Kayaking instruction launches Safe Boater Week

by SOURCE Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Austin—To launch National Safe Boater Week, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG Auxiliary) are joining the Texas chapter of the American Canoe Association (ACA Texas) on May 18 to offer low-cost kayaking instruction at Texas State Parks.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife is excited to partner with USCG Auxiliary and ACA Texas to bring Kayaking 101 to our fellow Texans,” said Kimberly Sorensen, boating education manager.

“It is important to us that we do everything we can to help ensure everyone participating in water-related activities does so safely, which includes supporting and participating in education opportunities like this. I highly encourage anyone with an interest in paddling to register for a course in their area.”

The 2023 event trained 279 students across North Carolina and Tennessee through 24 Kayaking 101 classes led by nationally certified ACA instructor volunteers. In April 2024, the National Safe Boating Council recognized this effort with the 2024 IBWSS Communications Community Impact Award.

As a result of the success in Tennessee and North Carolina, five additional states, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas, will participate this year with 45 simultaneous Kayaking 101 classes.

“Our instructor volunteers are excited to share their love of the sport with newcomers and experienced paddlers alike,” said Andrea White, ACA Southeastern chair. “Just one day of training can make the difference between setting yourself up for a bad experience that ruins the sport for you versus setting yourself up for a whole lifetime of paddling fun.”

Participating TPWD locations include:

Inks Lake State Park

Galveston Island State Park

Goose Island State Park

Cleburne State Park

Sea Center Texas.

Classes cost $15 per person and are limited to 15 people. Registration includes kayak, life jacket and paddle rental for those who sign up, rescue training and support experienced safety teams. Training of this nature typically retails for $75-150.

In addition to volunteers, these classes are made available by organizations coming together to help their fellow Texas paddlers, including USCG Auxiliary, Houston Area Sea Kayakers, Texas Outdoor Family and TPWD.

Interested parties can register for Kayaking 101 online. In-person registration spaces are limited. A free ACA online class is also available; however, in-person training with a certified instructor is strongly encouraged.

The ACA is the national accrediting body for paddle sports education.

Betcha Bingo