NOC Lifestyle

Champions & Accolades

Learn about NOC’s competitive edge from the perspective of our founders, athletes, guides and future leaders.

The Home of Champions

Competitive excellence on the national and international stage is a hallmark of NOC. Starting with the original 1972 Olympic slalom team (when whitewater was introduced into the Olympics for the first time), NOC has been, and continues to be, the nation’s premier training site for elite whitewater athletes, champions and explorers. NOC's unique culture, promoting healthy, human-powered outdoor recreation and a love of the outdoors both on and off the clock, continues to attract world-class athletes, Olympians and Gold Medalists, and individuals committed to sharing their passion and skills with our guests. Our focus on continual improvement translates to the highest-caliber programs in outdoor recreation. Over four decades of experience goes into every lesson NOC guides teach and every adventure they lead.

Key Accomplishments

23 Olympians representing NOC in every Olympics since 1972
2 Olympic Gold Medalists: Joe Jacobi and Scott Strasbaugh in 1992
14 World Championships
31 World Medalists
103 National Champions
International Whitewater Hall-of-Famer, Payson Kennedy
50+ Master Guides
Site of the 2013 World Freestyle Kayaking Championships



"Old Hills, New Thrills. Western North Carolina's Nantahala runs 350 days a year."
— Men's Journal
5 American Road Trips That Will Restore Your Sense of Wonder

"The place to go if you’d like to become a professional rafting guide."
— Chicago Tribune
Spice up Spring Break with a Learning Vacation

Best of Travel Outside, 2015 
The 30 Most Incredible Trips to Take in 2015

Winner of the 2012 Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Outdoor Inspiration Award.
2012 OIA Inspiration Awards

"One of the Best Outfitters on Earth." 
National Geographic Adventure

"#1 Vacation with a Splash!" 
— Good Morning America 
Top 10 Trips With a Splash

"Enjoy a Premier Adventure Resort in North Carolina" 
NOC - Where Couple Enjoy a Premier Experience

"Nation's Premier Paddling School." 
New York Times 
Tucking Forward, Chilling Out and Waiting for ‘the Hands of God’

"One of the country's top paddling schools." 
The Wall Street Journal 
Kayaking Goes Over the Edge

"Best Place to Learn." 
Zero to Hero

"The heart and soul of the South’s whitewater scene." 
National Geographic 
Learn Paddling at Nantahala Outdoor Center, North Carolina