Rental Conditions

In the oncoming months there may be some weekdays where we are not heavily booked enough to provide Water Gurus (the awesome L2 Crew members who carry all your gear down to the water and help you in/out of the river).  On these days, you will be contacted a minimum of 2hours out from your reservation to be notifed that it is a SELF-SERVE DAY (it will also be posted here, above ^).  After acquiring this knowledge, you are welcome to arrive 30 minutes early to the shop so that Manager Kat or Sierra may walk you to storage for equipment pick-up.  If you would prefer to reschedule to another Water Guru day in the future, we will be happy to accomomdate.   It is about a 200yd walk from storage to launch.  Water Gurus will always be on shift for weekend days, Saturday and Sunday.

Average Rental Conditions for TODAY, SEPTEMBER 20: 29,000 AHD.  Rentals at this river speed aren't necessarily recommended for *FIRST-TIMER* paddlers, as the river will not be flowing at an *easy breezy* type pace, but with a slight push from the river's flow.  As we begin rentals headed UP stream, please keep this in mind when reserving.  Hugging the shoreline 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:

Rental Safety Video + 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


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, 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 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.