Whitewater ROWing School

Looking to develop your rowing abilities or gain experience before embarking on an extended whitewater wilderness trip? Our ROWing school will equip you with the skills and confidence you need, with a good dose of adventure thrown in. 

Our rowing courses are led by highly experienced guides, you’ll explore the Lower Deschutes, Lower Salmon, or hone your paddle guiding skills on the St. Joe River while practicing technical maneuvering and completing safety training. In addition to enhancing your river skills under the watchful eyes of our professionally trained team, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy off-river activities with a group of like-minded individuals. 

Each night, we’ll camp along the river where additional classes will be offered while dinner is being prepared. Everything from practicing ferrying to self-rescue techniques and preparing gear will be covered. This comprehensive, hands-on course is designed for those who thrive in a small class setting, with a combination of group and one-on-one training provided. 

Join us for an exciting opportunity to increase your personal boating skills, explore some incredible rivers, and meet new friends!

ROWing School Snapshot: 

Images & Videos

whitewater rafting
rafters sitting in circle on beach
group of people stretching on river bank
river guide carrying rope in water
whitewater boaters in idaho
whitewater raft on the rogue river
yellow raft with gear riverside
whitewater rafting
couple with little rubber ducks
red whitewater raft in rapids
female whitewater guide
salmon on cedar boards with rafts in the background
whitewater guides giving instruction
rafters in dry suits
two people hanging out at rafting camp
whitewater guides giving instruction
female river guide holding up a whitewater helmet
whitwater rafters carrying raft down boat ramp
female guide rowing an oar raft
rafting equipment set up on sandy beach
people sitting in a circle near a river
whitewater rafting camp
whitewater boaters
whitewater rafting
rafters sitting in circle on beach
group of people stretching on river bank
river guide carrying rope in water
whitewater boaters in idaho
whitewater raft on the rogue river
yellow raft with gear riverside
whitewater rafting
couple with little rubber ducks
red whitewater raft in rapids
female whitewater guide
salmon on cedar boards with rafts in the background
whitewater guides giving instruction
rafters in dry suits
two people hanging out at rafting camp
whitewater guides giving instruction
female river guide holding up a whitewater helmet
whitwater rafters carrying raft down boat ramp
female guide rowing an oar raft
rafting equipment set up on sandy beach
people sitting in a circle near a river
whitewater rafting camp
whitewater boaters

Itinerary

Itinerary Overview: 

In 2024 we'll be offering our ROWing school on your choice of the Lower Deschutes, Lower Salmon, or St. Joe River. Our itineraries range from 3-6 days, but will feature a similar format and progression of boating and whitewater skills. Longer trips naturally lend themselves to a deeper level of instruction and detail. If you're unsure which ROWing school itinerary would be right for you, please inquire with our talented team of Adventure Consultants to help select the best option based on experience level and desired outcome.

Course Objectives:

Our ROWing school is designed to help you improve your skills on the water in a safe and supportive environment. Led by professional guides you will:

  • Vastly improve your rowing skills
  • Gain familiarity with a variety of equipment
  • Practice rescue skills and discuss rescue theory
  • Improve your ability to read water
  • Develop your understanding of river etiquette
  • Learn a range of important knots and how to use throw bags
  • Practice proper boat spacing and order
  • Gain the confidence to scout rapids
  • Learn how to make informed decisions on the water

Areas of Instruction:

Each ROWing school looks slightly different, depending on the river and itinerary. On all of our courses, the following topics will be covered:

  • Planning and gear preparation
  • Rigging boats
  • Rowing mechanics
  • Boat maneuvering
  • Scouting and reading water
  • Hydrology
  • Choosing and executing lines
  • Pushing and pulling
  • Catching and leaving eddies
  • Boat spacing and pacing
  • T-ing up to waves
  • Camp skills - set up, safety, and Leave No Trace ethics 
  • Flip and rescue skills 
  • Advanced oar work (shipping, double oar turns, feathering)
  • Emergency and evacuation plans

3 Day ROWing School Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival

Orientation with your Team Leader at 7:00 PM. Bring any personal safety equipment for inspection (i.e. PFD, helmet, throw bag). 

Day 1: Launch Day!

We will discuss ramp etiquette, ways to expedite a put-in, and the best practices / how-to’s of rigging a boat. We will then launch on the river. Lunch will either be at the put-in or shortly downstream. We will have ample opportunity to get a feel for the boats and the river. We will discuss the basics of rowing, reading water, and boat maneuvering. At camp we will talk about camp set-up considerations and have some fun and informative evening activities and/ or lessons. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: On and Off Water Skills

We will rotate through boat types, and work on building comfort and improving technical skills, river safety, and group awareness. We will practice scouting, catching and leaving eddies etc… We will practice on, off and in-water skills, with a variety of activities designed to challenge you and build your confidence in the myriad of situations that can happen on a multi-day trip. At camp we will work on our knots, rescue skills, and general river knowledge. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Takeout Day

We will plan on reaching the takeout between 1 and 3 PM after an on-river lunch. The morning will be spent polishing the skills we have been practicing. This is a great day to dive into any questions about what we’ve covered so far. Instructors will do their best to provide a list of your strengths and ongoing skills to practice. We will cover takeout-procedures and etiquette. After our take-out we will say our farewells and load into our transport back to our meeting point. We recommend booking a local hotel to wash off the dirt, and rest up before making the journey home.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

4 Day ROWing School Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival

Orientation with your Team Leader at 7:00 PM. Bring any personal safety equipment for inspection (i.e. PFD, helmet, throw bag). 

Day 1: Launch Day!

We will discuss ramp etiquette, ways to expedite a put-in, and the how-to’s of rigging a boat. We will then launch on the river. Lunch will either be at the put-in or shortly downstream.We will have ample opportunity to get a feel for the boats and the river. We will discuss the basics of ROWing, reading water, and boat maneuvering. At camp we will talk about camp set-up considerations and have some fun and informative evening activities and/ or lessons. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: On and Off Water Skills

We will rotate through boat types, and work on building comfort and improving technical skills, river, safety, and group awareness, practice scouting, catching and leaving eddies etc… We will practice on, off and in-water skills, with a variety of activities designed to challenge you and build your confidence in the myriad of situations that can happen on a multi-day trip. At camp we will work on our knots, rescue skills, and general river knowledge. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Technique and Advanced Skills 

On day 3 we will work on our finesse and start introducing more advanced skills. Exactly what we cover will vary for each individual student. We will aim to discuss compound oar maneuvers, best practices for oar shipping, and feathering. We will emphasize the importance of learning when to pull vs push and various ways to avoid in-river obstacles. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Takeout Day

We will plan on reaching the takeout between 1 and 3 PM after an on-river lunch. The morning will be spent polishing the skills we have been practicing. This is a great day to dive into any questions about what we’ve covered so far. Instructors will do their best to provide a list of your strengths and ongoing skills to practice. We will cover takeout-procedures and etiquette. After our take-out we will say our farewells and load into our transport back to our meeting point. We recommend booking a local hotel to wash off the dirt, and rest up before making the journey home.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

6 Day ROWing School Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival

Orientation with your Team Leader at 7:00 PM. Bring any personal safety equipment for inspection (i.e. PFD, helmet, throw bag). 

Day 1: Launch Day!

We will discuss ramp etiquette, ways to expedite a put-in, and the how-to’s of rigging a boat. We will then launch on the river. Lunch will either be at the put-in or shortly downstream.We will have ample opportunity to get a feel for the boats and the river. We will discuss the basics of ROWing, reading water, and boat maneuvering. At camp we will talk about camp set-up considerations and have some fun and informative evening activities and/ or lessons. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: On and Off Water Skills

We will rotate through boat types, and work on building comfort and improving technical skills, river, safety, and group awareness, practice scouting, catching and leaving eddies etc… We will practice on, off and in-water skills, with a variety of activities designed to challenge you and build your confidence in the myriad of situations that can happen on a multi-day trip. At camp we will work on our knots, rescue skills, and general river knowledge. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Technique and Advanced Skills

On day 3 we will work on our finesse and start introducing more advanced skills. Exactly what we cover will vary for each individual student. We will aim to discuss compound oar maneuvers, best practices for oar shipping, and feathering. We will emphasize the importance of learning when to pull vs push and various ways to avoid in-river obstacles. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4-5: Refine Skills, Whitewater Safety, Reading Rapids

These two days we will refine skills, dive into more advanced techniques, start working on pushing rapids, introduce play boating and using the water, and focus teaching towards each student's needs. 

  • Accomodations: Riverside camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Takeout Day

We will plan on reaching the takeout between 1 and 3 PM after an on-river lunch. The morning will be spent polishing the skills we have been practicing. This is a great day to dive into any questions about what we’ve covered so far. Instructors will do their best to provide a list of your strengths and ongoing skills to practice. We will cover takeout-procedures and etiquette. After our take-out we will say our farewells and load into our transport back to our meeting point. We recommend booking a local hotel to wash off the dirt, and rest up before making the journey home.

*On the Lower Salmon, we often need to motor out through the long flat pools known as “snake lake.” This does mean that rowing opportunities are limited this day, but learning opportunities are not!

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD)
Jun 08, 2024 to Jun 11, 2024
ROWing School - Deschutes River
$1,400£0€0$0$0$1,400£0€0$0$0
Jun 19, 2024 to Jun 25, 2024
Paddling Guide School - St. Joe
$2,100£0€0$0$0$2,100£0€0$0$0
Sep 01, 2024 to Sep 06, 2024
ROWing School - Salmon River Canyons
$2,100£0€0$0$0$2,100£0€0$0$0

Supplementary Information

Includes: 

  • Service of our professional Guides and Adventure Consultants
  • Professional whitewater instruction
  • All meals and beverages as indicated on the itinerary (including beer and wine)
  • All rafting and camping equipment
  • Transportation to and from river meeting points

Does Not Include: 

  • Land and water access fees, as determined by selected river and itinerary
  • Travel to and from trip destination
  • Travel protection
  • Gratuities for Guides
  • Pre and post-trip accommodations
  • Items of a personal nature

Reviews

5
Average: 5 (3 votes)

Reviews

5

Opportunities Abound

Whitewater rowing skills is just one of the many things this course teaches. This course teaches a multitude of hands on skills for the whitewater environment such as rope work, important self care practices, and practical knowledge for many whitewater situations. Outside of hard skills, you gain lasting friendships and connection with other whitewater enthusiasts that train along side you. Between the connections and the knowledge gained, this path paves the road to personal and professional opportunities in the whitewater world.

5

Guide School

I had an amazing experience at ROW’s guide school where I learned advanced boating skills and techniques! I recommend to anyone who wants to be serious about boating!

5

Summer 2021

I had the opportunity to take the 6 day paddle guide school on the St Joe in Idaho in June of 2021. The river was challenging for beginners but was also forgiving of mistakes. While on the river the training covered paddling techniques, how to read the river, how to move the raft on the river, what to do in difficult situations such as flips, and how to effectively communicate with passengers and other guides. The training covered setting up base camp, preparing meals, transporting equipment to the put in and back to camp from the take out. Time was not wasted, when we were not training on the river we were working on other essential skills for a guide.. The instructors were top notch and came from a varied background, all were full time guides with years of experience from across the world. The instructors had the experience, skills, and most importantly the teaching ability. I highly recommend the class and would recommend it to anyone looking to increase their knowledge of rafting.

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