We often get asked… who is Big Willie? Well you may be surprised to find out that Big Willie is actually a dog. Derek’s bulldog. He’s a pretty laid back individual.
In honor of Big Willie himself and the additions of Waldo, Del and Coco to the crew. Starting in 2018 we will host a monthly event that includes a donation from you and your puppy to the Nashville Humane Association and East CAN (a nonprofit in East Nashville helping to foster pets). The paddle tour will start at a $10 discount. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to these charities on your behalf. If you bring your puppy with you to paddle (and we really hope you do) Big Willie’s Action Sports will contribute an additional donation from your puppy. We have stand up paddle boards and kayaks that can be used for this event depending on the size of your dog and comfort level on the water.
Groups will meet at Shelby Park Boat Launch in East Nashville. The park has plenty of free parking!
Here are some directions from downtown Nashville. 🙂
If you don’t have a vehicle here in Nashville a Uber or Lyft ride is usually very reasonable. Around $10
While we cannot promise hotel pickups and drop offs from Downtown Nashville in most cases they can be arranged with 24 hours notice.
Look for the Big Willie’s van and tour guides. Our guides will get everyone geared up and ready to go. We will check for waivers and verify sightseeing pass holders. ***Everyone must sign a simple waiver to join us on the tour. It states that you understand the risks of this type of water activity***
We will store personal items in the van with one of our tour guides. They will be with your items the entire time.
***You will probably get wet*** make sure to dress in clothing that you are comfortable taking a plunge in.
Some guests will bring their cellphones with them to take pictures. There is always the chance you could drop your phone in the river and it would sink to Davy Jones’ Locker. So if you are not comfortable – don’t bring it. Tour guides take pictures along the route for you. The tour guides will then give you a beginners SUP 101 course and rules to follow while on the river. It is very important that everyone follow these rules and stay safe. Big Willie’s reserves the right to turn away any guest that cannot complete the route safely. This is at the tour guides discretion.
The float follows the river back into downtown. Tour guides ride along with the group to make sure everyone is comfortable.
The route takes about 1.5 – 2 hours depending on the current. The current is typically very gentle making it a great route for first time paddlers.
Tour guides will unload at the riverfront park or in front of Nissan Stadium. Van is stocked with snacks and a cooler of drinks.
If everyone survived… (just kidding) your tour guides will give the group a ride back to Shelby Park.
Since you’ve already read this far… here is one last reminder to bring cash with you. It would be amazing and very much appreciated for you to tip your guides if you enjoyed your adventure. It is not required but will also give you many, many years of good karma.