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5-Day Whitewater Kayaking Courses

Bryson City, NC
from $850
A variety of courses are taught from late March to early October.

Five-day whitewater kayaking clinics at NOC’s renowned Paddling School are great for paddlers of all levels from beginner to advanced to discover a new sport or to refine current skills and techniques.

18+ Years Old
5 Days
Three kayakers discussing route during the 5-Day Whitewater Kayaking/Canoeing Course
Learning how to roll a kayak on the Nantahala River- Intro to Whitewater Kayaking Trip
Two kayakers discussing route during the 5-Day Whitewater Kayaking/Canoeing Course
Book Now from $850



Five-day whitewater kayaking clinics are the best way to improve your kayaking or canoeing skills quickly. Throughout the week, NOC’s instructors will be able to teach whitewater basics, identify issues, and solidify good paddling habits giving paddlers more time to practice on the water and try out different area lakes and rivers. Five-day clinics also allow you to try out the latest boat designs to determine what type fits your paddling style and body the best.

Students are grouped by similar abilities to create a supportive paddling group. Having other students nearby creates a fun learning environment, where you can learn from the instructor, from the other students, and from practicing paddling skills as a group.

Courses are offered at multiple skill levels including Learn to Kayak (beginners), Class II River Kayaking (intermediate), and Class III+ River Kayaking (advanced).

For more information or to speak with a Paddling School representative please call 828.488.7249. Needing something shorter but still looking for great instruction? Check out our 2-day courses to see if they are the right fit for you!

What You’ll Learn

Build a solid foundation for skill development. Courses range from beginner to advanced providing opportunities from enjoying basic whitewater and boat orientation to becoming an expert paddler in Class II-III+ whitewater.

Learn to Kayak:

  • Boat Design
  • Whitewater Gear & Proper Fit
  • River Feature Terminology
  • River Safety

Class II + Class III River Kayaking Courses:

  • Scouting
  • Eddy Turns and Peel Outs
  • Ferrying
  • Stroke Timing & Refinement
  • Combat Roll Techniques
  • River Safety Techniques

Skills You’ll Acquire

Learn to Kayak:

  • Forward & Reverse Paddling
  • Moving your Boat Sideways
  • Balancing & Edging
  • Exiting a Capsized Boat
  • Rolling Techniques

Class II+ River Kayaking:

  • Wet Exit
  • Boat Based Rescues
  • Carving & Edging
  • Catching Eddies
  • Peel Outs
  • Ferries
  • Compound Strokes

Class III+ River Kayaking:

  • Eddy Turns & Peel Outs
  • Jet Ferrying
  • Navigating Complex & Powerful Rapids
  • Compound Stroke Refinement
  • Scouting & Dissecting Class III Rapids

What to Expect

Five full days of fun, excitement, and lots of kayaking! Designed for paddlers committed to learning whitewater skills and techniques and putting them to practice on local lakes and rivers. Each course is built to meet the paddler where they are at for skill level and goals.

Each day will be split between skills development on our area lakes and rivers and afternoons enjoying the thrills of whitewater on one of our home rivers.


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51 NOC Way
Bryson City, NC 28713

  • All necessary specialty whitewater equipment
  • Lunch & In-Course Transportation
  • Access to NOC’s extensive fleet of instruction boats for in-clinic use
  • NOC’s highly trained, ACA certified instruction

NOC Provides the primary gear needed for each course including boats, paddles, PFD’s, helmets, spray skirts, semi-dry tops, wetsuit bottoms, and booties. A full packing list will be provided in your pre-trip email. Exclusive discounts are available for course participants at the Outfitter’s Store.

Necessary Items (for All Courses)

  • Shorts/swimwear
  • Water shoes or old sneakers
  • Synthetic T-shirts
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Towel and change of clothes each day
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Clothing and personal items
  • Rain gear
  • Synthetic long underwear
  • Light fleece hoodie/pullover

Optional Items

  • Nose clips
  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglass strap
  • Hat or visor
  • Earplugs (if sensitive to water)

Participants must be 18 and older and meet the requirements for Class II and III+ clinics below.

Class II River Kayaking Requirements

Paddlers should be comfortable paddling Class I – II whitewater, have experience using paddling gear and equipment, have experience rolling a boat in flatwater, and understand paddling terms and fundamentals such as:

  • Wet Exit
  • Boat Based Rescues
  • Carving & Edging
  • Catching Eddies
  • Peel Outs
  • Ferries

Class III+ River Kayaking Requirements

Students are challenged to execute difficult moves while in level-appropriate whitewater and should already have the following skills:

  • A reliable flat-water roll
  • A reliable combat roll with a 50% success rate
  • The ability to make harder moves in Class II waters, such as crossing strong eddy lines with reasonable control, catching challenging eddies, and ferrying in fast current

Lunch is included in the course fee. Additional meals, snacks, and beverages can be purchased at NOC’s two onsite restaurants or the General Store. Discounts are available for course participants.


This was our second time at NOC and it just gets better. Our instructor (Mark Taylor) is without a doubt loves his job, he is very good at explaining and teaching techniques need to enjoy and have fun at WW Kayaking. We will surely be back in the late spring, early summer.

Jeff C.
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