00386 41 596 104
Industrijska cona 4a. 5230 Bovec, Slovenia

Beginner whitewater kayak school

Beginner kayak school


Short description

Ok, to be honest, let's start from the beginning! What do you get, when you will sit in the kayak for first time? The kayak is not totally stable and you can't go even 4 m straight, because can't control the direction! And you are closed in the kayak with your sprayskirt... But after a small practice, you will manage and after a couple of days you will kayak!

Our whitewater kayak lessons are structured into two parts of a progressive lesson.

  • First we learn the basic skills of whitewater kayaking on a flat part of the Soca river.
  • After we transit the new technics to the river, so we do some whitewater kayaking on easy whitewater.

On the whitewater kayak lessons we are focusing to have the basic boat handling skills, safe practice and a lot of fun, regarding for equipment and the natural environment.

Quick infos

Recommended for beginner whitewater paddlers
Minimum age from the age of 10
Time slot 2,5-3 hours on river /lesson
Difficulty flat water and easy white water sections (Class I-II)
Group size max. 4-5 people/ instructor
Available from 28th of March till 30th of September, every day
Please note, that swimming ability is required from all the participant, and you can not take part on the tour if you are under the influence of drogs, alcohol or if you arepregnant due to safety reasons.
If you have a medical condition

Required health condition for whitewater programs:

It is important for us to know if you have a medical condition when you participate on our whitewater rafting, canyoning, whitewater kayak tour. In this case we can take better care of you and avoid accidents, if any problem happens, our guides are more prepared and can faster solve the problem. All of our guides are certified whitewater rescuer, they renew their licence every 2-3 years and have a wide variety of experience.

Unfortunately you can not participate on any of our whitewater program if you are

  • not swimmer
  • under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • pregnant
  • physically or mentally disabled
  • blind or deaf

You might be able to join to our whitewater tours
Please consult us about your medical condition if you :

  • have asthma, epilepsy or diabetes
  • have a heart condition
  • have a spine problem (spinal hernia, problem with discs...),
  • had an operation in the last 2 years
  • had an injury in the last 2 years (broken bones, dislocated shoulder..),
  • have a blood clotting problem
  • serious allergy
  • or any other medical condition which is not listed above

Please let us know if you need any medicine during the tour, you can take it with you to the river or to the canyon. Our guides have a waterproof box for First aid kit, they can put your medicine into it. And last but not least Please inform your guide about your medical condition! .

What you learn

Some basic knowledge you have to know before running any whitewater rapids:

  • How to lift and carry your kayak
  • How to launch the river
  • Learn basic strokes
  • Practice the basic turning strokes
  • Get the proper posture
  • How to keep your the balance with bracing
  • How to keep your balance with edging the kayak
  • Basic safety features: such as capsizing and swimming and self rescue
  • How to make your kayak empty

Let's take your flat water skills to the whitewater on the second part of the whitewater kayak lessons. Small obstacles like waves will be encountered. For practicing we choose easy whitewater section of the Soca.

  • How to paddle down in the current
  • How to cross the river downstream
  • How to cross the river upstream
  • Practice the basic turning strokes
  • Get the proper posture
  • How to keep your the balance with bracing
  • How to keep your balance with edging the kayak
  • How to make eddy turns
  • How to make your kayak empty

Safety on whitewater kayak course

We give an overview of river features and hazards and offer practice swimming in whitewater. Safety is one of the most important thing during the whitewater kayak courses. It is never enough to talk about.
We think, a gradual development is the statute of whitewater kayaking education. Although people are different, there is always a chance to get scared in a rapid, if it is too big for our technical knowledge, preparedness. It is a big mistake to take away the incentive of an enthusiastic kayaker.
So, one of the statutes of our whitewater kayak education is to give you gradually more and more difficult exercises and paddle more and more difficulty rapids. It does not matter if you are advanced, or a beginner, the system is the same.

Number of participants

We do not like to mix the beginner and the advanced kayakers on our whitewater kayak course. We start the beginner whitewater kayak coaching with 2-5 people. This is the group size, which is safe and can be controlled by the kayak instructor.

Difficulty on kayak school

We always practice the basic technics with beginner kayakers on flat water, after we practice more on easy whitewater (Class 2). With advanced kayakers we first practice on easy water, after we can run Class 2-4 rapids.

Swimming in rapids

To swim and flip sometimes is part of the game. Everybody is swimming or flipping sometimes. You do not have to be afraid of it, it is possible to swim safely between to rocks of the rivers. It is possible to learn and after a while it is necessary to learn, of course. It is possible to turn back upside up, with a flipped kayak as well, and it is not super difficult, everybody can learn. To learn it easily it is better to learn some stokes and stroke combinations.

Details of Beginner kayak school

Where to meet - how it goes

Let's meet at Soca Rider Rafting Base which you can find 150 m-s before Bovec on the left side of the main road (before the roundabout at Hotel Mangart) to begin your Whitewater kayak course on Soca River.
After arranging the paper work and the payment, your guide staff will equip everyone with the necessary equipment.

After we will take a quick, 10 minutes drive to the put-in with the Soca Rider's jeep. We change next to Soca river (leave all dry clothes in the car), and after the safety talk nothing left, just to start your whitewater kayak course with us!

We finish our whitewater kayak course in the parking place, where the Soca Rider's jeep is waiting for us, so you can change immediately, and we have a short drive back to Bovec!

Soca Rider Bovec map

What to bring:

  • swim suit
  • towel
  • dry underwear to change after the tour
  • suncream
  • strap for glasses/sunglasses

What we give you:

  • helmet,
  • buoyancy aid,
  • neoprene suit,
  • neoprene shoes,
  • splashing or neoprene jacket, or both, or none (depending on the weather).
  • spray skirt

Other than kayaking

In our office we would be happy to give you some advise what to see in the Soca valley, natural wonders, good excursions, mountain trails! And you can check our small shop where you can find Soca Rider T-shirts

Reviews of Soca Rider

Soca Rider won the Certificate of Excellence in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

I would like leave a comment for those who are thinking of taking whitewater kayak school with SocaRider. Together with my wife we took a whitewater kayak course with SocaRider in the past two weeks. IT IS ABSOLUTELY GREAT! The Soca river is just so clean and colourful. But even more amazing are the people from Soca Rider. Gyula is the kayak guide. His love for kayaking will immediately hit you. He knows every wave, every stone of the river and together with his patience he allways makes you feel comfortable. He adopts the lessons to the skills of the clients and makes every lesson a great experience. Petra is the manager of the company. She organizes the trips and the transportation and also has a lot of tipps what you can do around Bovec on your rest days. Together they are a great team and two very nice persons. What more can I say? Today was the last day of our vacation. We already took whitewater kayak tour with SocaRider last year. We liked it so much that we had to come back this year again. And I hope it will not be the last time. To all those people out there: If you want an amazing whitewater experience, these are the people that will make it happen!
My girlfriend and I had an absolutely brilliant week doing the beginners Kayak course with Soca Rider. They are a fantastic family run company, they welcomed us warmly when we arrived and provided us with excellent high quality kayaks and all the equipment we needed to stay warm and afloat on the river. Casi our guide was one of the best instructors I have ever seen (I used to be a sailing instructor so I have seen quite a few), an amazing kayaker in his own right but also very clear, constructive, supportive and encouraging whilst also pushing our limits and taking us to lots of exciting parts of the river. One of the many highlights was climbing with our kayaks through a window from a first world war tunnel so we could get to the top of a gorge that we then kayaked down. Casi and Petra who run Soca rider both speak great English and are hugely warm and welcoming, they even provided us with hand-drawn maps with recommendations of things to do in the afternoon. The Soca River is unbelievably beautiful, as is the surrounding area. We would hugely recommend Soca Rider to anyone, and hope to go back next year to keep learning how to become "proud white water kayakers"!
Everything about Soca Rider was excellent. The website and responses to emails were very informative and helpful and the team there took time to find out what we wanted and, most importantly, what level of experience of white water kayaking my daughter had. This ensured that they tailored their instruction and that made us feel very special. We wanted to go to a small shop where we would be treated like individuals and that was exactly what we enjoyed. Every aspect of the kayaking and rafting was wonderful, from the very friendly welcome in the shop through to the return to Bovec. The equipment is in very good condition and the team made sure that it fitted us properly. The team's knowledge of the activities and the geography and history of the Soca valley is truly exceptional and it was great to see people so passionate about what they do and the area they live and work in. I have used the services of adventure teams in a number of countries across four continents and Soca Rider is without doubt the best one I have used. Thanks to the team for some great experiences.

Watch our video

Whitewater kayak school

Whitewater kayak school

To become a passionate whitewater kayaker is the best if you start with basics. IN a 5 days whitewater kayak course you can learn a lot, and in the end of the course you can already paddle on easy whitewater by yourself.

Prices of Beginner kayak school

2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days
Adults 150 € 220 € 290 € 350 €
Students, Kids under 15 years 150 € 220 € 290 € 350 €

Whitewater kayak school infos

Whitewater kayak school is available:
From 28th of March until 30th of September,
Whitewater kayak school starts
8.30am, or 13.30pm
Required minimum participants
Whitewater kayak school starts with minimum of 2 people from 15th of March till 31st of May, 3 people from 1st of June till 31st of August!

The price includes

  • time on river 2,5 - 3 hours
  • professional guides (with Slovenian licences)
  • all necessary equipment including kayaks as well
  • transfer between Bovec and Soca river
  • River permition
  • You will get photos from your kayak school as a present!
You can reserve your Whitewater kayak school with deposit payment, what you can do with credit card payment on our website.

Meet the team of Soca Rider

Meet our friendly and professional guides and crew.

  • Csaszi

    Founder, guide
    I love waters from my childhood. I started as a flat water canoe competitor, later I navigated my sea kayak along the sea coast and around many islands of Croatia, on the Adriatic. Recently I paddle mostly in whitewater kayak, but I still like every kind of water. In the time of the university I was working during the weekends as a rafting guide in Slovakia, Austria and Slovenia. After a few years of unsuccessful attempt as a horticultural engineer, I returned to the whitewater. I was working as a guide almost every day since 2008. Summertime in Slovenia, wintertime in Chile. Now, I am using the experience of many years in our company. In my free time of course I go cycling, or to the mountains, or I ride the Soča with my kayak. The Soča river is one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever paddled and this is the valley, where I am very glad to guide you!
  • Petra

    Founder, Contact manager
    hanks to my parents, I was sitting in a boat very early, mostly on flat waters of Hungary at first, and later on whitewaters of Austria as well. Later I was falling in love with the sea kayaking: a lot of water, huge distances, remote islands with all the beauty and danger of it. I went to South America spending half year there with Gyula, and I could see really high quality of whitewaters, and what does it mean, living close to the nature? From that time, there was no option to return to a big city and to my "old" life. We moved to Slovenia, to Bovec. I have a pharmacist degree, and I have thought I will cure the people with drugs, but I found something in Slovenia, what is able to cure in a better way. This is, what I would like to show you. I am always glad to go to the water, or to ride my bike roaming the countryside, or so happily put on my boots to go to the mountains of Julian Alps! This is my real world!
  • Jofo

    Jofo loves to be on the river and guide. He is an enthusiastic guide with a great sense of humor and with a spectial talent of figuring out good anymations, to get some extra on your trip. You can meet him on canyoning and whitewater rafting tour of Soca Rider. He was a flatwater kayaker since his childhood, and guided a lot of whitewater rafting tour in Slovenia and India. He's working on, that as you are a guest of the Soca Rider, have a safe, fun and memorable whitewater adventure, and that you always want to return to us, to the Soca valley.
  • Laci

    Laci is a friendly, dedicated and very helpful whitewater rafting guide of Soca Rider's Soca rafting tour. We are very happy to know him in our team. He is always checking where to help. He was working on whitewater in Austria and Slovenia. His other passion is riding a bike, he discoverd a lot of contries all over the word by bike. He is always paying attention, that you, as a guest of the Soca Rider, have a great time in Bovec, a safe and fun whitewater adventure, and that you always want to return to us, the Soca valley.