Swiftwater Rescue

Charlie Walbridge has 45 years of experience with swiftwater rescue, and is ready and eager to share.

Decades of Publications

From outfitting kayaks to canoes, river safety and swiftwater rescue manuals to put in maps to creek runs, Charlie Walbridge has shaped the culture of paddling on the East Coast of the United States.

Charlie Walbridge

Boating is only part of the passion. Dedication to paddling enough to make the boats, gear, maps to the put ins and take outs, improvements on throw bags and creating a swiftwater rescue curriculum is Charlie's legacy.

Supporting Links

NRS, American Whitewater Association, American Canoe Association Mowglis Summer Camp for Boys and Friends of the Cheat are just a few of the sponsors and supporting foundations that Charlie volunteers and works with.


Mowglis is a seven-week overnight camp for boys aged 7-14 in Central New Hampshire. Founded in 1903, everyone who goes to Mowglis remembers the fun they had and the friendships they made.


Charlie Walbridge has 40 years of experience on whitewater with many publications on the topic. He is extremely knowledgeable, professional and approachable.

"Charlie Walbridge's work has saved countless lives and kept rivers open and accessible to those who wished to assume personal responsibility and risk. His work, while focused predominantly in the U.S., is imitated and known worldwide."

International Whitewater Hall of Fame nomination 2005

Swiftwater Rescue Articles and Posts

"The freedom to take calculated risks, in business, love, or whitewater, is one of the most cherished prerogatives of a free people. I don't try to discourage knowledgeable people from willingly assuming risks; but I do work to educate inexperienced paddlers so they don't get into trouble inadvertently."

Whitewater Articles

(Hover over different pictures to select articles.)

Charlie Walbridge using throw bag.

Near Miss in the Watauga Gorge

The Watauga River west of Boone, North Carolina is one of the best technical river runs in the Southeast. I’d...

Charlie Walbridge raft guide

Working for NOC in ’74 – A Yankee Paddler Goes South

In the winter of 1973 I found a help-wanted ad for river guides and kayak instructors in the American Whitewater...

Cheat River

The Glory Days of Cheat River Rafting

In the 1970’s, long before anyone was a sponsored paddler, the only way to make money by paddling was to...

Gauley Season- The First Ten Years

I’ve always enjoyed other people’s stories of their first runs of the Gauley River, but they’re very different from the...

Charlie Walbridge Swifwater Rescue Instruction Whitewater Consultant Ohiopyle, Youghiogheny, Cheat Big Sandy, NRS Salesman

Getting Started Paddling (True Confessions of an Old-Time Boater)

Nowadays it’s easy to run down to a store, buy a kayak, or take classes at a local kayak school....

Yough Coroner’s Inquest Report

On November 28th I attended the coroner’s inquest into the three drownings that occurred on the Lower Youghiogheny at Dimple Rapid...

The Dynamics of Pinning

Hitting rocks and boulders of all sizes and shapes is a part of river running. Modern boats can take the...

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