REC-I (Schedule Link)


This recreational swiftwater course is designed primarily for those wishing to gain or expand their current experience around moving water. This course is framed around participant desires for training and takes beginner and seasoned students through the process of risk management and decision making in a swiftwater setting. This class is tempered for recreational enthusiast with varied experience levels. We can discuss several different topics of importance to private boaters. If you are a recreational boater with substantial experience, and perhaps a couple of training courses under your belt, we encourage you to take the PRO-I swiftwater course.

ONLINE MODULE: Yes, 2 hours of OPTIONAL online training.

MINIMUM AGE: 16 with parental consent – 15 with a parent participating

CERTIFICATION: All students receive a Verification of Training for the Recreational Boater with no expiration.



  1. Proficient swimmer
  2. Physically capable
  3. Desire to learn
  4. All of the necessary PPE
  5. Meet all Essential Eligibility Criteria


The REC-I will be delivered in a 2 day, 18 hour format (16 hours in the field and roughly 2 hours of optional online training prior). The modules are pretty straight forward, and will give a large degree of insight into the class you will be taking. On both day 1 and 2, we will ease into the morning with a cup of coffee and discussion about the days objectives. We do not rush around, and we do not need to check specific boxes for this training. Your instructor will drive the course, but as a student you will have a lot of say on what you want to learn, and you can get all of the questions you have answered by a professional.


Upon registration and payment, you will be automatically enrolled in the OPTIONAL online training and you will have immediate access.


Each module will be followed by a module quiz, and you will be able to retake each quiz as many times as necessary. You must pass each exam with a minimum score of 80% in order to gain access to the next module. You can start and stop at any time and your progress will be saved. This is how SSI eliminates the formal classroom component, yet still provides you with basic presentations that are very helpful to your pre-course understanding and in-field success. We realize that many students have time constraints, but if you do have some free time, these online modules can be very helpful and give you a running start for the field training.


For the 2 day REC-I, expect to meet at a pre-determined course site around 8:30am on day 1 (TBD by your instructor). A little time in the morning will be spent on land reviewing some of the concepts that you were exposed to during the online training.  All of this in preparation for day 2 that will be a continuation of day 1 with focus on training in the river and rapidly building your skill-set. We will introduce and have discussions on risk management, group dynamics, expedition leadership and self care in a stressful environment.


There is no formal testing for this course.

Swiftwater Rescue Training Belay Technique River Rescue Safety Talk Raft Flip Throw Bags Foot Entrapment

REC-I Learning Objectives

  • Group communication
  • Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Hazard avoidance and recognition
  • Gaining comfort swimming in rivers
  • Rescue priorities (self, team, others)
  • Risk assessment
  • Stress Guide Assessment
  • Self rescue and group rescue priorities
  • Throw bag techniques
  • Contact swimming rescues
  • Foot entrapment extrication
  • Shallow water crossings
  • Basic knots
  • Vector pull as mechanical advantage
  • Boat pins / flips (class specific and course site dependent)
  • Problem solving with limited gear and resources
  • Overall emergency assessment

Optional Modules: (these take time and are not directly built into this curriculum – if you desire these options meet the requirements, look at the PRO-I)

  • Tensioned diagonals
  • Strainer swim
  • Simple Mechanical Advantage