The 2020 summer kayaking season has come to a close! Despite a late start to the season and new challenges, were able to adapt our kayak school operations to offer fun and low-risk experiences on the river. From beginner kayaking courses, to kids camps, to advanced clinics and private instruction, we had blast kayaking this summer! Here are a few highlights from the 2020 kayaking season:

Beginner Kayaking Courses

A staple of the Wet Planet Kayak School, the 2- and 3-day beginner kayaking courses are the still the #1 best way to get into the sport of whitewater kayaking and learn the basic skills necessary to kayak on the river. Over the course of the season, over 150 students became whitewater paddlers! New friends were made, new skills were learned, and lots of fun was had!

surfing while kayaking

Learning to surf in the Beginner Kayaking Course

kayaking klickitat river

Taking on Ishy Pishy on the Klickitat River

kayaking crew

This group of kayakers met in a Beginner Kayaking Course and immediately became a tight-knit crew. Later in the summer, they all took a Private Kayaking Lesson together!

Advanced Kayaking Instruction

Boof Clinic

Our annual Boof Clinic was a blast! Instructors Ali and Devin taught 8 students how to style their boof stroke. They spent their morning at Maytag Rapid, boofed their way down the Middle White Salmon, and finished the day at Husum Falls. This group was styling their boofs by the end of the day!

Boof practice at Maytag

kayaking Husum Falls

Running Husum Falls

Private Kayaking Instruction

This season, whitewater kayakers of all levels had one-on-one time with an instructor to hone their skills during a private kayaking lesson. From Class II to Class IV, students learned new skills and paddled some of the most amazing rivers in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the rivers we paddled were of course the White Salmon and Klickitat, but a few advanced kayakers even paddled the Wind River, Canyon Creek, the East Fork of the Lewis, and the Farmlands section of the White Salmon.

kayak scouting

Learning the art of scouting during a private kayaking lesson

Multi-Day Kayaking Adventures

Main Salmon Kayaking Trip

Our annual 6-day whitewater kayaking trip on Idaho’s Salmon River can be chalked up to a week of bliss, with great company, great food, and great kayaking! A group of six women crushed the hardest rapids, learned new skills, and had a great time on and off the river!

kayaking Main Salmon

Kayaking through the beautiful “River of No Return” Wilderness of Idaho’s Salmon River

Kayaking Black Creek Rapid

Kayaking Black Creek Rapid

main salmon hot springs

Taking a break from kayaking to soak in the wilderness hot springs

Kids Camps

We were able to run FIVE small socially-distanced kids whitewater kayaking camps this season. We introduced a Level 2 camp for kids who have previously taken Level 1. It was a huge hit! Kids got to experience a new section of river, and run the infamous class III rapid, Ishy Pishy!

kids kayaking camp

All smiles during kids kayaking camp!

kids kayaking camp

A socially-distanced group photo during kids kayaking camp

New Offerings in the 2020 Kayaking Season

Beginner Refresher Course

The Beginner Refresher Course was new to the Wet Planet Kayak School this season. The refresher allowed those who had previously taken the Beginner Kayaking Course to spend another day on the water by joining in on the third day of a course that was already scheduled, allowing new kayakers to get on the river and breaking down the barrier to entry by offering it at a low cost. It was a huge hit, allowing new kayakers to get more river miles under their belt and build comfort on the Class I-II Lower Klickitat River.

kayaking klickitat river

Enjoying another day on the Klickitat River

Novice Kayaking Course

The Novice Kayaking Course, also new to the kayak school this season, was the next step up for most students. Usually going to the Lower White Salmon, students who were comfortable with basic skills on the Klickitat got to apply their newfound skills to a new and more challenging section of river. They practiced eddy turns, peel-outs, and ferrying on faster current and harder eddies, putting in the time it takes to become proficient boaters.

kayaking white salmon

Enjoying the gorgeous Lower White Salmon between rapids

Thanks to the Wet Planet Kayak Instructors of the 2020 kayaking season!

These courses wouldn’t be possible without our amazing instructors! Lead instructors Haley and Josh, along with assistants Kelcey, Finn, Naomi, and Amanda, taught kayakers of all ability levels throughout the season! They show people magic of the river every day, and we are so grateful to have these kind, funny, talented professional instructors as part of the Wet Planet Team!

kayaking instructor

Haley has been a lead instructor at Wet Planet since 2018. She has been a core part of the team every since, teaching beginner kayaking courses, novice and intermediate instruction, and teaching weekly private lessons for her regular guests!

kayaking instructor

Josh is the Kayak School Manager and a Lead Instructor at Wet Planet. He teaches just about everything the Kayak School has to offer!

kayak instructor kelcey

Kelcey joined the instructor team in 2020 and quickly became a regular sight at the beginner kayaking courses!

kids kayak instructor

Naomi taught all five kids’ kayaking camps this season!

raft guide and kayak instructor

Finn joined the Wet Planet team in 2020, and splits his time between rafting and kayaking.

kayaking white salmon

Amanda splits her time between rafting and kayaking, and is always a ray of sunshine and positivity in any course she teaches!

Along with the core instructor team, part-time instructors also stepped in to teach numerous courses this summer! From the multi-day trip on the Main Salmon, to the boof clinic, to beginner instruction, they are an integral part of the Wet Planet Kayak School!

kayaking main salmon

Josh Dickey taught kayaking on the Main Salmon this summer!


Nicky is a raft guide and kayak instructor, but is also often found behind the camera photo-boating on kayaking courses and multi-day trips!

devin kuh

A long-time Wet Planeteer, Devin made a return for another season! This year he taught the boof clinic, Main Salmon trip, beginner kayaking courses, and private instruction!

In 2020, Ali came to us from Sierra Rescue. This season, she taught the Boof Clinic, as well as our River Rescue Courses for rafters and kayakers.

private kayaking instruction

Jeremy can often be found teaching advanced private instruction

kayak instruction

Full-time raft guide and part-time kayak instructor, Sean teaches advanced clinics and private instruction

Though she’s usually managing the reservations office, Sharon also teaches kayaking!

Author Sharon Saltoon is a kayak instructor and Reservations Manager at Wet Planet. She is always stoked to share her love of whitewater and to be a part of the incredible team at Wet Planet!