The Wet Planet Whitewater Kayak School: Just Outside of Portland, Oregon

Surrounded by whitewater rivers rated Class I-V, Wet Planet is located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, just over an hour from Portland, Oregon. Based on the White Salmon River, a Northwest classic, we offer the essential kayak instruction needed to learn how to kayak and improve your existing whitewater kayaking skills.

Wet Planet is one of Washington and Oregon’s premiere kayaking schools.

We combine world-class kayaking instructors with low student-to-instructor ratios, comfortable riverside facilities (including a dedicated rolling pool and classroom space), an incredible variety of rivers, and well-developed curriculum to provide industry-leading whitewater kayak instruction for all levels. Wet Planet is your destination for whitewater kayak lessons in Washington and Oregon.

Essential Kayak Courses and Clinics for Beginners and Advanced Students

Are you new to whitewater kayaking and looking for a beginner kayak course? Looking for kayak lessons close to Portland, Oregon?

Industry experts and teaching professionals teach our 2 and 3 day beginner kayak lessons. Our instructors use different learning methods and years of teaching experience to help more students become avid whitewater kayakers.

Interested in improving your skills with private kayak instruction?

With a personal instructor, the day is all about you. A private kayak instruction session allows instructors to hone in on your specific needs, helping you rapidly evolve your skill level. Both beginners and advanced whitewater kayakers benefit from the expertise of our experienced teaching staff.

Are you looking to practice your roll with a pool session?

Shaded under a canopy of trees and sitting next to a small creek, our private pool makes for a comfortable and convenient learning environment. Learn to roll or brush up on your foundation skill set.

Why Learn to Kayak at Wet Planet?

Our instructors will work with you to improve your paddling skills. At Wet Planet, we recognize that not all of our students learn the same way and at the same pace. Therefore, our world-class instructors utilize various techniques to ensure the greatest opportunity for success. Creativity meets experience.

Our low student-to-instructor ratio (no more than 4:1) in all of our Oregon and Washington kayaking lessons will provide you with individualized instruction, whether in a group or private lesson. Check out our Kayak Instructor Staff Bios for a better idea of our experience and passion for the sport.

Our kayak instruction aims to teach paddlers to kayak safely with good judgment while having a great time out on the river. We focus on river reading, self-rescue, safe paddling techniques, and technical paddling skills during all Wet Planet kayaking school courses.

Check out our kayaking courses below, or call our office to discuss which course fits your needs best. Reservations can be made online or by phone.

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Now Viewing: Essential Kayak Courses

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  • A woman smiles while kayaking on a beginner river kayaking course.

    This three-day beginner kayak course is designed to introduce beginner paddlers to the sport of whitewater river kayaking.


    3 Days May - Sept
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      Ages: 13+

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      Difficulty: No experience necessary!

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      Includes: Lunch and all equipment
    Learn More Reserve Now

    Price: $445

    This 3-day whitewater kayak instruction course is designed to introduce beginner paddlers to the sport of whitewater kayaking. Our goal is to provide beginner kayakers with a solid foundation of basic kayaking skills necessary to kayak in Class I and II whitewater, with the option to run your first Class III rapid at the end of the third day.

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  • A kayaking student smiles while running a rapid on a beginner river kayaking course.

    This two-day beginner kayak course is designed for the beginning kayaker who does not have time to commit to three consecutive days and feels comfortable moving at an accelerated pace.


    2 Days May - Sept
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      Ages: 13+

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      Difficulty: No experience necessary!

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      Includes: Lunch and all equipment
    Learn More Reserve Now

    Price: $335

    This course is the first two days of our 3-day Beginning Kayak instruction. The goal of the course is to provide first-time kayakers with the fundamental skills to begin kayaking on Class I and II whitewater.

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  • A kayaker follows his instructor through a rapid on a Washington river kayak instruction course.

    Maximize your time on the river. Working with your instructor one-on-one, you can paddle at your own pace and choose what you want to focus on during your day(s) of instruction.


    1 or more days April - Sept
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      Previous kayaking experience required

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      Includes: Lunch and all equipment

    Learn More Reserve Now

    $235 – $295

    Working with your instructor, you can paddle at your own pace and choose what you want to focus on during your day(s) of instruction. In many ways, you are designing your own time on the river! This one-on-one attention allows you to challenge yourself and your skills while feeling secure. Plus, our professional instructors are enthusiastic, highly skilled, and a blast to be around.

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  • An instructor leads two kayakers through a rapid on a beginner refresher kayak course.

    The next step after the 2- or 3-day Beginner Kayaking Course. Refresh on the basics and keep practicing with professional instructors.


    1 day May - Sept
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      Difficulty: Beginner Level II

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      Includes: Lunch and all equipment

    Learn More Reserve Now

    $140 Mon-Fri
    $170 Sat-Sun

    A one-day kayak refresher is the perfect way to practice the fundamentals of kayaking before jumping back into the river on your own. This course is for students who have been introduced to basic skills of whitewater kayaking but want to keep practicing to get comfortable in Class II. This refresher course typically joins the 3rd day of our Beginner Kayak Course.

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  • A group of kayakers gathers below a large rapid on the Main Salmon River multi-day kayak trip.

    A 6-day kayak adventure with rafts hauling all of your food and gear.


    6 DAYS | 80 MILES August 17-22, 2024
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      Ages: 12+

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      Difficulty: Class III

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      Includes: All meals and group camping gear
    Learn More Reserve Now

    Starting at $2,295

    Join the Wet Planet Kayaking instructors for a multi-day kayaking journey down the Main Salmon River in Idaho. Over the course of six days and 80 miles, Wet Planet instructors will work with you to improve your skills and provide constant support. Rafts assist the trip by carrying all personal gear, food, and camping equipment, allowing you to focus on the incredible experience of an Idaho multi-day kayaking course.

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  • An instructor helps a student with their kayak roll during a pool session.

    Develop the fundamentals of the kayak roll, or improve on the roll you already have, in our private, on-site pool with coaching from our professional instructors.


    2 hours Year-Round
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      Ages: 13+

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      Includes: All necessary equipment

    Learn More Reserve Now

    $95 (Private)
    $55 (Semi-Private)

    We offer two-hour sessions tailored to your specific goals. Our students find pool sessions to help:

    • Master the roll
    • Increase comfort with being upside down in a kayak
    • Improve specific stroke technique
    • Increase boat awareness and ability to maintain edges
    • Regain confidence before heading out to the river
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  • A woman kayaks through a rapid on an intermediate kayak instruction course.

    For intermediate kayakers working on building confidence, comfort, and skill in harder whitewater.


    1 day May - Sept
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      Difficulty: Intermediate

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      Includes: Lunch and all equipment

    Learn More Reserve Now

    $170

    If you are working on building confidence, comfort, and skill in harder whitewater, then this is the course for you. Committing to a full day of intermediate instruction will allow you to push yourself and work on your skills with instructors who can give you the specific, detailed feedback you need to progress.

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  • A female kayaking student paddles a rapid on a beginner kayaking course.

    Our Novice Kayak Courses are perfect to help aspiring intermediate kayakers move into more challenging whitewater.


    1 day May - Sept
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      Difficulty: Novice – Level III

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      Includes: Lunch and all equipment

    Learn More Reserve Now

    $170

    This course is designed for the advanced beginner or aspiring intermediate who already has basic whitewater kayaking skills, wants to improve their technique, or is looking to develop new skills. In this course, we will work on refining the basics and feeling solid in Class II whitewater. This course is ideal for breaking through the initial learning curve to begin paddling more intermediate whitewater.

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  • A woman leads a group of kayakers on a sit on top trip.

    If you want to try whitewater kayaking and have fun on the river for a day while following the lines of Wet Planet's experienced and entertaining guides through the rapids, then this is your trip.


    1 day May - Sept
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      Ages: 10+

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      Difficulty: No experience necessary!

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      Includes: Lunch & all equipment

    Learn More Call to Reserve

    Groups of 6+: $165
    Groups of 1-5: $235-$295

    This guided trip on the Wild & Scenic section of the Lower Klickitat River includes mostly Class II whitewater with a fun Class III rapid known as Ishy Pishy, creating a grand finale at the end of the day. It’s perfect for families, youth groups, and anyone interested in learning whitewater kayaking but not yet ready to take our 2 or 3-Day Beginner Kayaking Course.

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