Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is there no rain date?
A: We coordinate the water release, use of the golf course areas, safety teams – DNR /Columbia County Dive Team/ Coast Guard Flotilla as well as over 100 volunteers on and off the water to be on hand for this event. Much of what goes on must be reserved or planned months in advance and can only be reserved 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: Admission for one vessel to the paddle – (up to four people), 1 t-shirt, 1 goody bag, live music venues on the water, food samples, water/tea refills along the route and admission to River-fest with more live music, games and more. Your registration also helps provide funds to local charitable organizations throughout the CSRA.
(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. We close access to vehicles for the festival.
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 in that position. 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.
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. Check with your rental provider to find out their policy on refunds. However, we do give you your shirts and goodies. We prefer that you pick them up! Please check our Facebook page for information on this in the case we call the event. We do not want to store these items. We can also make arrangements to mail them to you in certain cases.
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?
A: We will have kayak valets running to the lots. They will start running at 1:30 and go until 6 p.m.. If you don’t want to use the valet, you may also manually take your vessels. The valet service will be provided by “Soul City Sirens” Roller Derby girls. Tips are encouraged and those tips will go to support their organization. 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 do you know if I paid or checked in?
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. Everyone in your vessel will need a this in order to paddle and receive samples/refills. Security vessels are positioned at the gate, the launch, at each end of the island as well as South Carolina boat ramps. We will be checking for your admission.
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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