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Beginner Instruction



Trip Length

3 Days




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Trip Info


We understand that learning to kayak can be intimidating, which is why our instructors are with you every step of the way. Wildwater's certified kayak instructors have developed our three-day beginner whitewater kayak course for individuals that are interested in taking the first steps to learn how to hardshell kayak. This specific course is for people with little to no hardshell kayaking experience and is designed to introduce the basic skills, equipment, and techniques essential to kayaking on the river.


In this 3-day course, our instructors will progress through the basic knowledge and skills of whitewater kayaking at a comfortable pace allowing each participant proper time to learn and develop. We will spend the first day introducing the different types of kayaks and river equipment while learning basic strokes and techniques in a calm environment. Days two and three will be spent on the river applying the concepts and techniques developed on day one. During these two days, you will learn about river hydrology, rapid classifications, river hazards, and other important topics while practicing proper paddling techniques.

These 3-day courses are taught throughout the Spring and Summer in the Wenatchee Valley near the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth Washington. Most of the rivers of Washington are cold which makes the Wenatchee river a great place to learn because it is one of the warmest rivers in the state and there are nearly 300 days of sunshine a year. Wildwater may accommodate other locations upon request.


  • June 11th - 13th & 25th - 27th
  • July 7th - 9th, 13th - 15th
  • July 30th - August 1st

No matter what kayak instruction course you take, we keep our student-to-instructor ratio low to ensure proper and individualized attention. If you are unsure which instruction course would best suit your skills, please contact Wildwater. These courses can be combined with private lessons to further develop your skills or cover specific topics.


Kayaking is more than just a passion to us, it's our profession and way of life. Our instructors have spent years developing their skills while exploring rivers across the country and internationally. Each of our instructors value the importance of building a solid foundation of skills and providing fun and engaging courses to ensure positive first experiences. All of our whitewater kayak instruction courses are based on American Canoe Association (ACA) kayak curriculum and taught by certified instructors with Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Rescue Certifications.

What we provide (Kayaking)

If you already have river gear, feel free to bring your own.

  • Kayak
  • Sprayskirt
  • Paddle
  • Semi-dry top
  • Helmet
  • PFD (personal floatation device)
  • Wetsuit and booties are provided upon request.

What to bring (Kayaking)

  • Swimsuit or swim trunks
  • Sunglasses (must have croakie attachment)
  • Extra layers for cold spring days (fleece, wool, or polypropylene - avoid cotton)
  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Lunch and/or snack
  • Mask for Shuttle and Ziplock bag to keep it dry
  • Instructor Gratuity

Have Questions?

View our FAQs or contact us. We would be happy to discuss any questions you have.

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Guest Testimonials

This is my third time using Wildwater River Guides and I continue to have great experiences each time. Spencer was our guide down the White Salmon and we're planning on booking a couple more trips and requesting him specifically. If you're new to rafting or looking to try a new guided tour, I highly recommend Spencer and the team over at Wildwater River Guides.

Evan Stichler

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Wildwater River Guides, LLC is an equal opportunity provider and is under permits with the U.S. Forest Service; Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, North Cascades National Park, and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
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