NO RENTALS THIS WEEK: Wednesday, December 2 through Sunday, December 6. River current speed is too strong to perform rentals safely.
All days during October 2020 to March 2021 will be SELF-SERVE rental days. You will need to call the shop to book and will be walking your own rental gear to and from our launch point below Market Street Bridge in Coolidge Park, on your own. Self-serve days are NOT recommeneded for first-time paddlers, as no one will be keeping a watchful eye on you on the river. On self-serve days, please plan to arrive 30 minutes early to the shop so that Manager Kat may walk you to storage for equipment pick-up. It is about a 200yd (.11 mi) walk from storage to launch. Water Gurus (the superb L2 crewmembers who walk all your gear to/from the water and help you in/out of the river) will be available again in April 2021.
Average Rental Conditions for THIS WEEK, DECEMBER 2-6: 45,000. NO RENTALS TODAY. Rentals at this river speed are not recommended for *FIRST-TIME* paddlers, as the river will not be flowing at an *easy breezy* type pace, but with a heavy push from the river's flow. As we begin rentals headed UP stream, please keep this in mind when reserving. Hugging the shoreline tightly is always helpful for easier paddling. Book your weekend reservation now and be sure to sign your 2020 Safety Waiver!
With having to downsize our typical rental strategy to ensure time for sanitation after each equipment use, limited rental time slots are available. Please plan to book 2-3 days in advance of when you wish to hit the water. Available walk-in/day-of rentals are sure to be few and far between, particularly on weekend days and around holidays.
Book A Trip: https://l2outside.com/collections/rentals
Rental Safety Video + Waivers: https://l2outside.com/pages/2020-rental-safety-waivers
YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RENT WITH L2 OUTSIDE WITHOUT WATCHING THE RULES AND SAFETY INSTRUCTIONAL SEGMENTS OF THE L2 RENTAL VIDEO. Our goal is to make your experience as fun AND safe as possible. Our water gurus are happy to help in any way they can.
Read more about how we make our rental decisions below.
Renter Capability VS. The TN River (+ Chickamauga Dam)
FIRST-TIMERS (never paddled a day in my life): 0-20,000 AHD
BEGINNERS (i've paddled a few times): 20,000-35,000 AHD
REGULARS (we hit the water every weekend): 35,000-45,000 AHD
----------------- cut off for L2 Outside rentals is 45,000 AHD
ADVANCED (i'm here to sweat): 45,000-60,000 AHD
EXPERTS (i'm an olympic paddler): 60,000-80,000 AHD
DANGER! DO NOT GET ON THE WATER! 80,000+ AHD
We perform rentals on the Tennessee River in the scenic downtown area of Chattanooga, TN. Getting on the water downtown is unlike any other part of the river. You get the architectural views of the Hunter Museum, Tennessee Aquarium, our famous walking bridge, and more. Enjoy the natural splendor of mountains and ridges in the distance as you paddle around Maclellan Island (a wildlife sanctuary with rich birdlife) and the surrounding waterway.
Being in the downtown area, we are about 6 miles downstream from the Chickamauga Dam (153 on the map). Water can be released from the Dam without any warning at any time and by any means. For example, when the demand for electricity is high, the turbines at a dam may be turned on automatically, resulting in a significant increase in the downstream flow of water. [taken from TVA's website]. Rainy days typically mean a higher river speed for the following few days, so be aware that even on a beautiful, sunny summer day - if rains have come through recently - the river may be running too swift to enjoy. Mother Nature can be deceiving, so be sure to check your waterway conditions before going for a paddle or swim.
Luckily for us, TVA.com updates the river's flow from the Dam every hour, on the hour, for locals and companies such as ours to be aware of conditions before getting on the water. We are constantly checking conditions all hours of the day to be sure conditions are good for our rental customers. We will never put our renters or employees in a dangerous situation by performing rentals in uncertain or dangerous conditions.
Chickamauga Dam flow info from TVA: https://www.tva.com/Environment/Lake-Levels/Chickamauga
How Do We Decipher Rental Allowance VS. River Speed?
Over the years, L2 Outside has honed in on what registers as an "easy breezy" paddle versus a workout, and so on. Through several seasons of rentals we have been able to see what conditions are most enjoyable for our renters and what conditions are just impossible to manage.
TVA releases their river information every hour, on the hour. When we check the river speed, the number we pay attention to is the Chickamauga Dam's Average Hourly Discharge (AHD) in cubic feet per second. With our years of downtown rental knowledge, we have come up with a basic format for what type of paddlers would enjoy certain speeds of the river. Check out our table at the top of the page for listed paddle skill type vs. river speed current.