This Spring, Ace Kayaking School is offering evening skill development sessions on the Class I-II Emory River near Harriman, from 5:30-8:30 on Tuesdays. This offering will be geared towards whitewater kayakers who own all of their own gear, and already have some previous experience/comfort paddling Class I-II streams in a hard-shell whitewater kayak.  Here's a breakdown of what we'll be doing:



We'll be paddling the lower Emory River, which is the main stem of the Obed River system.  The section we'll paddle begins in Oakdale, TN, and ends 3.5 miles downstream at the Clifty Creek Bridge, which is about 5 minutes from Harriman, TN.  This section has beautiful bluffs, wildlife, and a series of Class I-II rapids, many of which offer excellent opportunities to practice such maneuvers as ferries, eddy-turns, peel-outs, surfing, attainments, and more.  The river also has a few long, flat pools that are ideal for instruction on stroke-technique and other important elements.  

Each session will meet at the take-out, which is just upstream of Harriman on the Emory River - See the map below for the exact location.  Map it from where you'll be coming from to ensure you have sufficient time to make the class (click on the red pin on the map below to open google maps and determine routing/travel times).  Since this is an evening session, it is unlikely we can wait long for folks running late!  


Whether this clinic is a good fit for you will depend on your ability to arrive at the take-out by 5:45 each session!  Take into account rush hour traffic in Knoxville/Oak Ridge if you will be driving through these areas.  If you get off work at 5:00, it's probably best to be starting your drive west of Knoxville, or arrange to leave earlier.  For reference, I live in West Knoxville and it takes me 40 minutes to get to the meeting point.



This series has been developed to help established whitewater kayakers sharpen their skills in the increasingly warm spring months.  This will help paddlers further take advantage of late spring and summer paddling opportunites.  Life is busy, and for those who have a hard time breaking away for an entire weekend of paddling in the spring, this may be a great fit to tune up for the paddling season.  This probably isn't the setting to jump into paddling, as there is limited time in the evenings to work with.  For anyone interested in an introduction to paddling, I would recommend a full day of private instruction, or a private evening session where I can custom-tailor the session to your needs.

Participants should already have all gear required, including an appropriate whitewater kayak that is properly outfitted, paddle, sprayskirt, PFD, helmet, and proper attire, which may include a wetsuit + drytop, or other ideal apparel.  

After meeting at the take-out, each session will begin after consolidating vehicles and driving 7 minutes up the road to the put-in at the park in Oakdale.  After paddling through a small rapid, we'll start with some basic stroke technique drills.  Next we'll work our way down the river, where we'll drill and practice on all available features.  Skills like ferrying, catching eddies, peeling out, surfing, and line selection are some of the many topics we can cover.

Students are not required to have a reliable roll, though this certainly will help in expediting the trip and ensuring all participants have a productive, safe, efficient training session.  It is recommended that all participants are familiar with and able to perform eskimo/t-rescues in substitution of a failed roll.  If you aren't familiar with this, please attend pool sessions available through Chota Canoe Club or East Tennessee Whitewater Club prior in to these sessions in order to bring the proper knowledge/skills to the course.  

We will not spend much time on improving rolls, as this is much better accomplished through one-on-one training at a roll session.  If you are seeking assistance with your roll, look into our private instruction options, or a local club-sponsored roll session.



There will be 4 evening sessions, every Tuesday the second half of April and the first half of May:

  • APRIL 18th
  • APRIL 25th
  • MAY 2nd
  • MAY 9th

Please try to arrive by 5:30-5:45, as sessions will start as soon as possible.  



All four sessions are offered as a package, for $125.00  Participants will need to pre-pay in order to reserve a spot.  There will be a maximum trip capacity of 6 students, so to reserve your spot, you can pay with a credit card below, or send a check to:

Southern Appalachian Expeditions

1324 Wenlock Road

Knoxville, TN 37922


CANCELLATION POLICY - We're super reasonable to work with, and can refund fees within reasonable circumstance.  If you are able to commit to the program, we will commit to you!



Please fill out the form below to enroll.  Enrollment will be locked in once payment is received.  

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