Whitewater Paddler Skill Levels

This chart will help you determine your current skill set and assist you in choosing the best course.

Still not sure what category you fit into?
For help and/or complete information on all of our Paddling School products, please contact Jae Jackson at 828-488-7288 or jae.jackson@noc.com.


Beginner/Novice

Your Current Skill Set
If any one of the following criteria describes you:

  • Never paddled water craft/boat (whether on lake, moving water or whitewater)
  • Have paddled water craft/boat and possess basic/fundamental paddling skills
  • Have paddled in whitewater kayak and possess fundamental whitewater paddling skills (wet-exit, self-rescue, edging, boat control, catching eddies, peel out) and moderately comfortable in moving water and Class I and Class II whitewater (Tuckaseegee or Little Tennessee)
  • Have paddled whitewater kayak but it has been length of time since last time paddled
  • Do NOT have whitewater kayak roll

Courses for You

  • Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking
  • Learn to Kayak Clinics
  • Youth Learn to Kayak Weekend and Kids Kayak Camps
  • Family Learn to Kayak Weekend
  • Women’s Only Kayak – Weekend and Weekday

Novice Plus

Your Current Skill Set
If all of the following criteria describes you:

  • Currently paddle whitewater in kayak
  • Very comfortable in Class I and II whitewater
  • Solid to fairly solid paddling skills in Class I & II whitewater (Nantahala) – wet exit, self-rescue, catching eddies, peeling out, ferrying, surfing, and river reading
  • Working on whitewater kayak roll but do NOT have solid to fairly solid flatwater kayak roll. Have not attempted combat roll or had successful combat rolls

Courses for You

  • Learn to Kayak Clinics
  • Youth Learn to Kayak Weekend and Kids Kayak Camps
  • Family Learn to Kayak Weekend
  • Class II River Weekday and Weekend
  • Women’s Only Kayak – Weekend and Weekday
  • Nantahala Falls Break-Thru Clinic

Intermediate

Your Current Skill Set
If all of the following criteria describes you:

  • Currently paddle whitewater in kayak
  • Very comfortable in Class I & II whitewater Comfortable in/or ready to progress to Class III
  • Have solid to fairly solid flatwater kayak roll and have successful combat roll

Courses for You

  • Class III + River – Weekend and Weekday
  • Class III + Week of Rivers
  • Class III+ Creek Weekend
  • Guided River Service

Advanced

Your Current Skill Set
If all of the following criteria describes you

  • Currently paddle whitewater kayak
  • Very comfortable in Class III + and higher whitewater (Ocoee)
  • Have bomb-proof combat kayak roll

Courses for You

  • Class III + River – Weekend and Weekday
  • Class III + Week of Rivers
  • Class III+ Creek Weekend
  • Guided River Service

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