Kayak Education

TSRA Schools

The 2012 schedule is packed full of adventures that you won’t want to miss. Details will be posted a couple of months prior to each school. We may add more schools or clinics as the year goes on, so check back often to see what’s cooking

Special events and additional classes may be announced on short notice. Check this page often!

We need YOU in order to make TSRA 2012 Schools a success. Please e-mail Jack Lyle at jlyle@hvud.com to let him know if you can be an instructor this year. Help us to make this year’s classes the best ever!

You say you don’t have any experience leading or teaching? There are opportunities to assist at any of the schools, and also participate in the Instructor’s Seminar to become TSRA Instructor.


TSRA truly needs new trip leaders.  This is one of the best ways you can contribute to TSRA, conservation, and the paddling community in general.  Come and learn some tricks and tips to run a fun, successful, and safe trip.  Seasoned Trip Leaders will be present for this seminar.  Trip leading can be VERY rewarding, and this is what really grows our organization.

Contact: Jack Lyle at JLYLE@HVUD.COM; 615-394-8024 CELL, OR 615-376-9179 HOME.


TSRA will again utilize the pool at Tennessee State University for winter pool practice.  We will be providing instruction in various paddling related skills on different nights to those interested:  Rolling your boat, bracing, strokes, safety, rescues, conditioning, and GAMES!  If you aren’t interested in instruction, then come and practice your own roll!  This will be a GREAT opportunity to make that roll bombproof, sharpen up a brace, or just get your boat wet on a winter evening in a clear, warm pool.  We hope to see you there!

Dates: February 15, 22, and 29; March 7, 14 ,21, and 28 and April 4, 11, and 25                              

Times: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where:  The Tennessee State University Aquatic Center, located next to the main gymnasium of the Howard C. Gentry Athletic Complex.  Turn into this facility off of Dr. Walter S. Davis Boulevard.  The pool area will be on your right.  Parking is allowed along the road by the softball fields or in the main parking lot to your left as you enter the Athletic Complex area.  You are allowed to drop your boat off at the door before parking, if you wish.

Cost: We are only charging $5.00 per night per person for use of the pool and any instruction you can get.  However, you MUST be a current TSRA and ACA member.  (Total cost to join both organizations ranges from $40 to $65, depending on length of membership and whether individual or family membership).  YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR EVERYTHING AT THE DOOR!  For more info contact Jack Lyle at JLYLE@HVUD.COM; 615-394-8024 CELL, OR 615-376-9179 HOME.



Instructing for TSRA

by Vicki Crumpton and Ed Ford

Not long after our birth, TSRA realized the need to train our members to develop their paddling skills. So we sent a few people away to learn more about canoeing. Those folks came back to teach, and Canoe School was born.

Today, TSRA holds some kind of training event almost every month of the year. Beginning with roll school early each year, we’re training tandem boaters, kayakers, sea kayakers, solo boaters and even crazy play boaters these days. We also teach self rescue and swiftwater rescue classes. Because all of our instructors are volunteers, our schools raise money which TSRA reinvests in our other central mission: conservation.

Those of us who’ve gotten into teaching realize what a tremendous benefit it is—to us. We watch people who haven’t been in a boat or who may be apprehensive about being upside down in one of those pointy kayaks take great leaps of skill and have a lot of fun in the process. What virtually every instructor soon realizes is the student isn’t the only one who takes great leaps of skill and has a lot of fun in the process. We do, too. One year at introduction to paddling clinic, I heard a new instructor exclaim, “Now I see why y’all like to teach. It’s so much FUN!”

Effective teaching, however, takes time, commitment, and training. Each year, usually in late April or early May, TSRA provides an instructor seminar designed to prepare potential new instructors for their role and to give experienced instructors a chance to review, update, and share their skills.  The TSRA training committee hopes you’ll check the yearly activities calendar and join us in the adventure of teaching others the sport we love so much.

Volunteer to Help at TSRA Schools

Interested in becoming a TSRA Instructor, Support Boater or want to Volunteer to help at our Schools?
Click here!

Kayak and canoe classes at Introduction to Paddling 2006
©Henry Ambrose