Your safety on the water
Five years ago, this company was started with two main goals: 1. Promote water safety and 2. Create more skilled and informed paddlers. Since the beginning, we have taught literally hundreds to be safe and skilled paddlers and safely taken thousands on guided trips.
As the premier outfitter in North Alabama and run by two seasoned and professional ACA instructors, our customers’ safety is never in doubt. Life jackets are mandatory AND provided at no extra charge. We wouldn’t dare charge extra for safety equipment when your life may depend on it. We have taken children as young as five, and adults in their late seventies, out on the water and proven that you are never too young or too old to paddle safely under our supervision and guidance. Even with rentals, we mandate the wearing of life jackets at all times (having it on your kayak will be of no benefit when you really need it), provide dry bags and bilge pumps, and give you a 15 minute introduction to kayaking, rescue scenarios, and a safety brief before we send you on your adventure. Our waiver requires wearing a life jacket at all times.
Why are we so adamant about safety and life jackets? In 2015, Phil was called to help with a local recovery effort where two of a family of four drowned in a canoe without life jackets. Lake Guntersville’s serene beauty can change in an instant. Including rivers and lakes, in North Alabama 5-8 people drown yearly, all due to not wearing life jackets. And in some cases, alcohol is a contributing factor.
Life jackets are like seatbelts, unfortunately, if you wait to fasten it when you need it, it is too late. There is no reason not to wear a seatbelt, and likewise, there is no reason not to wear a lifejacket! They are low profile and comfortable, have lots of compartments to store gear, and in the end, serve the most important role of saving your life.
This Memorial Day weekend, after rains have deluged our area, our rivers are swollen to flood stage. Even as ACA pro instructors, we would NOT go out on the local rivers this weekend–fast moving water, strainers, little to no escape areas on the river, and limited visibility under the water. A strainer is a fallen tree that crosses part or all of the river that, like kitchen strainers, allow water to pass through, but nothing else. If your canoe or kayak gets lodged against a strainer, the force of the water will keep both you and the boat pinned against the tree. It is very difficult to free yourself from a strainer. And if you are caught between the boat and the tree, or pulled under water in the strainer, there is a great possibility of drowning–EVEN if you are wearing a life jacket. Swollen rivers with strainers are EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS. We hear from our customers story after story of those experiences. Please don’t get on a swollen river this season! Just because an outfitter is open, DOES NOT MEAN it is safe. Take safety into your own hands and live to paddle another day.
We love to see people out on our lakes and rivers kayaking, and are even more thrilled when they have life jackets on! Please remember to check Alabama’s crazy weather before you go, because it can change on a dime. Get out and enjoy yourselves this summer! But be safe!
Phil and Cyndi