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River Less Paddled will host kayak classes by an American Canoe Association instructor at the rapids at the Toldeo Bend spillway. Flatwater classes are also offered. The next kayak classes are scheduled for Aug. 17 and 18. (Special to the American Press)<br>

River Less Paddled will host kayak classes by an American Canoe Association instructor at the rapids at the Toldeo Bend spillway. Flatwater classes are also offered. The next kayak classes are scheduled for Aug. 17 and 18. (Special to the American Press)

Whitewater paddle shop opens in Lake Charles

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 10:55 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

River Less Paddled, which recently opened in Lake Charles, is Louisiana’s first whitewater paddle shop and will soon offer whitewater kayaking classes in Southwest Louisiana.

Owner Roman Ryder, of Lake Charles, is a certified whitewater kayak instructor who learned to paddle in the state.

River Less Paddled offers touring, fishing and whitewater kayak and accessories.

Ryder said Louisiana has some of the most consistent whitewater in the United States. The shop will host kayak classes by an American Canoe Association instructor at the rapids at the Toldeo Bend spillway.

“Most people don’t realize we have whitewater in Louisiana but we do. People are shocked to find out,” Ryder said. “We’re basically starting a whole new community of paddlers in Southwest Louisiana.”

He said it’s the perfect place for beginners to learn the basics because there are class I and II rapids.

“I love being on the river, and I love teaching people. The shop gives me the opportunity to do both,” Ryder said. “Paddling is my first love but hiking and backpacking are a passion of mine as well.”

In the spring, the shop will start leading trips on and off the river.

“We’ll soon expand to be a full outdoor outfitter merchandise,” he said.

Ryder said the flatwater classes start at $35 and the whitewater is $100. It’s a full-day class that includes lunch.

The next kayak classes are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, and Sunday, Aug. 18. He hopes to hold classes every other weekend.

 • • •

For more information, contact River Less Paddled at 478-8316 or visit the shop at 3823 Ryan St.

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