top of page


The Full Story


My name is Karen O'Hara, owner of Knoxville Kayak Clinic. I am an American Canoe Association Certified Coastal Kayak Instructor. I have followed my love of the sport with a great desire to share my passion and knowledge with you.   I have been an avid kayaker for over 20 years, paddlng on the east coast of SC for many years.  After a move to TN and the experience of paddling the Tennessee River, I fell in love with the area.  In 2012, I became a Level 1 ACA Certified Kayak Instructor and have taught  many people since then.   I have served on the Chota Canoe Club board as Conservation Chair, currently Touring Chair, lead many trips and paddled with numerous paddling clubs in the Knoxville area.  I am currently the American Canoe Association Deputy Director for the state of Tennessee, served as an American Canoe Association Tennessee State Council Volunteer, and on the American Canoe Association Tennessee Regional Activities Council.  In 2022, I became an L2 Certified Coastal Kayak Instructor.   In 2023, I received my Paddlesports Safety Facilitator Certfication.  I have developed my own unique and effective teaching methods over the years, and I want to help you develop the skills you need to enjoy this sport at your best level.   

karen ACA Deputy Director photo.jpg


To help save lives by promoting water safety and awareness, along with instructional teaching to encourage others to become more confident and safer on the water.


To be a part of the solution to make Tennessee paddlesports safer, while promoting a true love of the sport.  It is our desire to teach water safety and skills to the masses, and to work to change laws that will keep paddlers safer. We believe that through education we will see our sport grow, while showing an actual decline in paddlesport deaths in Tennessee. 

bottom of page