Southeast kayaking gurus

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 20-27, 1996
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Southeast kayaking gurus

Southeast kayaking gurus
Question: Where would you suggest learning how to whitewater kayak in the Southeast?

Tampa, FL

Top-notch instruction
from the kings of kayaking

Adventure Adviser: Lucky for you (and me, too), there's a pretty simple answer to your question. For top-notch, accredited whitewater schools in your neck of the woods, there are really only two choices: the ever-popular--and deservedly so--Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), in the heart of North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains, or Riversport School of Paddling in southern Pennsylvania and Maryland.

It's hard to go wrong with NOC--in fact, it's hard to find anything less than positive to say about their gig. So, at the risk of lavishing shameless amounts of praise on them, I will say this: Not only are they tried-and-true whitewater experts, but they're perfectly situated within a stone's throw (nearly) of five world-class rivers, including the Ocoee, site of this year's Olympic whitewater events (see our Olympic kayak trials coverage). They offer kayaking and canoeing instruction for paddlers of all skill levels, with two- to seven-day programs ranging in price from $330 to $1,025, including lodging. For more details, give 'em a jingle at 704-488-6737.

Farther north, Riversport runs the Class I-IV Youghiogheny. Their one- to five-day beginner to advanced classes cost $100 to $425 per person, including all meals, instruction, and camping. Call 800-216-6991.

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