Partnerships & Financial Aid

Scholarships & Sponsors

World Class Kayak Academy pledges all contributions and donations to student assistance unless specifically directed to a service project or river stewardship activity. The organization’s fundraising efforts include annual events such as the Gauley River Paddle-A-Thon and the Best in The West Gear Swap. All fundraising proceeds are directed to the scholarship program, which grants financial aid to students who best represent World Class Kayak Academy’s mission: students demonstrating academic excellence, exceptional character, and athletic motivation. Financial need is also considered. World Class scholarships are awarded following a student's acceptance to the school.

If you would like to receive information regarding scholarship application, please contact us or apply now. We are also happy to provide detailed information regarding the cost and financing of a World Class education. Tuition at WCKA includes all food, lodging, coaching, competition fees, and international boat shipping expenses. Airfare, immunizations, visas, and a book fee are not included and may vary depending on the international destination.

World Class Kayak Academy - Fund Raising Partnerships

WCKA works to establish and strengthen partnerships with leading companies in the outdoor industry. Contributing to World Class allows these companies to provide assistance to many of kayaking’s finest student-athletes who in turn use this support to make lasting contributions to the whitewater community around the globe. WCKA partners contribute to the organization on three levels:

Contributors- Our contributors have provided over $5,000 in direct support to the WCKA organization and in many cases have granted funding in creative ways to support specific students, projects, or curriculum.

  Since 2004 Red Bull has been the greatest contributor to the World Class Kayak Academy scholarship program.  Originating with the creation of a scholarship, Red Bull has gone so far as to fly the top two athletically and academically ranked applicants in the WCKA Scholarship Program to the colleges of their choice for a campus visit. Inspiring our student-athletes to reach for greater heights in their pursuit of education and athletic accomplishment Red Bull truly makes a difference in the lives of young people working to accomplish their goals.

Sponsors- Our sponsors are companies who provide us with the equipment necessary for our daily adventures in education. The quality and reputation of the sponsors we seek is a reflection of WCKA’s attention to setting the highest standard in education and whitewater kayaking. In doing so, our sponsors find their products progressively represented by kayaking’s top student-athletes.

  After working with Lotus Designs and Patagonia as partners since its founding in 2001, World Class is now proud to present Patagonia as a top sponsor. The Patagonia name is synonymous with outdoor adventure in its purest, grittiest, and most beautiful form, and the company’s sustainable approach to doing business is a perfect match with the World Class mission. Thanks Patagonia, keep inspiring us all!

  If you are a kayaker, you’ve heard of the Jackson Kayak name, whether by exposure to their quality kayaks or from hearing about the family of champions. Few individuals have influenced a sport as significantly as EJ, Kristine, Emily and Dane (and now KC) have for kayaking and WCKA is proud to have partnered with their company as a key sponsor. They are on the water every day creating and manufacturing the equipment kayakers want - it’s as simple as that.

  Dagger was the first kayak manufacturer in the industry to support the World Class scholarship program and continues to do so by providing students with access to proven designs. Dagger athletes have also played a leading role in WCKA history through their work as coaches, faculty members, and student mentors. Several notables are Andrew Holcombe, David Zinn, and Scott Ligare.

  Wave Sport is widely recognized as a leader in the kayaking industry, and their support of WCKA comes as no surprise. In the words of a WaveSport team leader, "WCKA is an amazing opportunity for aspiring young paddlers. We’re stoked to be involved with an organization that has such a positive influence on the future of kayaking."

  Every paddler is familiar with the AT bent-shaft kayak paddle. It is the classic that has set the standard for performance since the first model sliced current in the mid-nineties. Following this trend, World Class sets the kayak academy standard and is honored to have earned Adventure Technology’s recognition as its students and teachers happily use AT4s and AT2s on a daily basis — relying on their dependability and performance in every paddling environment around the world.

  WRSI is a company dedicated to making safer kayaking equipment more accessible to the public and is run by the true grit of the Turner family. A model of business ethics, WRSI makes kayaking a better sport, beginning with their production of the safest and most affordable helmet in the kayak industry. Engineered by Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Common is available to every student accepted to WCKA. Thanks, WRSI.


  A company founded upon a love for the mountains and a desire to produce the products to enjoy them, Marmot supports WCKA through pro-deals and team gear. WCKA students and teachers are particularly thankful to Marmot for the Precip team jackets contributed in 2007 and the access to the durable tents and sleeping bags sought after by mountain enthusiasts such as us.

  Smith is the company that keeps the chill on the coolest of what’s cool. Their precision eyewear serves the function of keeping the eyes protected in the harshest of outdoor conditions, making you look like the rock star you are, or hope to be. Generous in their support of World Class, Smith grants us access to their pro-purchase program, in addition to contributing to our fundraising efforts during the World Class Paddle-A-Thon held each year on the Gauley River. Now that’s cool!

  If you have a pair, you know. If you’ve seen them, you have the idea —Crocs are just plain fun. Perfect for the lifestyle of the World Classian, they rival the comfort of the traditional flip-flop, with the added bonus of toe protection, an optional heel strap, and a lighter weight. Genius. Thanks to a pair for every student and faculty member, our gang is able to kick around the world with funky-colored feet — what better way to walk your own path without taking yourself so seriously in the process.

Partners– Our partners are companies who grant pro-deals or assistance to the World Class team. Their support grants our students and faculty access to the highest quality products, while forwarding the school’s mission. We proudly present the following partners and thank them for their support: NorthWaterKayakSession and

If you are interested in supporting the World Class scholarship program or any of the school’s community or river stewardship projects, please contact us at 406-829-8071. All donations and contributions to World Class, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, are eligible for tax deduction and directly benefit kids and rivers. Online contributions to WCKA can be made through the Donate section of the website.

map pic