Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is there no rain date?
A: Much of what goes on must be reserved or planned months in advance and can only be reserved and coordinated for one day.
Q:I have never kayaked before, would this be a good time to try it?
A: Yes. We provide spotters along the route who can assist you if needed. We have multiple boats patrolling the route as well. We put as much safety on the water as we can. We also work with the Corps of Engineers at the Dam to adjust the water flow so it is slow and low for the inlet part of the paddle to assist our fist time paddlers.
Q: What do I get for $40.00 plus tax/fees?
A: IF you register before the cutoff, the 40.00 will get you Admission for one vessel to the paddle – (a vessel is considered: Canoe-up to four people, kayak – single or tandem; up to two people, paddle board), 1 t-shirt, 1 goody bag, four live music venues on the water, snacks for your vessel, water/tea refills en route. Along with the all of that, 10% of the proceeds will be paid to “Hero’s on the Water” as a charitable donation for the 2019 event.
(Taxes are added onto the price as well as our active.com registration software fees – nothing we can do about those two things).
Q: Do I have to park in one place and be shuttled to another?
A: No. The paddle takes place along an island. You will launch and return in the same place. The paddle will go around an island where we have the checkpoints. You paddle the BENDER side first – against the current and mostly shaded, then you go to the DINKER side last that is the Savannah River and you go with the current to the end where there is a short paddle back into the landing where you launched. The festival will be on land when you return from your paddle. The shuttles are used to get you and your boats back to your parking lot. PLEASE COME FRIDAY with your vessels if not renting! It makes everyone’s life so much easier! We have decided to allow access to your boats after the paddle BUT you must be patient! It can get hectic and safety is our #1 priority!
Q: Can I still register on the day of the event?
A: Yes. You can register the day of. You will NOT get a t-shirt, goody bag or any additional items that you would if you register early. We prefer to have all registrants do so online so we can have an accurate count for food/beverage items. If you choose to come the day of you will need to go to the check in tent upon arrival.
Q: Is there a shuttle running on Saturday morning if I check in then?
A: Yes, we understand that some of our paddlers just like to come on Saturday and check in. We have made sure that we have at least one shuttle running for this purpose. Keep in mind that if you come Saturday morning to check in you will NOT get to launch in the first zone.
Q: Do I need to be in physically fit to paddle this?
A: No. You do not need to be able to pass a fitness test to do this. However, if you have lower back, hip or joint issues this might cause some irritation to those areas so please be advised.
Q: Can you use a inflatable raft or inner tube?
A: No. Because they can not efficiently paddle the route in a timely manner. We have found that Inflatable kayaks are okay and those can be used. We have had to say no to the rafts due to the difficulty in paddling them.
Q: Do you give group discounts?
A: No. We have tried that in the past only to have people abuse it. We dropped the price from last year to accommodate this. We felt that keeping the cost “per vessel” still makes it an affordable day out.
Q: What if it rains? Is there a rain date?
A: If the event proves to not be enjoyable due to weather, we will not paddle. We paddle on in light non threatening rain that could be forecasted to clear up during the paddle time. If the forecast calls for heavy rain or lightening we will call the paddle portion of the event, if it is too cold we will call the paddle portion of the event. There is NO rain date as we can not coordinate all of these variables for a additional day. If ominous weather is predicted for any time during the event we can not allow paddlers to get on the water. We will move our stops to land and continue with what we can there. Your safety is our number one priority. Paddlers that choose to paddle in spite of our warnings will do so on their own. If the event is called our volunteer and safety systems will NOT be in place.
The event is meant to be a enjoyable day on the water. If it is not going to be enjoyable then we find no point in putting you or anyone in a position that might be un-enjoyable or worse dangerous. We will call the paddle portion of the event if the forecast is calling for cold rainy conditions during the paddle. We can not subject our musicians or their instruments, our volunteers or our paddlers to these conditions. Mother nature makes the call. We do the best we can to provide a value to you and will move all snacks and music to land if possible. In the case this happens and you rent on top of the reservation we advise our rental providers to provide vouchers for you. Please check with your rental provider to see if they offer that upon renting your vessel.
Q: Do you give refunds?
A: No. We do not give refunds. The event is costly to organize and much of our costs have been absorbed prior to the day of the event. However, if you pre-register, your shirt and goody bag are yours as long as you pick it up at designated pick up locations. We also honor the 10% donation to “Hero’s on the Water” which your registration helps to generate. Please check our Facebook page in the case of weather. If you registered and can not use your registration, it is transferable to another individual but they will get your shirt size.
Q: How do I get my boat back to my car when I’m ready to leave if the gates are closed to the public? [2019 we will update this system]
A: We will have kayak valets running to the lots AS WELL as a system set up to allow those who want to retrieve their vessel on their own. We will allow participants to SLOWLY and CAREFULLY load their vessels to their own vehicles without using the valets this year. This is a ongoing issue and we understand the frustration of not being able to access the park. However safety is our top priority and we MUST regulate the traffic in that area the best way we know how. We will be evaluating this and a system will be put in place to make things more efficient for everyone. If you choose to use the shuttle to transport your vessel, they will start running at 1:30 and go until 4 p.m. Golf cart shuttles will also be running to take you back to the lot in which you parked. Please understand that this is a first come first serve service. The valet will be set up in the grassy area to the right upon return. Lot return signs will be placed in zones where you can put your boat for return.
Q: How will I get confirmation that I am registered for the paddle?
A: When you check in you will be given a custom tattoo for you and your vessel companions. You must apply the tattoo in a place that is visible. At least one person in your vessel must have this on them. We reserve the right to check any vessel or ask for verification of any participant that is on the route. You will not receive samples and could be asked to leave the venue if you do not have the verification. We also reserve the right to have law enforcement issue tickets if you do not comply. Security vessels are positioned at the gate, the launch, at each end of the island as well as South Carolina boat ramps. We randomly will be checking admission. The entire portion of the river is closed to public traffic/outside paddlers for the duration of our event. We have permits issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources allowing this. Any vessel that is unauthorized can be ticketed by law enforcement on site.
Q: When and how do I check in?
A: Friday night we will open registration at 5:30 – 7:00. Arrive at Riverside park and go to the check in tent. If you registered online go to A-H, I-R, S-Z according to your last name. When you check in you will get a map of the route, your shirt, goody bag, and tattoos for your paddlers. If you have a vessel with a child under 8 ask for the treasure box as we have a eye spy set up for them along the route. Once you are checked in, take your boat to the launch zones. Choose a zone. If you are renting a vessel, you can check in with your rental provider. We recommend that you check in Friday night if at all possible. We close the access to the lot on Saturday and it will be difficult for you to haul your boat from some of the parking lots to the zoning area, you will have to use the shuttles. If you choose to check in Saturday you will not be able to launch in the first zone. Please label your boat with your name and phone number ahead of time with a washable crayon.
Q: Is this a race?
A: No. This is a non-competitive leisurely paddle. This is meant to be a enjoyable paddle where you can listen to music and enjoy this beautiful place God has created.
Q: What items will I need to bring?
A: Life Jacket, Whistle, Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, bug-spray, change of clothes, towel, mason jar or water container, cash for food, drinks, swag, and valet tip. And if you plan on purchasing alcohol after the paddle you will need your photo ID.
Q: Can my child paddle with me?
A: Yes – IF – your child is used to paddling a long way with no breaks in a small confined space wearing a life vest at all times. We love having children do the DINKER but have found that it gets to be a bit long for them. The suggested age is 10 and they should be able to swim at a intermediate level. Life-vest MUST be worn at all times for children under the age of 14. It might be better to make it a solo adventure. Ask at check in for the kids treasure chest if your child is 8 and under.
Q:Can I bring a cooler?
A: No. In the past we have allowed this. Due the growth of the event and the liability this causes we can not allow coolers in your vessels. We will have three water/tea stops along the way for refills. Additional beverages will be available for purchase on land after the paddle. If you choose to bring your cooler in spite of this or for medical reasons, we will ask that you do not have any alcohol in it. If you choose to take your cooler please be advised that we have law enforcement at the launch area when you get on and off the water. The DNR will remove intoxicated paddlers. We have a zero tolerance policy for intoxication on the paddle route. We want everyone to have fun but your safety is our number one concern. Dehydration happens quickly on the water.
Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Yes! As long as it is leashed and we suggest they have a flotation device as well. It is a long paddle for both you and your pooch. (Please pick up after your pooch as well).
Q: How long does it take to complete the paddle?
A: The average person is able to paddle it in 2.5 hours. We allow for a little extra time but you should take no longer than three hours to paddle the route. We will remove our safety positions at this time. The paddle portion of the event is over at 3:00, after this time.
Q: What if I have to go to the bathroom?
A: Go before you leave. There are no good solutions to this dilemma but we are eager to hear your ideas!
Q: If I get tired can I get out and walk around?
A: No. The land around this island is privately owned and trespassing will be enforced. We have several law enforcement boats patrolling the route.
Q: Will there be coffee and breakfast items?
Q: Are there snakes and alligators?
A: Yes. But, when you put almost 1000 people in the water they tend to hide and get away from us. An additional reason to stay in your boat.
Q: Can I get out and swim?
A: See above…No.
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