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West Virginia Whitewater Kayak Instruction

West Virginia's New River has some of the best kayaking in the eastern United States. We offer beginner and intermediate lessons for those who want to experience the thrill of kayaking these world-class rapids.

Learning to Whitewater Kayak at the New River Gorge, West Virginia

Whitewater Kayaking Instruction in West Virginia Rafting isn't the only way to experience whitewater. Kayaking is a great option for those who want a new challenge. There is a higher learning curve for kayaking, so we have classes for first-time and beginner paddlers, as well as for intermediates.

We cater to your needs, whether you're bringing the family in for the basics or your an adventure-seeker looking to up your game.

We try to maintain a 3-1 student to instructor ratio for a high-level of personal attention, while ensuring safety. All employees are certified whitewater kayak instructors by the American Canoe Association. And don't worry if you don't have the gear. We can outfit you with everything you need.


What to Expect

Other than our 2-Hour Hawks Nest Lake Paddle and our 1/2-Day Kayak Sampler, both of which are perfect for those who have never kayaked before, we charge by the day. That way, if you come to us with any amount of previous experience, we can customize your session to your skill level. An instructor will contact you before your course to learn more about your skill level and expectations.

If you've never kayaked before, however, here's what you might expect from multiple days on the water:

Day 1: We'll cover the gear, boat anatomy, wet exits, basic paddle strokes, boat control, bow rescues, edging, basic hydrology and how to paddle in moving water.

Day 2: We'll talk in detail about hazard identification and scouting, with an intense focus on how to read water. We'll begin to work on your Eskimo roll, advanced paddle strokes and paddling in rapids, and then we'll run a section of the New river up to class II.

Day 3: We'll polish up your Eskimo roll, and then run a full section of the river, up to class II+/III. Along the way, we'll get into self-rescue techniques and some of the more advanced paddle strokes.

Day 4: Here's where we really get technical! We'll start to cover surfing (woo-hoo!), advanced hydrology, sweep rolls and advanced boat control.


What We Provide

  • Kayak
  • Spray skirt
  • Paddle
  • Personal flotation device
  • Helmet
  • ACA Instructors 

What to Bring

  • Wear synthetic blend of clothing.
  • Secure Footwear—either tennis shoes, water shoes or river sandals. NO FLIP FLOPS.
  • Wear the basic swimsuit, shorts, shirt and then build from there for the weather.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Hat or visor.
  • Sunglasses with chums.
Extras:  Wetsuits may be rented if the weather is going to be cool or overcast in the Spring or Fall.

Kayak Instruction Rates

Course Options** Minimum Group Size Minimum Age Length Price
2-Hour Hawks Nest Lake Paddle (no rapids)
2 10 2 hours $59+tax per person
1/2- Day Kayak Sampler 2 10  3-3.5 hours $109+tax per person
Group Rate, per Full Day
2 12 1,2,3 or 4 Days $149+tax per person
Private Instruction, per Full Day
1 12 1,2,3 or 4 Days  $249+tax per person