Newbie Questions - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-20-2010   #1
Houston, Texas
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Newbie Questions

Hello everyone! I have been interested in whitewater kayaking for about four years now but have never had the money to do it. I lived for a year in Colorado and would always see people go down the Poudre River. My parents are most likely moving to Knoxville late in the summer and it appears as if there is a river or two in the area! Since I am graduating and have a year off before going to law school, I will probably move with them. There is a good chance Iíll end up at Vanderbilt as well. So, I have a couple newbie questions. Iíll try not to ask anything that can be googled.

You obviously get dropped off up river and paddle your way down. What do you do if you have no one who wants to wait around to pick you up down river? Are there companies or clubs to join that take care of this?

From what I have read, a ďriverĒ style kayak will be good to start on (something like the Liquid Logic Remix)? Are there kayak businesses in the Knoxville area that rent kayaks? What would they charge per day?

Thanks for the advice!

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Old 04-21-2010   #2
earthNRG's Avatar
Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 429
Once you get good, you can just paddle upstream to get back to your car. You'll see a lot of people that look like they are "playing" in holes and waves in the middle of the river; they are actually trying to be like salmon and get upstream to their vehicle. You'll eventually be able to recognize this activity for what it is, but until then...

Shuttle basics:

Generally, since you NEVER KAYAK ALONE, between you and your buddy or buddies, you'll have two vehicles. Park one at the take-out with all your dry clothes, then head to the put-in in the second vehicle. There are, of course, many variations to this. For short runs, say less than 2 miles that have a creek/riverside trail or road, you can park at either bottom or top and walk either before or after your run. If the run is further, say a few miles, you can do the same but with a bike. Typically in this situation you drop all gear and buddies off at the put-in, then drive to the take-out, park the car, then ride a bike to the put-in.

In some situations there are companies that will shuttle your vehicle(s) for you. This is typically only on multiday runs through remote areas. For example, Gates of Lodore in Colorado/Utah is typically three days and 45 miles on the river. That wouldn't be too bad of a shuttle (90 miles out and back) if a road followed the river, but there is no direct route. In reality, the shuttle is an 8-hour drive. Thus, some of us pay a shuttle service to take all of our vehicles from the put-in down to the take-out.

There are many whitewater clubs out there, and they are a great way to get into the sport. Once you get to TN go to a local boat shop and ask about local clubs. It's even possible your school will have one. Oftentimes clubs can help with low-cost gear, usually help with learning skills (like rolling during pool sessions), and are always a good way to meet other boaters.

As for boats, do a search. It seems that question is asked at least 15 times per week.

Finally, though there are people from all over the world here on MountainBuzz, we are mostly a Rocky Mountain region forum. seems to focus more on the eastern part of the country, and may be more useful for you to hook-up with other boaters in that area.

Welcome to the sport, be safe, and have a blast!
"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 04-21-2010   #3
Jacksonville, Florida
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 35
I'm sure you've seen the rafting and kayaking rental places along rivers - they have those huge white vans and load up the tourists and their rafts to shuttle them upstream. Find out if there are any rental places by the runs you want to do then just offer them $5-10 for a ride and leave your car in their parking lot.

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