Instruction and Skills

 
 One of our star instructors, Karla Held, on right, in Laos

One of our star instructors, Karla Held, on right, in Laos

Paddle World Adventures Instruction

Whether you're an experienced paddler looking to brush up on rescues, or a beginning kayaker hoping to gain new skills, through our partnerships with the best instructors in North America, we offer small classes designed to teach the essential skills for paddling safely. We'll get you the best training with Paddle World Adventures instructors in the Southeast, or with some of our most awesome partner guides near you, including Ben Kvanli's Olympic Outdoor Center in Texas. We offer instruction on our trips, too!

"What's My Skill Level?"

Preparing for a trip with Paddle World Adventures, but not sure of your skill level? Just contact us and we'll help you determine your skill level based on your experience. We'll just ask you a few questions before you Choose Your Adventure. We offer Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced whitewater trips. For the safety of everyone on the trip, we just need to know your true level of skill before putting you on the water. From slow waters to extreme whitewater, we'll get you set on the right rivers for you.

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 Taking it easy, by Karla Held Photography

Taking it easy, by Karla Held Photography

 Meet Our Guides

Each of our Guides is a World-Class, Expert Paddler. Just a few of our trip guides include:

Karla Held

 Karla Held by Ben Kvanli

Karla Held by Ben Kvanli

Karla Held, a Texas native, is a certified ACA kayak and SUP instructor. Fluent in Spanish and French, she has enjoyed working with paddling trips internationally - from Laos to France to Mexico to Panama, she has enjoyed kayaking over 10 rivers in 10 countries around the world. She has lead ecotourism trips with G Adventures for two years in Central America and Peru. Karla is also a professional photographer and has published numerous kayaking articles for the newspapers she has worked full time for, and for various newspapers and magazines she freelances for including the Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express-News, The Austin-Statesman and Paddler Magazine. More of her work can be seen at: Karla Held Photography.

 

"Rocky" Contos

 Photo courtesy RZCreative.com

Photo courtesy RZCreative.com

James "Rocky" Contos learned to kayak on the Russian and SF American Rivers in Northern California in the late 80s/early 90s. He continued paddling extensively while pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at UCSD, at which time he also started guiding sea kayak and whitewater raft/kayak trips and instructing kayaking. While in San Diego, his main paddling was in the surf, sea kayaking in Baja, and on rivers in the Southwest. From 2008-now, he generally spends 3-6 months a year paddling and exploring rivers in Mexico, Central America or Peru. His non-profit, Sierra Rios, was founded to protect the rivers in Central America. He has written books and articles about the rivers in Mexico and Peru and is one of few to guide trips through the upper Amazon.

Ben Kvanli

 Ben Kvanli by David Gillson

Ben Kvanli by David Gillson

Ben Kvanli is a Guatemalan-American slalom canoer who competed in the 1990s and 2000s. He competed in the 1996 Olympic Games in Kayaking. Ben and fellow athlete/coach, Mark Poindexter, helped to start the USA Canoe/Kayak Jr. Olympic program. Born a missionary kid, he’s lived a lifetime of serving others. Ben has lead many projects, and trips in Central America. He founded the Red River Racing Team, manages the Olympic Outdoor Center, and works with the Veterans Adventure Therapy, Wounded Warriors and Team River Runner.
Ben will be instructing one of our upcoming trips to the oldest whitewater festival in North America, the FIBArk festival in Colorado. Reserve now, here.