Common Sense Swiftwater Rescue

(9 customer reviews)

$325.00 2 days

This 2.5 day course will leave you feeling sharp for anything the river throws at you. Course runs with a Friday evening chalk talk session and two full days on Saturday and Sunday dates.

  • 3 – 5 May 2024 FULL
  • 17 – 19 May 2024
  • 23 – 25 August 2024 FULL
  • 13 – 15 September 2024

About the course:

Whitewater diligence is as much about preventing rescue as it is knowing what to do when one becomes necessary. Our Common Sense Rescue class will put you through the paces of not only fundamental rescue and safety skills, but how to prevent these scenarios from popping up while on the river. Safety is just as much about proactivity and prevention through common sense as it is technical knowledge and clarity under pressure.

Familiarize yourself with in-water comfort, gear and equipment, boat-based rescue, quick and easy rope systems, and more as every swiftwater skill will fall into context for the common paddler. Gain comfort moving in and around the riverbed and begin to think preemptively regarding risk and consequence, and a whole new world of whitewater will unfold.

This class will uncover the power and gravity of the river and just how large a part you can play as a boater and leader while on the water.

“This course is phenomenally crafted and executed. It empowers you as a boater to prevent disasters, recover equipment, and even save someone’s life. Every regular boater needs these skills and they are taught in a way that the information is digestible, not overwhelming.”

– Susan C.

Prerequisite skill:

  • Ages 14 and up
  • Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian
  • Be in good health and overall fitness
  • Comfort in open water and swimming required
  • Fundamentals for River Running 101 or equivalency

Trip price: $325.00

Location(s): Green River, Saluda, NC

Trip duration: 2.5 days (Friday session @ 5:30p + ~ 6 hours each day)

Guest to instructor ratio: 6 guests to 1 instructor, class caps at 12


  • Shuttle transportation
  • Rescue essentials (Rescue PFD, Pin Kit Essentials, Rope(s)) *Students are encouraged but are not required to bring personal rescue equipment
  • Supplemental class materials
  • Instruction/guiding

Not included:

  • Transportation to Saluda, NC
  • Meals
  • Equipment essentials (Kayak equipment, dry or wetsuit layers, and a river knife)
  • Lodging

9 reviews for Common Sense Swiftwater Rescue

  1. Scott Puthoff

    I really enjoyed the practical application of rescue that the instructors emphasized. The instructors were easy going, focused on safety, and very helpful throughout the course.

  2. Hannah Lubbers

    Being able to practice the rescues in the water is unique to this course and I think it’s critical to feeling confident in your rescue abilities. Plus going through scenarios on the water was a lot of fun! I’ve taken rescue courses before and thought there would be a lot of review, but I learned so much more in this course! The instructors are very accommodating and personable. I would definitely recommend this course.

  3. Alberto Toledo

    I have taken other WW safety courses based on ACA, but what’s sets H2o Dreams Clinic apart is simplistic, powerful ideologies and hands on demonstrations for River Running treks that so common with small small number of paddlers. I came away with practical safety training tools that can used immediately plan on it on my next River run… Some special and unique techniques were explained with some high energy hands on exposure that sets this well above the norm of your standard WW safety course – The Common Sense aspect cuts to the core of not only what to do, but what NOT to do… I highly recommend this this course, especially for those like me in the their 60’s to add that special mental safety net to keep us safe and enjoy more of the fun.

  4. Alex

    Chris and Rowan did an excellent job with the class. Everything they covered was something that had direct applications to the river. Being able to implement the skills learned in lecture to situations in real time allows you to experience a high risk situations without fear. Chris knows when you chime in with instruction and when to let the group work through situation. This is the class for the paddler looking to increase not only his safety skills but their river knowledge.

  5. Susan

    This course is phenomenally crafted and executed. It empowers you as a boater to prevent disasters, recover equipment, and even save someone’s life. Every regular boater needs these skills and they are taught in a way that the information is digestible, not overwhelming. Thank you Lydia and Chris!

  6. Regina Goldkuhl

    Taking this course was long overdue. Chris and Brian were excellent instructors and the quality of content they provided was stellar. I hope to take more classes with them in the future, and wish the class was longer than just one weekend!

  7. Randy D.

    What a great class! Brian and Lydia presented the course material at a pace and in a manner that made it easier to absorb. All the ‘hands on’ time was invaluable as were all the followup resources and links.

  8. Jeremy Bugbee

    This class really elevated my confidence level in kayaking knowing that I have the skills and knowledge to assist in a rescue situation! Highly recommend anyone that spends time around moving water take this course! Instructors are very proficient and efficient in their presentation and practice!

  9. Reagan Cline

    I started whitewater kayaking this year, and felt like I was missing some of the safety knowledge. The Common Sense Rescue class made me feel so much more confident about being out on the water. I appreciate that everything was taught from the perspective of being a boater out on the river with your friends, not a professional rescuer. Chris was an excellent instructor, really guiding students to learn from their own experience. Highly recommend this class for anyone who spends time on the river!

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