Join NOC’s world-renowned Paddling School! This full-day course focuses on whitewater essentials for new and aspiring paddlers. Family-friendly and appropriate for kids as young as 8 with a participating adult, this course includes the latest gear, the highest quality instruction, transportation, and lunch.

Begin the day by becoming familiar with the equipment and working with your instructors on selecting the most appropriate boat from NOC’s extensive fleet. The morning is spent on a calm section of lake or slow-moving river where you will learn basic strokes, boat control and safety maneuvers. After a waterside lunch, your professional instructors will lead you down a skill-appropriate section of river where you can put your newly acquired skills to use! This program puts emphasis on fun, skill-building, and exploring some of the region’s most beautiful lakes and rivers.

This Introduction to Whitewater Paddling Course is offered at our Main Campus in Bryson City, NC and on the Chattahoochee River outside of Atlanta, GA.

Participants must be at least 8 years old. All minors (17 and under) require the presence of participating adult for this program.


Course Length:
1 Day


Lunch Included

Included in Course:

  • 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

Course In Action

Course Outline

Course Topics:

Develop an understanding of:

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

Skills you will acquire:

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

Course Itinerary:

  • 9AM: Check-in & paperwork
  • 9:30AM: Meet instructor, gear overview and selection
  • 10:30AM: Fundamental paddling skills on flatwater
  • 12PM: Lunch
  • 1PM: Apply Skills on moving water
  • 3:30PM: Course wrap up

Packing List

NOC provides the primary gear needed for each course, including boats, paddles, PFDs, helmets, dry tops and bottoms.
Participants will need to provide individual gear outlined below.

Necessary items (for all courses)

  • Shorts or Swimwear
  • Water Shoes or old sneakers
  • Synthetic T-Shirts
  • Sunscreen/Lip Balm
  • Towel and Change of Clothes
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Clothing and Personal Items
  • Rain Gear

Optional items

  • Synthetic Long Underwear
  • Light Fleece Hoodie/Pullover
  • Nose Clips
  • Sunglasses and Eyeglass Strap
  • Hat or Visor
  • Ear Plugs

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