An Ode to Idaho Kayaking: World Class Academy Plays in NRS’s Backyard


At the end of May, World Class Academy took a trip to Idaho and the South Fork of the Clearwater, a whitewater gem that often gets overlooked. With two different sections of continuous whitewater, great scenery and easy logistics, this river was a friendly reminder of why we love Idaho. During this trip NRS team paddler and World Class Alum Tyler Bradt met up with the school to teach the students a geography lesson on American whitewater and the quality goods of Idaho.

World Class also had the opportunity to take a swiftwater rescue course put on by Idaho river guide and guest teacher Dan Thurber. A great time and a great place to revisit a little river safety.

Five reasons why we love Idaho rivers:

  1. Soul Boaters Paradise
    If you are into remote long sections of whitewater, Idaho is your spot. Multi-days abound, most of which cut through thick sections of wilderness. Glory and waterfalls can be found in other states, but the soul boater paddles in Idaho.
  2. High Volume Rivers
    Idaho whitewater tends to have plenty of volume in its rivers giving a “pushy” feel to the whitewater. In Idaho you are not boofing over rocks, you are boofing over holes. When in doubt, simply boof middle.
  3. Cheap Gas and Cheap Camping
    Coming to Idaho from California, the gas prices make those long multi-day shuttles seem down right affordable. And with free or near-free camping all over the place, you might just make the Castle Creek campground along the S.F. of the Clearwater your permanent address.
  4. Americana Culture
    If you want to see and feel the heart of America, look no further than the ridges, rivers, and small towns of Idaho. Friendly people, a rich western history, libraries that embrace visitors, and wide open spaces. Lost the American Dream? Come find it again in Idaho.
  5. Variety, Variety, Variety
    Creeks and rivers, waves and holes, bears and salmon, Boise* football and backcountry skiing—and if you need ocean, there is always Oregon to the west. What you will find in Idaho is an all-you-can-eat outdoor buffet where the palate just can’t quite be satisfied, because the options are just too good.

World Class Academy thanks Idaho for the hospitality and can’t wait to get back next year. No wonder NRS is based here!

*Boise is a town in Idaho with a football team clearly better than, and yet inferior to, the University of Idaho Vandals.