This class is setup to teach recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue and team assisted techniques.  The American Canoe Association L4 SWR curriculum will be followed and build progressively over 2 days. We will be focusing more heavily on prevention and self-rescue techniques then introduce a few advanced techniques that are commonly used.  Please contact Steven for more details about class structure.

Course covers:

  • ​Rescue philosophy/concepts
  • Hazard recognition/prevention
  • Throw ropes
  • Rescue PFD
  • Swimming
  • Wadding
  • Ropework: simple anchors/knots
  • Pinned boats
  • Entrapments/entanglements
  • Strainers
  • Live Bbit
  • Boat assisted rescues

Level 3 - Experienced or comfortable on class II/III rivers

Will focus on refining and building confidence on:

  • river running skills
  • surfing
  • combat rolls
  • bracing 
  • edging

Will introduce and practice advanced concepts like:

  • S-turn maneuvers
  • boofing
  • catching eddies in rapids, ferries in stronger current

This class is perfect for those who:

  • Comfortable on class II and want to build confidence on class III
  • Have a 75% combat roll or better
  • May have had previous instruction

This class will be water based both days (rivers TBD based on flow)

Contact Steven Adams for more information:





This is a new 2-day event in May focused on uniting paddling enthusiasts of all experiences  to get together and share their knowledge, stories, and passion as we all enjoy the river(s).  This is a social and educational  event that is modelled after traditional club paddle schools and week of river style events.  There will be something of value to offer to everyone and a great way to support the club.  Classes will be offered for multiple experience levels and lead by ACA instructors, but tailored to the students enrolled.  An advanced class will be organized to focus on refining specific skills outlined by enrollees e.g. boofing, playboating.  A week of rivers  style big board with updated water levels will be available to set up sat/sun WW & flatwater Jump trips aimed at creating a networking/ boating opportunity for long lost pals.  We can all come back together Saturday night for dinner and challenges.  This event can be a huge asset to the club and paddling community and needs everyone's participation. 

The Details / What's Included?


Level 4 - Comfortable on class III with a solid roll

This is a river trip that will focus on perfecting a specific skill(s).  Location based off of group interest and flow.

Examples are: 

  • playboating focus
  • creeking focused

This will be a fun and demanding class as the group challenges and really works a feature multiple times.

  • May 18th/19th USA Raft as base camp
  • Sat morning meeting then depart to classes/rivers
  • Sat BBQ dinner @ 6:00
  • Skills competitions after dinner
  • Moonlight paddle
  • Limited Free bunks available in Boone Cabin (first come first serve)
  • Camping encouraged and available through contacting USA/ Noli campground
  • Cost is $40 before May 13th
  • Cost after May13th is $50
  • APE’s or TRR membership required
  • Registration is available immediately
  • Event is rain or shine
  • Full refunds can be issued before May 13th
  • After May 13th, partial refund of $25 can be issued

Cost Breakdown


Advanced Class/Focused Trip Overview - Wesley Bradley (Lead Instructor)

Price includes:

  • Sat night dinner
  • USA Raft parking and access fees
  • ACA insurance for clinic students
  • Noli gorge Shuttle Sat/Sun*

* This is not unlimited shuttles all day…if  a group is going to Noli we can arrange one shuttle each day

Registration Information


  • Pay via the PayPal link below:
    • Before 5/13
      • $40 - Current APEs Members
      • $55 - Includes APEs Single Membership
    • After 5/13
      • $50 - Current APEs Members
      • $65 - Includes APEs Single Membership


  • Mail a check made out to Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts to Steven Adams:

231 Cedar Ln

Gray,TN 37615

ACA Basic Swiftwater Rescue - Steven Adams (ACA L4 SWR)

This class will provide flatwater instrucion, practice, and then join a flatwater paddle trip. The dry land and practice paddle will be perfect for those looking to get into flatwater paddling.  The flatwater trip will be fun and rewarding for both beginners and seasoned flatwater paddlers.

Level 1 - Little to No moving water experience

Will teach and strengthen fundamental skills:

  • equipment
  • wet exits
  • strokes
  • eddy turns/peel-outs
  • ferries
  • roll technique

Land based and water based progressing from flat to moving water.

This level is perfect for those that:

  • Have never been in a boat before
  • Have only been on the river a handful of times
  • Have never taken any kind of previous instruction

Intermediate Class Overview - Jeff Vannoy & Bill Finger (Lead Instructors)

  • Mail form to:

231 Cedar Ln

Gray, TN 37615


  • Text/email a photo of it to Steven Adams:


Members not wishing to take a class are encouraged to come and have a good time while supporting the club.  Other activities will include:

  • "Wall of Rivers" displaying daily river levels for jump trips
  • Support boaters needed for all classes
  • Moonlight lower Noli paddle (if moon cooperates)
  • Zdrag competition - teams of 3 will build a zdrag and move loaded kayak 10 feet (time trial)
  • Contact Steven Adams with more ideas to incorporate
May 18th/19th 2019
USA Raft in Erwin, TN
$40 registration before May 13th
$50 registration after May 13th

APE's Summer Kickoff

featuring Paddle School

Recreational/Flatwater Class - Michelle Duffourc (Lead Instructor)

Registration Form:

Payment Options:

Beginner Class Overviews - Ryan Shealy & Brad Eldridge (Lead Instructors)

Any additional money goes into the Club to fund:

  • AW contributions
  • ACA membership
  • River Cleanups
  • Future events/clinics

Jump Trips/Activities

Level 2 - Some river experience on class II

Will refine skills and reinforce proper technique. Will practice:

  • rolls
  • strokes
  • maneuvers
  • introduce river reading and boat control

Practice and building confidence on class II river(s) TBD based on flow and class preference

This level is perfect for those that:

  • Have at least some river experience
  • May or may not have taken some formal or informal instruction
  • Are comfortable with basic paddle strokes and maneuvers