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Meet Our Instructors

All of our instructors are certified or highly qualified individuals with a great desire to inspire you and help you acheive your kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboard goals. 

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ACA Certified Flatwater Tandem and Solo                       Canoe Instructor

Chris Birdwell

As a Knoxville native, I grew up on the lakes and rivers of East Tennessee. While I am fond of boats in general, the canoe was always my first love. The tandem canoe has been a fixture in my life, from church camp to paddle trips with friends, to extended journeys with Scouting groups. While leading groups in canoe trips as a Scout leader, I became an ACA Certified Flatwater instructor.  It is my mission to teach practical, effective skills to enhance the safety and enjoyment of area canoeists. When not paddling, I enjoy competitive rowing, mountain biking, SCUBA and travel.  I have practiced Dentistry in South Knoxville since 1997, which is also the year I purchased my first canoe. I look forward to helping you grow in your canoeing skills.

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Steve Ellis
Expedition Kayaking Journeyman

Instructor, Steve Ellis, born in MA, a BBA Belmont Univ. graduate, has been a kayak and hiking guide for the last eight years in the East Tennessee area. I am also a photographer and licensed as a Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l. Park Guide! I have been interviewed numerous times regarding the GSMNP hiking trails and presented an award by the Park Superintendent.
Although much of my career was involved with working with celebrities in the music business and network television, over the last decade, I have dedicated my time and passion, to my love of the great outdoors. I have been married 41 years and have four children.  One of my greatest achievements is my long-distance paddling journey of all 652 miles of the Tennessee River.  I look forward to sharing my expertise of long-distance kayaking with you!

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