Endless River Adventures-starting with Wave Sport

| Posted in 20 Glorious Years, Endless River Adventures News |


In celebration of our 20th anniversary it felt good to share some history of how we began, who was with us, and some special highlights. We want to begin this series with one of the key elements of Endless River Adventures: Wave Sport.

The year was 1993. Colorado-based kayaking manufacturer Wavesport, in business just six years, was exploring the marketplace east of the Mississippi. At the same time a small kayaking school called Endless River Adventures was being built high on a hill in the Nantahala Gorge.  Enjoy this fun interview with Chan Zwanzig, founder of Wave Sport, and Juliet, co-founder of Endless River Adventures…….


Thank you Andrea of for your great interview


9th Annual Wave Sport Nantahala Open – line up of events!

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


all day Saturday, April 27th 

 There is so much lined up for the weekend, we cannot imagine a better place to be! 

Line Up of the Days Events:

the Nantahala Open event:
Fun for everyone!!  Join Team Wave Sport and Team ERA down at the Falls any time from 10 – 3 – checking in at the staging area above the Falls to be part of the event. Pick your favorite line to run, favorite craft to use, best move, or best recovery….just sign in above the Falls and enjoy your ride. Photos and video will be taken by the Smax Brothers. Prizes will be awarded that night for all sorts of fun categories!!

Cascades/Upper Nantahala Release
Don’t miss jumping on the Cascades and/or Upper Nantahala for the spring 2013 releases, compliments of Duke Energy.  ERA and NOC will be providing free shuttle service (note: there will be no private parking alongside the river). Check the schedule for cfs and times…

delicious Dinner Option: Bryson City’s own The Filling Station Deli will be parked at ERA (easy to find – o-dog will be sitting right outside it).  Stop by for a delicious lunch or dinner sandwich!

Team River Runner Race
Attention all TRR chapters! Join us at 3PM at the Falls for a TRR Rally through the Falls. We will have the rafts and duckys for the competition and a few challenges to make it fun coming through the Falls. Prizes!! Following the race will be a TRR-exclusive drawing for a Wave Sport boat of Choice, compliments of a fellow vet and kayaker.

AW/ERA Celebration of the Restoration of Rivers
Please join  American Whitewater and Endless River Adventures in celebrating the successful relicensing of the Tuckasegee and Nantahala Rivers
5PM – 7PM at Endless River Adventures.

Nantahala Open Video
Best part of the event! A video compilation of all the participants of the event. 8PM – 10PM at ERA. In between we will have music by  DJ Terrence Young (and guest DJ Poncho).

Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!
Every participant will receive a participant packet with great coupons from our local partners in the Gorge and in Bryson City.  But make sure you are at the video screening as we have so many great prizes donated by the Open Sponsors. We cannot thank them enough.

Wave Sport Boat of Choice Raffle
The grand finale of the evening will be pulling the winning raffle ticket for a Wave Sport boat of choice!!!!!!!!  Raffle tickets may be purchase all day and evening prior to the drawing.  Proceeds from the raffle go to support TRR’s involvement in the Open, as well as helping to provide great gear and event opportunities. Yes-you do have to be present to win :-)

Find us on Facebook
Look for Updates on our page!
As if the Nantahala Open was not enough to keep you entertained!
Stop down at the Freestyle Wave to watch the competition for the 2013 Freestyle Team. This will be the group that competes at the International Competition in September.

2013 Team Trials Nantahala Open Weekend

And there is more!!!!!
the NOC will host their Spring Fling Event.

Stay for the weekend!!

Camping, Group Lodging, Cabins, Lodge & Hotel- we have it all! 

Stay the night – or the whole weekend wtih one of our wonderful accommodations partners…


9th Annual Wave Sport Nantahala Open

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


Endless River Adventures and Wave Sport
Host 9th Annual Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Nantahala River, NC. – 2013 -  Endless River Adventures and Team Wave Sport, as well as our industry sponsors are pleased to announce the 9th annual Nantahala Open. The date of this year’s event is Saturday, April 27th, 2013. The Nantahala Open will again be dedicated to Team River Runner.

The Nantahala Open has gained the reputation as a fun competition; open to all boaters no matter the experience or ability, consisting of categories for every skill level–and the prizes that go along with them! The competition takes place at Nantahala Falls from 10:00AM through 3:00PM.  Following the competition Endless River Adventures invites everyone to an Open House After Party and screening of the day’s footage at Endless River Adventures

The best part of the event is the support that manufacturers give to an event that is purely for fun.  This is not a “sponsored” event; the participants are typically Nantahala boaters and those who just enjoy a great day of fun on the river. The support that sponsors have given has always been over and above.  The event would not be successful without them.

The Endless River team will be joined by Nantahala Open veteran /Team Wave Sport leader Bryan Kirk and supporting team members.  The group will coordinate the event from the launching pad at Nantahala Falls, with video cameras arranged to film Open participants.  Categories always include such events as Best Freestyle through the Falls, Best Top Hole Move, Most Creative Eddy Catching, Best Self-Rescue, Best Carnage, Cutest Run—and anything that comes to mind as the day unfolds!  In addition, there will be industry-wide support for the event in terms of prizes.  Industry sponsors make it possible to award great prizes for all categories.  Everyone comes out of the Nantahala Open a winner!

Schedule for the Day:

10AM – 3PM Set up at staging beach above Nantahala Falls. Come at the beginning of your run or finish up the day looking like a star!

4PM – 8PM – Music Food and Beer at Endless River Adventures. Bring your appetite as the Filling Station Deli will be selling delicious post-river food. And Highlands Brew will be on tap!

8PM(ish) – 10PM – viewing of 2013 Nantahala Open Video and prizes!! Finishing off with a raffle for the Wave Sport boat of choice with proceeds going to Team River Runner.

April 27th will be here before you know it so start making plans now and help make the 9th annual Nantahala Open an event that reflects what we all do– have fun on the river!

For updates on event specifics, keep an eye on the Nantahala Open Facebook and Endless River Adventures Facebook.   In addition, ERA’s website, and Wave Sport’s website.

For more information or questions about the event: 828-488-6199.


Endless River Adventures Celebrating 20 Years in Business

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


2013 marks the 20th year in business for Endless River Adventures (known to many as ERA).  For two decades, “the shop” at ERA has been the go-to place for quality kayak instruction, a gear store, rafting outfitter, fly-fishing headquarters, a great place to park in the Gorge, and a homey back porch for paddlers of all ages and abilities. Look for special events and parties to celebrate the landmark as well as articles and interviews with key partners, friends, and supporters.

The Put In
In 1993, Ken and Juliet opened Endless River Adventures with a philosophy of “success measured in quality of service, not sales.” Paddlers have come to rely on the extraordinary expertise of ERA and its team of hand-picked whitewater professionals when it comes to kayak instruction, purchasing top-performing boats and gear, fly fishing, and traveling to Latin American whitewater hotspots. Working to inspire others to appreciate and enjoy rivers that so inspire them, the two have built a loyal community of whitewater enthusiasts that includes parents, children, and grandchildren.

For owner Ken, creating Endless River Adventures was making a commitment to what you believe in. “It was about creating the type of quality experience and service that we ourselves would look for. I am proud of the fact that so many of our guests have become more than just valued clients but lifelong friends.”

Double Trouble
Ken was a whitewater pioneer in the 70s, when the sport was largely unknown. He’s credited with inventing the C-to-C roll, arguably one of the most efficient ways to roll a kayak. Company co-founder Juliet has been paddling since the late 80s. Over the years her adept instruction has turned hundreds of newbie boaters into serious kayakers—a number of whom have become a part of the ERA team as guides and instructors.

Making a Splash
Along the way, Endless River Adventures has been responsible for some key milestones in the southeastern whitewater world. Shop “firsts” include making one-on-one instruction the model for quality kayak instruction, being the first outfitter to promote self-bailing rafts and fully-guided raft trips on the Nantahala, showcasing the infamous boat designer Vladami Vanha, introducing guided ducky trips, and introducing Wave Sport kayaks to the Southeast at a time when Perception and Dagger dominated the river.

Stocked for paddlers and staffed by paddlers—ERA’s store motto for 20 years—rang even more true when in 2012 “the shop” got an expansion and a makeover as The Boater’s Store to better feature toys and gear options for whitewater enthusiasts.

A little further south, ERA opened the RioQuijos EcoLodge and Reserve in Ecuador. This piece of paradise located in the Quijos Valley in the Oriente of Ecuador serves as a sanctuary for native flora and fauna as well as intrepid gringos who venture to Ecuador with ERA in the winter for paddling, fly fishing, hiking, birding, and relaxation. The lodge and cabins were built using local woods, bamboo and rock from the property and employing local labor for the project (along with Ken’s little-known wizardry as a stone mason).

The Takeout
Embracing the “endless” part of Endless River Adventures, the two seem too busy enjoying the ride to look for the takeout; each continuing to build, invent, and innovate at home in North Carolina and abroad.

“Being a small company, we have always been able to think outside the box,” reflects Juliet. “We were not stuck in a business model that limited our ability to evolve as the social culture of outdoor recreation and the industry have changed. This has also allowed us to prioritize what is important to us – particularly our role in community service, within both the local community and the paddling community.”

See You on the River
Endless River Adventures is located on Hwy 19/74 near Bryson City, NC, on the outskirts of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To learn more about rafting, kayak instruction, gear sales, and international paddling—or to see if the rumors about Ken’s fly fishing prowess are true—call 828-488-6199 or visit For more on the kayaking, hiking, whitewater rafting, biking, horseback riding, fly fishing, and birding opportunities in Ecuador visit


Participate in Outdoor Program, Improve Your Interview Chances

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


Thousands of college graduates this spring, and everyone will be looking for the same thing, whether it be a job, a sweet internship or acceptance into graduate school.  It is a long line of applicants  going through the interview process.  A good number of interviewers will soon start to get bored of the same ol’ candidates coming in with good grades, the “right” resume, and the list of community service projects done to pad out the resume.  It is not too late to separate yourself from the crowd and prove that you are a better candidate than everyone else!  One way to stand out in the crowd is to have participated in your college outdoor program.

College Outdoor Programs are often seen as the place the wanna be hippies, tree huggers, or loners gravitate to in college, those who eschew the frat party scene for a night in a tent under the stars, those who find getting wet or dirty or cold or scared more interesting than primping for that Friday night party.  While there might be a small ring of truth there, what outdoor programs also do is create leaders, train individuals to work under pressure, encourage teamwork, and develop management and organizational skills.

Go into a job interview and sit down with a resume that includes the fact that you were a trip leader, a kayaker, a climber or hiked the AT one summer. Suddenly the person sitting behind the desk loses that bored glazed over look and sits up and gives you a bit more scrutiny.  The standard interview questions get shuffled under the desk and the conversation turns to something like:
“So you kayak? So do I.” Or “I tried it and got so scared just turning upside down. How did you deal with that fear?”

“You are a trip leader for backpacking trips?” “How many participants were you dealing with/how long were the trips/how much responsibility did you have? Did anything ever go wrong? How did you handle it?”

“As a trip leader, what was your biggest challenge?” “Did you ever have someone succumb to fear? Get hurt? Not want to continue? Panic? How did you talk them through their issue and turn their experience around to a positive one?”

An interviewer’s job is to sort through the masses for the cream of the crop, but also look out for individuals they can relate to since they are looking for good teammates. If they can relate to you on a personal level, if you intrigue them, show them you are a leader with skills that are not taught in the classroom, you will stand out in the crowd.

If you have not stopped into the outdoor program office on campus, now is the time to do so. As a graduating student, find an activity that can give you a one-up on the rest of the graduates – even if it is just going on a hang gliding trip.  If you are an underclassman, now is the time to get to know the head of the program so that you can come in and start training to be a trip leader next year.  Programs are losing their senior leaders at graduation.  Attrition is expected each year, so now is your chance to learn what it would take not just to participate in an outdoor activity that interests you, but to use that skill  to build your own resume for that day when you begin the interview process.


Join in our Holiday Celebration Sale!

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |




Don't be a grinch - check out the 12 day sale!

Holiday Celebration Sale
12 Days of  Holiday Specials in the Boater’s Store!

Between Dec 04th and Dec 15th join in the holiday spirit with our special 12-day holiday  sale.
Every day is a new item featured for the holidays.
Call us that day to order!

Take a peek at what is going to be featured for each of the 12 days of our Holiday Celebration Sale…...



Nantahala River Release Schedule: 2013 Update

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


there are so many ways to fun to have on the Nantahala River!

For all the paddling addicts out there starting to fret about where to paddle come November if there is no rain, the Nantahala will be back on line after November 12th.  Shut down will occur on October 29th for maintenance.  Once back on line, Duke is not required to run scheduled releases for whitewater recreation until March, but power generation means downstream flow, so check the website for releases.

And for future planning here are the scheduled 2013 release dates for the Cascades/Upper Nantahala:

April 27 – 10 am to 4 pm, 250 cfs
April 28 – 10 am to 4 pm, 350 cfs
June 22 – 4 pm to 7 pm, 250 cfs
July 3 – 4 pm to 7 pm, 250 cfs
July 17 – 4 pm to 7 pm, 250 cfs
September 01 – 4 pm to 7 pm, 250 cfs
September 28 – 10 am to 5 pm, 300 cfs
September 29 – 10 am to 5 pm, 425 cfs then 250 cfs


2012 World Cup Weekend at the Nantahala Freestyle Wave

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


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September 7, 2012
News and Updates
Main Content Inline Small Freestyle World Cup Final Begins in Nantahala Gorge, Bryson City, North Carolina

2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Series – USA

Bryson City, NC  –  When the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Final begins today, September 7th on the Nantahala River outside of Bryson City, NC, top freestyle competitors from around the world will be hoping to bring a piece of the World Cup Series home with them.

“Although we have announced winners at each of the preceding World Cup events, the Final here at the Nantahala Gorge is what will bring it all together,” explained event director Zuzana Vanha. “On Sunday, we are going to recognize the World Cup Champion, the paddler in each class who has shown excellence as well as consistency throughout the whole of the series.

In the men’s K1 class, the largest class by far with 57 competitors, Peter Csonka of Slovakia leads the pack, while Dane Jackson, the southeastern phenomenon from Rock Island, TN, nips at his heals. Csonka has a 10 point lead on Jackson for his two first-place finishes, but that doesn’t mean he’s in the clear.  If he is to win the World Cup, he may have to place in the top three here in the Nantahala Gorge, and this is no small feat in a field littered with previous World Champions.  Spain’s young Joaquim Fontane came in 3rd in the last event at the Pigeon River in Hartford, TN. All are in contention for the medals at the Nantahala, and will be looking to put on a show of a lifetime on the Nantahala’s new challenging and dynamic feature.

In the women’s K1 class, Emily Jackson, USA, leads the pack with one first and one second place finish under her belt. She will be looking to follow up with a strong finish at the Nantahala to fend of Great Britain’s Clair O’Hara, who won both the K1 Women’s and the Squirt Women’s classes at the Pigeon River.

What’s at stake is not only a year’s worth of training. The World Cup Final is also a mental game as athletes begin their long preparation for next year’s World Championships, which will be held on the same feature here on the Nantahala River.  The athlete who wins here on Sunday will hope have a mental edge over their competitors at the beginning of next year’s competition.

Mental games aren’t enough to win the World Championships, however. Many international competitors plan to return to North Carolina a month or two in advance of next year’s competition to train and familiarize themselves with the river and the area. They will be joined by our hometown favorites, including Tommy Yon and Daniel Dutton of Bryson City, North Carolina. In a sport that is so tied to the river that the competition is hosted on, there is simply no replacement for time on the water.

Competition will start at 10:00 am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and athletes will have several chances to bring in scores that will move them closer toward’s their goal: the Sunday Final Round. Spectator entry is FREE. Kids and families are welcome, but for those who can’t make it down to the Gorge to catch a piece of the action, results, live video broadcast, and a daily re-cap of events can be found at
Contact Zuzana Vanha
NGOC Event Director
13077 Highway 19 West
Bryson City, NC 28713

Nantahala Race Club (NRC) puts more emphasis on Kids

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News |


Kids looking to train in slalom: the Nantahala Race Club (NRC) is sponsoring a Kids Mini-Camp, Aug. 4 & 5. Check out the details…

The NRC – a western North Carolina-based organization dedicated to the promotion and development of whitewater canoe and kayak sport, has been the backbone behind training of several generations of Olympic-bound slalom athletes. In the past few years the NRC has turned much of their focus to youth development. The Nantahala Kids Club is a community based program for kids to learn to paddle.

Endless River Adventures has enthusiastically supported the Nantahala Kids Club as it goes well with our commitment to kids & kayaking. The Nantahala Kids Club is in its third year, and this year the program expanded to include a competitive group that takes it up a notch in both slalom and freestyle.

Be sure to check out NRC’s new & improved website that includes a whole section on Kids Racing Programs.


Directional Rolling-It is Not a One-Sided Affair

| Posted in Endless River Adventures News, Whitewater Kayak Instruction |


Directional rolling is at the heart of our kayak instruction program. Part of learning directional rolling is learning to roll on both sides (since we cannot train the river to let us tip over to just one preferred side!!).
There is always concern that starting to learn the lefty/righty/off-side/other-side roll will mess up all that hard work on learning the righty/on-side/first-side roll. We have found that to not be true based on a couple of thoughts:
1. Learning the first side wasn’t just about learning muscle memory, but learning what the hip snap/sweep/head dink/finish concepts are all about. You have to start from scratch. Often the first roll learned carries a lot of baggage picked up during the initial learning period. Moving on to the other side, there is not the concept baggage–you already know the steps; it is just a matter of learning the muscle memory.
2. Due to the learning process, the second side learned is often the better roll (note: better is different than familiar/more used).
3. The most common reason the “otherside” does not work is just from lack of use, not lack of ability.

During instruction, we often use learning the “other side” as a way to fix issues with the first roll. Learning the “other side” is a distraction from a nagging issue with the on-side roll. Learning that other side helps reinforce the stages of the roll–which makes it easier to transfer from one side to the other.

We are kayak instructors, not scientists, so our theories are all based on experiential application. But scientists are now spending more time looking at the same concept – called contextual interference in the learning of motor skills. Sounds much more scientific than our term “switching” and “learning both sides!”