Events > 2015 > July > Nantahala Step Up Clinic - Kayak

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About this event:

Created by Jim Tebbel

Tuckasegee and Nantahala Rivers, NC

The objective of this class is to spend time working on the skills necessary to run the Nantahala.  Emphasis will be on reading the river, boat control and maneuvers on the river.  Throughout our trip down the river we will review and polish-up essential river running strokes and skills through instruction and drills.  It will be a challenging weekend that results in the participant not only polishing up their skills but also trying new maneuvers.  This will be a fun course that will result in your first run of the one of the Southeast’s finest class II/III rivers.
Course Pre-requisites:
Paddlers should be able to competently maneuver in class II rapids.  Have had at least taken part in a beginner level instruction course and a minimum of 10 days of whitewater experience after the instruction half of which took place on Class II Whitewater.  If your instruction took place prior to this season then you should have at least 5 days of whitewater paddling this season. Required Gear:

  • Kayak with Floatation
  • Paddle
  • Skirt
  • PFD – Personal Floatation Devices
  • Helmet
  • Throw Rope
  • Appropriate river clothing & shoes
  • Sun block
  • Water
  • Lunch for day one and two of the class

Class Schedule:
Saturday – July 25th –
Run the Tuckaseegee – Putting in below Dillsboro drop – Non-Demanding water that will allow the paddler to try new and more demanding maneuvers.

  • Location – Dillsboro Old Tuck put in
  • Tentative Agenda
    • Set Shuttle
    • Meet & Greet
    • Review the course objective
    • Review what we plan to do that day on the river
    • Safety Talk
    • Get on the river
    • Skills that will be reviewed and practiced through drills:
      • Strokes – Forward, Reverse, Sweeps, Draws
      • Braces
      • Eddies – getting in and out of them
      • Ferries – effectively using the water to get you where you want or need to be.
      • River reading and rapid classification
      • Rescue – Practice rope throwing, swimming in rapids, wet exits and self rescue
      • Dinner in town

Sunday July 26th – Nantahala Lite – Paddle from Ferebee Put-in to Beach above the falls.  We will run the river to apply the skills learned in the class the day before.

  • Location – Ferebee Put in
  • Tentative Schedule for the trip
    • Set Shuttle
    • Review what we learned the day before
    • Warm up
    • Get on the river and put what we learned the day before into practice through
    • Option for anyone who wants to run the falls will be available
    • Finish up and talk about their experience and next steps for them
  • Smile and head home after a great weekend of paddling!

Accommodations & Meals:

Camping and meals are on your own. Camping is available at Smoky Mountain Meadows campground in Bryson City.  If you prefer a hotel there are several available in the area.  We will have a group dinner in Bryson City Saturday night and a bag lunch is suggested for both days of the clinic.

For any questions, please contact Mark Holmberg at