with a limit of 15 in-person spots per class.
Although a free online class option is also offered, hands-on training with a certified instructor is strongly advised.
Brian Strong, Interim Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation, is enthusiastic about providing paddling opportunities to both North Carolina residents and visitors. He highlights the critical role of education and preparation in enhancing safety for paddlers and emergency personnel alike.
The participating state parks include Jockey’s Ridge, Hammocks Beach, Carolina Beach, Morrow Mountain, Hanging Rock, Cliffs of the Neuse, Lake Norman, Falls Lake, Lake James, and Jordan Lake State Recreational Areas.
All instructors are nationally certified volunteers who deliver paddling and rescue training. Each park’s event will accommodate 15 participants, who can either bring their own kayaks or request kayaks, paddles, and life jackets at no extra charge upon registration.
Andrea White, ACA Southeastern Chair, is eager to introduce new paddlers to the sport and underscores the value of proper training. A single day of instruction can greatly impact a participant’s paddling experience, fostering a lifelong passion for the activity.
These classes are made feasible by the contributions of certified instructor volunteers, safety boaters, and generous equipment and financial support from various organizations and businesses.
All partners and sponsors are united by the common goal of educating paddlers across North Carolina to safely enjoy the state’s waterways and paddle sports.
The ACA serves as the national accrediting body for paddle sports education and is dedicated to promoting safe and enjoyable paddling experiences. For additional information about the event, please contact William Holman with ACA North Carolina at 910-578-392.