Big Water Bootcamp

(3 customer reviews)

$875.00 3 days


Big water river running and playboating is no longer a thing of the past in the Southeast, join us in Columbus, GA for a weekend of fun!

  • 9 – 11 August 2024

About the course:

I was planning a trip to the Lower Gauley and thought this would be a good way to work on some big water skills. Chris and Lydia did an awesome job working on a variety of skills, including running big rapids, surfing, and general confidence-building.

-Joe Mount

South of Atlanta along the Georgia-Alabama state line is one of the most unique, urban whitewater playgrounds in the country. Columbus, GA offers a wickedly special opportunity to gain comfort on big, high volume whitewater with all the amenities of your backyard. Daily flow ranges provide opportunities to work on creeking and river running techniques during one part of the day while getting up close and personal with world class big water play during another. The city has created a beautiful and accessible river walk that spans the length of the favorite section of the Chattahoochee, providing unparalleled access to incredible whitewater in the middle of an urban setting without compromising the natural aesthetic of the river.

This three-day trip will focus on river running and freestyle with an overall objective to boost comfort and confidence in high volume, dynamic whitewater. Students can expect days to be multidisciplinary and based on flows. Sessions may be centered around playboating, river running, or a combination of both, but paddlers can expect to be mitigating the ‘big water’ nature of the Columbus Whitewater Park throughout this course with an aim to increase prowess in this type of river environment. Willingness will be imperative to the student’s success as though these features and rapids may be large and intimidating, the overall quality of this river is one of relative forgiveness and accessibility for the intermediate paddler.

Tap into adventure in the concrete jungle, and get your skills ready for big water with this mini bootcamp! Read more about Columbus here.


Prerequisite skill:

  • Ages 14 and up
  • Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian
  • A commitment to rolling in Class III whitewater with success
  • Be in good health and overall fitness
  • Comfort in open water and swimming required
  • Common Sense Rescue or equivalency are highly recommended

Trip price: $875.00

Location(s): Columbus, GA

Trip duration: 3 days (4-6 hours each day)

Guest to instructor ratio: 4 guests to 1 instructor, class caps at 8


  • Shuttle transportation
  • Supplemental class materials
  • Instruction/guiding
  • Equipment essentials
  • Lodging (tent camping)

3 reviews for Big Water Bootcamp

  1. Jennifer Stockwell

    I really enjoyed the hospitality of Chris and Lydia over this weekend. The camping spot, food, coffee and enjoying what Columbus had to offer was very satisfying. This weekend was exceptional for getting my bang for my buck of what this urban stretch of river has to offer. Friday the water levels changed from big at 8000 cfs to really big at 10000 cfs. The first feature ambush was great to dial in the big water feel, river play and freestyle moves. The last feature good wave got the heart pumping and was good for freestyle moves. Saturday the water levels where medium around 4500 cfs to 8000 cfs. This medium level was great for river play for features 80 k and performing freestyle moves in good wave and great wave. Sunday was a low water day at less than 1200 cfs. This offered great eddy catching at tie snake and good for freestyle moves at work out hole above the wave shaper. I will be back to get dialed in and good wave is awesome!

  2. Hugh Barrow MD

    I was very pleased with this course and being able to paddle at least 4 different river levels in one long weekend. I never thought I would ever surf in some of the larger waves and now I have been back and feel comfortable in (and dream about) these waves and holes now. Great logistics and planning. Being on a long weekend with Chris and Lydia and camping with them allowed me to have a lot of questions answered about the sport and they were able to pick out many small bad habits for me to work on.

  3. Joe Mount

    I was planning a trip to the Lower Gauley and thought this would be a good way to work on some big water skills. Chris and Lydia did an awesome job working on a variety of skills, including running big rapids, surfing, and general confidence-building. It was a perfect warmup for the Gauley. I was really curious about the section of river, as well as the town of Columbus. It was worth the 6 hour trip to check out the Columbus scene which has a friendly local paddling community, and a vibrant downtown with lots of dining and drinking options. I have worked with Chris and Lydia before, and been to Chile twice with H20 Dreams and have never been disappointed.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.