I teach Coastal kayaking and all the introductory courses along the MS Gulf Coast. There may be someone closer in Atlanta/Chattanooga areas though I do not know of anyone in those locales. Next closest I know has instructors who teach regularly is Savannah, Charleston, or Tampa Bay areas.
I will check into it, thanks! I’m assuming teaching is the same across locations, is this correct? Are you a private instructor or do you work through an outfitter?
ACA certified and teach group & privately. Not affiliated with any outfitter.
One more thing about lessons … they seem like an ‘extra’ expense, but in the long run a competent instructor can share information that will also save you money.
Just look at used touring boats and start paddling, then learn and upgrade.
I agree that any whitewater sounds like a good plastic boat situation.
17’ is probably going to be a good start. As stated before, the longer boats are more efficient.
I’ve done quite a bit of camping from 17 and 18 foot boats and even at that you really have to decide what you need to bring. I’ve bought a bunch of backpacking type gear to save space and weight.
Remember, when you go for more than a day you don’t know for certain what the weather will be by the end of the trip. I’ve made the trip back to the truck when the wind kicked up and my Chesapeake 17 was loaded heavy. Fine on the flat water going out, a bit low in the water when it was rough out on the return trip.
More boat means less likely to have to sit it out for another day and wait out the weather.
I agree with the above recommendations for a 14 or 15’ boat. IMO 17’ is too long for steering thru class 2’s.
That reminds me of a recent camping trip. Paddled 6 miles in a pretty hard rain. Weather was nice on the way in!
I will stick to that range, that seems to fit the best.