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Gradient River Essentials, you ran one of the best outdoor skill courses in swiftwater rescue I've ever attended in the last 15 years of working and playing in nature.  Thank you!!!

Chris Emme

Testimonials: Testimonials

I learned so much in Lee’s Level 4 Kayak Specific Swift Water Rescue Technician Class. From the hands on down river instruction to the debriefs around the campfire in the evening, we covered anything and everything from throwing a paddle into an eddy all the way to un pinning a boat. Not only did Lee provide a safe learning environment for boaters of all skill levels, he provided rich practice scenarios and education that I can now confidently take down the river with me. Thank you Lee, Aaron and Garret!

Morgan Hatchett

Testimonials: Testimonials

Gradient River Essentials' L4 course was transformative! I feel confident and comfortable on the river knowing I have swiftwater skills in my back pocket and feel comfortable asking friends to have a safety meeting before paddling and a quick debrief after! I am feeling empowered to head to Ecuador! Al Kolenda 


I just completed Gradient River Essential’s Swiftwater Rescue Level 4 class.  Our course of 12 students included new river runners to class 5 experts. I’m a relatively seasoned river runner, somewhere in the middle.  This weekend was excellent.  It was obvious right away that Lee is a true professional.  I was struck at how well Lee handled the group dynamics.  His depth of river experience and technical knowledge allowed him to move very easily through the variety of students and their needs, meeting each participant with the kindness and expertise that each needed.  There was very little “lecture”.  Any traditional teaching was brief and usually conversational, quickly followed by a hands on exercise.  As for me specifically, Lee found an impressive balance with the amount of content covered, while keeping it rich.  I was concerned I’d be overwhelmed with a lot of technical information, but that wasn’t the case.  It felt more like I was learning the skills without even trying.  I finished feeling encouraged and invigorated, and I’m sure the rest of the participants felt the same way.  5 stars for sure. -Dusty Smith

Gradient River Essentials is a great experience all around! Lee provides an excellent river experience both on and off the water. He is a pleasure to interact with, his energy is infectious and he always has a smile on his face. He is a very responsive teacher and will cater your education to your skill level and build from there with great foundational principles. One thing that set's Lee apart from the other guides I've used in the past is his whitewater safety. He is a swiftwater rescue instructor and brings this knowledge into his kayak instruction. I really appreciated expanding my river knowledge beyond just my boating skills. Lee has helped me become a more confident boater and I will continue to be a customer as long as I am kayaking. I highly recommend you check out his services!

Dr. Jamie Knight 

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