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Paddle Boarding River’s Like The Kings River in Arkansas

Have You Been Wanting to go Paddle Boarding on a River?

Paddle boarding a river is the perfect compromise between drifting in an inter tube and paddling in a canoe. Paddle boards offer the best view of the river bottom,  you can stand or sit, float or paddle and you can easily jump in for a swim!  In todays article we take look at The Kings River located between Eureka Springs and Berryville, Arkansas. The Kings is a perfect for learning to navigate a river on a paddle board because you will find a variety of conditions from a  quiet water float to a faster water paddle experience. Taking a River journey is a wonderful way to get out in nature, be in the moment and experience getting in the flow.  Wilderness rivers, like the Kings can seem intimidating to some, and choosing to paddle this river with an experienced guide is a perfect way to heighten your experience, gaining more confidence in your river paddling skills along the way.

Paddle Boarding the Kings River in Arkansas

The Kings River  travels 90 miles through Arkansas, originating high in the Boston  mountains of Madison County, in the Ozark National Forest flowing North into Carroll County to its confluence with the White River and Table Rock Lake at the border of Missouri.  On a paddle adventure where the Kings winds its way East of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Over the centuries the water has cut through the layers of  Mississippian  and Pennsylvanian age sandstone, shale and limestone exposing beautiful layers in the rock. Your canoe, kayak or paddle board eases past the base of these high cliffs. In some places you can paddle tucked under the overhanging shoreline of rock and feel as if you have been cave exploring.

The Kings River is one of the few remaining, free-flowing rivers in the United States and is designated by the State of Arkansas as an Extraordinary Resource Waterbody. This designation protect the Kings from stream bed alterations and gravel mining. For paddlers and wildness explorers this means Nature is holding space for you with paddling, hiking, fishing and more adventures along the way.  There are many opportunities for adventure along the  wilds of this river.  

This river is not always navigable as its flow is dependent on rain to increase its water levels in the spring and summer and not snow fed. Many of us are most familiar with sand bars and on the lower section of the Kings River we experience fine gravel bars expansive enough to pitch a tent on and camp overnight to fully experience the river, the sound of nature, away from towns and road noise, just the wildlife leading its music to your adventure. In some areas people drive down to the river to walk from gravel bar to gravel bar when the water is low, or wade along certain areas of shoreline to reach the next gravel bar. 

Many people blog about their trip on the Kings River stating that

The Nature Conservancy and Wildlife Management

In  1971 the General Assembly created legislation to protect the Madison County stretch of the river stating that it “possesses unique scenic, recreational, and other characteristics in a natural, unpolluted, and wild state.”  Depending on what section of the river you are enjoying you will find rock bass, channel cats, and big smallmouth bass and the often overlooked walleye and white bass. Part of the middle section of the river is managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as a trophy and  smallmouth stream. The Nature Conservancy purchased the Kings River Preserve, comprising  5000 acres  including 7 miles of river frontage near Berryville.  An additional 14,227 acres lying between the river and Eureka Springs makes up the McIlroy Wildlife Management Area between Huntsville and Eureka Springs providing opportunities for hunting and exploring the many tributary streams flowing into the Kings River.

Kings River Outfitters & Trigger Gap Outfitters

kings river rock formations by kings river outfitters image
Canoe Rental, Shuttles & More With Kings River Outfitters. Photo Credit Kings River Outfitters

Kings River Outfitters and Trigger Gap Outfitters are well known for servicing this stretch of the Kings River known as Trigger Gap just east of Eureka Springs. Canoe float trips can start at the Rockhouse access with a get out at one of these Trigger Gap Outfitters or continue on another 3 to 4 hours (check) to the Farm or even farther to the Kings Bridge on 62. Multiple day trips are available as well.  Any combination of these trips can be arranged depending on how long one wants to be on the water.  Both Outfitters rent, kayaks and canoes, offering shuttle service as well for those who wish to bring their own paddle craft. Paddle boarding has become more popular on this river over the last few years with some outfitters offering paddle board rentals as well. 

In 2023 Sheree Lincoln, the founder of Paddle Board Near Me Online Directory and her husband, James Reed, a retired ShipWright (Boat Builder)  visited Eureka Springs and The Kings River looking for a place to spend the summers, where they could combine their love for wilderness paddling  and the arts. Eureka Springs is a beautiful town, nestled in the Ozark Mountains that is home to many artists and people who enjoy nature and the journeys it provides. The town is vibrant offering unique shopping, dining and arts experiences.  Both Sheree and James are artists, paddle boarding instructor guides and live aboard sailors. 

Starting in the spring of 2024, Paddle Boarding Instructor Guide, Sheree Lincoln, a World Paddle Association Level II Certified Paddle Board Instructor and guide will be offering paddle boarding tours and paddle board lessons on the Kings River and Beaver Lake in Eureka Springs.  You can take a paddle adventure with  Sheree, and her team of guides, with confidence as she brings a wealth of experience on the water. She grew up sailing, lives on a sailboat for over 8 years Sheree was co-owner of BrassWind Landing, a Kayak, Canoe and Paddle Board Outfitters in Michigan.  The experience she gained there, paddling the Sturgeon River, a Class I/II spring fed wilderness river and the 40 mile chain of lakes and rivers from Lake Michigan in Petoskey, Michigan to Cheboygan River on the Straights of Mackinaw, taught her much on how to read the rivers and waterways. All of these experiences helped make her an excellent, experienced and professional adventure guide and paddle craft rental provider.  For another 6 years she has taught paddle boarding and guided eco tours on the Gulf of Mexico and the inner waterways surrounding the gulf islands in South West Florida through her company Sea Dog Eco Tours in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  Managing tides, when paddle boarding and sailing, has given her additional experience with fast moving water.  

If you have never paddled a river before, or perhaps have not even tried paddle boarding before, booking your river adventure with a guide is a great choice. Sheree specializes in  introducing new paddlers to paddle boarding on lakes, rivers, the gulf waters and inland waterways. She has also launched many kayak adventures for her guests and helped many kayakers improve their paddling skills and knowledge of how to maneuver the turns and eddies  rivers have to offer. She is excited to offer tours on The Kings River because it is a slower moving river with some more active features created by the curving path of the river and natural features like the gravel bars, trees and rock formations, which makes it a great place to learn to paddle and read a river.  Taking a trip on a river like the Kings, is a good way to gain experience  before you take your next adventure on a faster moving river. 

No matter who you paddle with, friends and family or as a solo paddler, you will find it to be a very pleasing paddle adventure enhanced by having a guide. Contact Sheree at 231-670-4181 to plan your trip.

paddle board guide sheree with a paddle boarding guests at dog beach
Paddle Board Instructor Guide – Sheree Lincoln
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Paddle Boarding Adventure Fort Myers Beach in SWFL Visit Florida!

Planning a trip to SWFL?  Taking a paddle boarding adventure eco tour or a paddle board lesson is one of the best ways to explore SWFL. Southwest Florida, with its beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches it a must do for anyone’s Bucket List.  There are many great launch locations and beaches up and down the coast of Florida. Visit Florida is a great hashtag to follow for a good overview of what. You will find on your visit to Florida.

One of my favorite places to paddle board, kayak, canoe or launch any type of paddle craft, is to launch from the Lee County Bonita Dog Beach located on the southern tip of Lover’s Key. Of course  I am partial because my company Sea Dog Eco Tours offers paddle board adventure tours launching from Dog Beach.  We have paddle boarding tours and lessons, on weekends,  all year long. During the high season, from mid January to April we are open Wednesday through Sunday with other times by request.

Lover’s Key State Park,  one mile to the North offers a beautiful beach and paddle board and kayak rentals as well.

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The Power of Proper Technique with the Paddle Boarding Paddle Stroke

The Power of the Paddle  by Sheree Lincoln

Choosing the Proper Paddle Board Paddle Length

Proper paddle length for sup - image

First take a hold of your paddle by the shaft because the first important thing to do is to figure out how tall or long you want the paddle set for your height. Later you can learn to adjust for the type of paddle boarding you plan to do. More about that in another article.

A good place to start, when adjusting the height or length of your paddle, is to place your wrist on the top of the paddle handle. This is the appropriate height. Next place your hand on the paddle grip until it is resting comfortably in your palm, with your knuckles parallel to the sky.

Proper Placement of Hands on Paddle Shaft?

If your hand is wrapped too far forward on the handle or too far down the shaft, you will get a weird bend in your wrist and it will feel uncomfortable. With the first segment of your fingers resting on the top of the paddle, you will have great range of motion.

Next, it is important to find the balance point of the paddle. A really good way to do this is to raise your hands above your head, resting the paddle shaft on the crown on your head with arms in a goal post position.

Hand placement on paddle shaft - image

Why is My Paddle Shaft and Blade Face at an Angle?

Paddle entering water - image

It is also good to make sure the paddle blade is facing the right direction. You can lose a lot of power in your stroke if the power face is not facing you because the paddle may feather or flutter (wobble) as it goes through the water. The logo sticker should be visible when looking down on the paddle as it enters the water. the angle of the shaft to the blade at an angle is called a dihedral. I have paddle with blades with the common 10% dihedral found on many paddle boarding paddles. I have also paddled with blades that sport no dihedral at all. The angle effect flutter more than efficiency when paddling. It is important to note that If you pull the paddle to you, using your lower arm, it can easily cause tennis elbow because you are using small muscles. Instead we stack our hands to one side and place the blade in the water toward the front of the board about 2 feet, entering the water at an angle, as if we were stabbing a fish. This is called the reach.  After planting the paddle toward the bow (front) of the board as far as we can comfortably reach, we can then push the shaft handle forward using are strong shoulder and core muscles together. 

To switch sides take your top hand and place it below your bottom hand as you are lifting the blade of the paddle to the front of the board and across to the other side of the board getting ready for your next stroke. At the same time you  slide the hand that is now on top up  the shaft until your palm is resting against the handle with your fingers resting over the top of the handle like we began. 

Proper Stance When Paddle Boarding?

Comfortable Paddle Boarding Techniques

You should be in an athletic stance with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees soft so that you can easily balance on the board. As the blade enters the water push your top hand forward as if you were trying to push someone in on their shoulder. This uses big shoulder and arm muscles and will allow you to paddle longer without tiring.  Your stroke for touring may be different than for racing. These ladies are enjoying a comfortable reach as their paddle enter the water because they are focused on the view, being in the moment and enjoying their surroundings. You can see in the photo that the two ladies on the left are just at the point where they will push their paddle handle forward, their lower hand and the paddle shaft will come naturally to their hips before the stroke starts again. Please note that if you paddle too long on one side you will start turning. We will talk about switching your stroke from side to side in another article. Tip: In order to switch sides it’s important to not throw the paddle from side to side because you could lose your paddle and then you have no way to go. 

Casual paddle stroke technique - image
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Looking For Adventure?

We are excited to be creating a paddle board near me paddle board business directory! Details and more information coming soon!

Looking for a paddle board adventure tour, lesson or paddle boarding rental near you where ever you may be?

Hi there! I am a paddle boarding coach and instructor by day and a web designer for the past 20 years. I figure that is plenty of experience to allow me to create this web directory to help people all over the United States (…The World?) find a solution when they search for paddle board near me! My customers pictured here have a great dog named Jack, and they like piña coladas. (And they don’t like gettin’ caught in the rain.)

…:Our highly searchable paddle board near me directory is coming soon. Please be patient while our new website and SUP Business Directory is under construction. Thank you!