Rentals Monday through Wednesday during September are *call-to-book* and SELF SERVE, meaning you will be carrying all of your own equipment to and from our launch point (about a 3 minute walk, less than a quarter mile). Rentals Thursday through Sunday 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! Make your reservation now via the Book an Adventure tab or call us at 423-531-7873.
Average River Conditions for TODAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd: 29,000. This flow rate is good for regular paddlers (folk who get on the water frequently) and those with more experience. Not recommended for first-time or beginner paddlers. River current speed changes from day-to-day, sometimes even hour-to-hour. Read more about how we decipher optimal rental conditions below. Book your reservation now and be sure to sign your 2022 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, particularly on weekend days and around holidays.
Book An Adventure - 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
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 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, 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 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.