Rental Conditions

Seasonal rentals & tours May through October are available for online booking and have the benefit of our L2 Crewmembers being under the bridge with all equipment needed - you won't have to carry a thing!  Rentals November through April are self-serve.  You will be carrying your own equipment to & from launch point, about a quarter mile.  Self-serve rentals are not recommended for children, first-time paddlers or beginner paddlers.  Make your reservation now via the Book an Adventure tab or call us at 423-531-7873.

River conditions must be below 45k and winds below 11mph to provide safe rentals for the community. Call the shop for at-the-hour updates on river current speed or read below for step-by-step instructions on how to get river conditions for yourself (a useful resource for regular paddlers in the area).  River current speed changes from day-to-day, sometimes even hour-to-hour.  Water release from the Chickamauga Dam ( about 6 miles up river from downtown Chattanooga) can change without notice due to unanticipated weather changes or power system requirements. Large amounts of water could be discharged at any time. Use caution!  Read more about how we decipher optimal rental conditions below.  Book your reservation now and be sure to sign your 2023 Safety Waiver!

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 during warm months, particularly on weekend days and around holidays.


- but read below first!

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): 0-35,000 AHD

  • REGULARS (we hit the water every weekend): 0-45,000 AHD

  • ----------------- cut off for L2 Outside rentals is 45,000 AHD

  • ADVANCED (i'm here to sweat): 0-60,000 AHD

  • EXPERTS (i'm an olympic paddler): 0-80,000 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 swiftly 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, 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:

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 river 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.