As a whitewater instructor myself, I am in awe of the work that the Canoe West staff does and the experiences and opportunities they provide for students. Canoe West is one of those rare cases where all the right ingredients come together to create something truly remarkable... Bill Cross, Co-Author of Western Whitewater

  Our Head Instructor

Neil Rucker

Canoe West of California



Rob Rudkin

Neil Rucker, canoeing instructor

Boy Scout and Girl Scout Canoe Clinics
Canoeing Photo Gallery
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The author of  A Canoer’s Guide to the Middle Klamath River and the owner and lead canoeing instructor of Canoe West, Neil’s love affair with the outdoors has spanned 60 years and is still going strong. After a career as an educator in the public school system, Neil combined his teaching expertise with his love of rivers and canoeing and began imparting to others the fine art of paddling.

River Appreciation 101 has always been a large part of a Neil Rucker canoe clinic. An avid outdoorsman, birder, and former falconer, Neil is always willing to take a pause in the paddling lesson to admire a doe and fawn feeding on water weeds in the shady shallows along the riverbank, or point out an osprey diving feet first for a fish. Neil's many years of teaching canoeing and recognized expertise as a paddler has earned Neil the appellation "old man of the river"-- whether he wants it or not! If you want to learn to canoe, Neil’s the man--after all, he wrote the book.

Rob's Photo Gallery

Rob began his canoeing career early, paddling class III rapids at the age of three (with a little help from his grandfather).   By his early teens, Rob was working as a teaching instructor at Canoe West where he continued to refine his canoeing skills and practice the art of teaching. 

            Since those early years Rob has paddled rivers from coast to coast, twice competed at the Nationals, contributed to several canoeing publications, and is currently working on a collection of river stories called “Good Times and Creative Truths”.  He is also in the process of building a downriver canoe of a new and rather radical design.  We are all anxious to see it on the water this year. 

              Perhaps Rob’s greatest contribution to the world of canoeing is his ability to use his paddling ability and teaching skills to express the pure joy of canoeing.   Students of all ages respond to his enthusiasm and love for the sport.  This summer Rob will be with Canoe West once more on the Klamath River.

Canoe Quiz Answers: 1 (b), 2 (b), 3 (b)

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Be One With The Water 
Be One With The Water