Raft Guide School

Learn from the experts! Gain the skills needed to work as a professional raft guide for commercial outfitters, summer camps, clubs, and outdoor schools in our industry-leading NOC Raft Guide School. Participants will learn to 

  • Read whitewater 
  • Use river signals 
  • Maneuver and rig rafts 
  • Tie knots 
  • Work with guests 
  • Other basic river operations 

NOC guides have led more whitewater rafting trips than any outfitter in the world – giving you the best in river education! 

Students must be 18 years or older. Price includes lodging, meals, and rafting equipment. No experience necessary.  

Course Length:
5 Days


We did a refresher of the basics but got into some advanced work too which was super helpful!

Solid Fundamentals! A+++

Course In Action

Courses Dates

No Scheduled Courses

NOC Paddling School Reviews

"  "I choose the NOC Paddling School because of the proximity of several fun rivers, top of the line gear, and exquisite care from instructors who are capable of pushing my students, while keeping them safe.  The NOC Paddling School on the Nantahala River is located in a unique, magical gorge, and I love sharing this place.  Nothing compares to the NOC!"
– Martha Muckleroy, Texas A&M

Course Outline

Course Topics:

Develop an understanding of

    • Boat design
    • Whitewater gear and proper fit
    • River terminology
    • Boat safety

Skills you will acquire

    • Forward and reverse paddling
    • Moving your boat sideways
    • Balancing and edging your boat
    • Safely exiting a capsized boat

Course Itenerary:

9:00 AM: Check-in and paperwork

9:30 AM: Meet instructor, gear overview and selection

10:30 AM: Fundamental paddling skills on flatwater

12:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM: Apply skills on moving water

3:30 PM: Course ends

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 classes)

  • 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
  • Band-Aids/Tape

Optional items

  • Synthetic long underwear
  • Light fleece hoodie/pullover
  • Nose clips
  • Sunglasses and eyeglass strap
  • Hat or visor
  • Ear plugs

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