Whitewater kayaking is an incredible way to experience and enjoy Idaho’s magnificent wilderness rivers. Learning to kayak with world-class expedition kayaker Gerry Moffatt through ZEN MASTERS is a special opportunity to begin a life-long love affair with the river.

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The Program

The ZEN MASTERS Intro to Whitewater Kayaking program is a special, deep-immersion experience with legendary whitewater expert Gerry Moffatt designed to provide enthusiastic beginners with a world-class, confident foundation in kayaking skills and a taste of authentic adventure. Over 8 weeks, students learn kayak-specific strength training, the fundamentals of rolling, paddling technique, swift water safety, and river navigation.


Starting with Zenergy pool sessions for roll practice before progressing to on-river days and river camping overnights, ZEN MASTERS ensures that students grow with confidence, proficiency and fun in their boats. Students have the opportunity to join weekly ZEN MASTERS guided meditations and benefit from personal coaching and learning material to help them culivate a powerful “Beginner’s Mind” approach to embracing challenges, both on and off the river.

ZEN MASTERS students graduate with the skills to safely navigate Class II – III whitewater, ready to continue learning, growing and building their own lifelong relationship with wilderness rivers.


*ZEN MASTERS alumni have the opportunity to join ZEN MASTERS International Expeditions and experience the thrill of taking their new skills to explore exciting adventure destinations around the world – from South America to Scotland to the Himalayas!

PROGRAM LOGISTICS (over 8 weeks) :

Six (6) rolling lessons (pool sessions)

• Five (5) different overnight river trips (2 day/1 night trip x 4 times + 4 day/3 night trip x 1 time)
The overnight experiences are immersive and fun learning opportunities designed to fully introduce students to the practical skills necessary to becoming a kayaker, including:

  • safely loading and unloading gear/boats on vehicles
  • handling and caring for personal river gear
  • camping
  • flatwater instruction (lakes)
  • on-river instruction

The 2 day/1 night trips will be local/Stanley basin camping trips. The 4 day/3 night trip will be in Garden Valley (house rental, shared expense).

Overnight Trip Dates: June 7-8 / June 14-15 / June 21-22 / June 28-29 / July 5-8




• Pre-program strength training
• Selecting gear and equipment; use and care
• Learning to correctly roll your kayak, in a pool and on a river
• Fundamental paddle strokes/technique
• Eddies
• Navigating rivers and scouting rapids
• Swiftwater safety & rescue training
• Introduction to local rivers
• Practice paddling Class I – III whitewater
• Intro to Guided Meditation & Beginner’s Mind
• ZEN MASTERS reading/viewing list


May 17 - July 8, 2022

Applications are considered on a rolling admissions basis from March 1, 2022.  Space is extremely limited, early applications are strongly encouraged to avoid disappointment.

*Thunder Dragon is proud to partner with Idaho-licensed outfitters Wilderness River Outfitters and White Otter Adventures for this program.

“To watch you open yourself to “beginner’s mind” and grow through your fears & frustrations to ultimately become kayakers was incredible. Because that is what you now truly are – kayakers. In only a few short months, you went from flat water paddling in circles on Petit lake to lining up and charging into powerful rapids like Big Mallard, Elkhorn and Vinegar Creek on one of the most iconic big water Idaho wilderness river trips of all time – The River of No Return.”


– ZEN MASTERS Founder, Gerry Moffatt

Apply for the Zen Masters Whitewater Program

No prior kayaking experience is required, however, whitewater kayaking is not for the faint hearted! 

All students must be strong swimmers and comfortable in water.

Still have questions?