Middlesboro Daily News | Park holds kayaking seminar

The Appalachian region is full of outdoor activities available to both kids and adults alike — fishing, hiking and four wheeling being a few of the most common. But what about kayaking? The rapidly growing sport just may be the activity many have been searching for.

Last Saturday, an Introduction to Kayaking seminar was held at Pine Mountain State Resort Park to introduce as many newcomers as possible to the sport.

“Although kayaking is actively growing, many haven’t been introduced to it yet, which is where we come in. We’re just trying to make more people aware of the sport,” said Brian Good, founder of Freedom Angler Ministries and one of the event’s hosts.

The seminar also consisted of three other young hosts who claim to all have a special place in their hearts for kayaking themselves: Keith Bowling, head naturalist at Pine Mountain State Resort Park; Clay Greene, co-naturalist at Pine Mountain State Resort Park and Aaron Redmond, founder of Yak Nation.

The seminar challenged those in attendance to participate in a 2 1/2 hour kayak ride in the Cumberland River, providing kayaks for anyone who may not have had their own.

While many who participated claimed to be fairly new to the activity, they all spoke very highly of the experience and many were even enthusiastic of the idea of trying it again soon.

“It went great. I really enjoyed my time floating the Cumberland with the group,” said first time kayaker, Caleb Barnett.

Although the main attraction of the event was, of course, the actual kayaking ride, the audience had to first be introduced to the basics of kayaking before they were ready to hit the water.

The hosts spoke of the various types of kayaks to accommodate for each person’s riding style, went over several safety precautions, and even informed audience members of kayaking groups in the area, two of which the hosts are heavily involved in: Freedom Angler Ministries and Yak Nation.

Freedom Angler Ministries is a local nonprofit organization which chooses not to compete in tournaments, but may participate in charity events in the future, according to Good. The organization regularly hosts free kayak fishing events available to the public.

“We’re just a group of people who love fishing and love Jesus,” said Good.

Yak Nation is a premier kayak fishing club steadily growing in the southeast region whose number one priority is to keep young people entertained and out of trouble.

“Our goal to get as many kids involved…

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