Smokies Ambassador: Tommy Clapp

 

My name is Tommy Clapp and I am an outdoors-aholic. I grew up in the smokies region backpacking and exploring its caves. I enjoy backpacking, caving, mountain biking and most of all paddling. My first introduction to paddling was when I was 16 and my best friend from high school, who is now an Asheville resident and green regular, tried to drown me on the Hiwassee. Well, really he just wanted me to learn and the water scared me. 9 Years later I purchased gear with determination to conquer the fear I had. The rush of excitement I received from rafting was too great to not try kayaking. After just a few weeks in the pool with videos as instruction I ventured out and started paddling… That was 6 years ago and I haven’t looked back!

I have lived in the greater Knoxville area all my life with the exception of going to college in KY. I attended West High School in Knoxville (Class 2000), Berea College for my Undergraduate in Education with a minor in Geology(Class 2004), and Carson- Newman College for my Masters in Counseling with a focus in Team Development(Class 2009). I love working with people and have found a love in sharing kayaking with others. I teach kayaking and hold roll sessions at Carson-Newman College where I work.
After 6 years and many runs I feel comfortable saying that I am a class IV/V paddler. I am always up for a challenge but safety remains my number one priority, not only for me but my group as well.  I am very excited to be a part of World Kayak and see where this journey takes me.

My name is Tommy Clapp and I am an outdoors-aholic. I grew up in the smokies region
backpacking and exploring its caves. I enjoy backpacking, caving, mountain biking and
most of all paddling. My first introduction to paddling was when I was 16 and my best
friend from high school, who is now an Asheville resident and green regular, tried to
drown me on the Hiwassee. Well, really he just wanted me to learn and the water scared
me. 9 Years later I purchased gear with determination to conquer the fear I had. The
rush of excitement I received from rafting was too great to not try kayaking. After just
a few weeks in the pool with videos as instruction I ventured out and started paddling…
That was 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back!
I have lived in the greater Knoxville area all my life with the exception of going to
college in KY. I attended West High School in Knoxville (Class 2000), Berea College
for my Undergraduate in Education with a minor in Geology(Class 2004), and Carson-
Newman College for my Masters in Counseling with a focus in Team Development(Class
2009). I love working with people and have found a love in sharing kayaking with
others. I teach kayaking and hold roll sessions at Carson-Newman College where I work.
After 4 years and many runs I feel comfortable saying that I am a class IV paddler. I am
always up for a challenge but safety remains my number one priority, not only for me but
my group as well. Some of my most memorable and difficult runs would be Lower Big
Creek at 3.9-4ft, Little river at 4.5ft, Tellico River at 4ft and Tremont at 4.9 on the Little
gauge. Each of those were benchmark trips which tested my skill set. That being said I
truly believe that it is about the Journey when boating and not the destination. Every trip
adds something new to the table in developing my skills as a paddler. I am very excited to
be a part of World Kayak and see where this journey takes me.

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January 16th, 2018

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