Paddlers of all ages and skill levels are invited to the 20th Annual East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival (ECCKF). The event takes place at James Island County Park on April 16-18. It’s one of the premier paddlesport events on the Atlantic Coast, featuring on-water classes, lectures, and demonstrations with world-renowned instructors and manufacturers. Guests can get together and trade paddling experiences, partake in various “fooding” opportunities and musical entertainment, and get the chance to visit over 40 commercial exhibits, letting you try the latest equipment before buying it.

Ever wanted to boost your knowledge on paddling? The festival offers classes throughout the event. With the help of leading experts, you can hone your skills by learning new strokes, navigation techniques, repairing equipment, rescues, how to prepare gourmet cuisine straight out of your dry bag, and much more. Kids can participate in full and half-day canoe and kayak camps, featuring hands-on sessions, nature walks, crafts, and more.

There’s also some earlier events. On April 14-15, there’s an ACA Adaptive Paddling workshop (pre-registration required) for paddlers interested in learning how to adapt equipment and work with impaired or disabled paddlers. On April 15 at 8 p.m., adventure filmmaker and expedition kayaker Bryan Smith will present his footage from exploring the Butze Tidal Rapids while on assignment for National Geographic Magazine. On Friday evening, renowned paddler Marcus Demuth will present “Circumnavigating Tierra del Fuego for Disabled Paddlers” to raise awareness and funds to support programs introducing disabled people to paddlesports. Charleston’s own Special Olympics Kayak Team will also be there to offer classroom sessions.

Registration packages for ECCKF start at $15, and kids 17 and under can register for free with an adult. For more information, call (843) 795-4FUN or visit the event’s website.