Instruction The Nantahala Outdoor Center, founded in 1972, offers instruction in a variety of outdoor activities. Group classes range from three to seven days, and cost from $230 to $785 (price includes instruction, lodging, equipment, and meals).
Address: NOC, US 19W, Box 41, Bryson City, N.C. 28713.
The Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, now in its eighth season, specializes in individual instruction on the Arkansas River. Each day runs about $90; equipment rental is extra.
Address: RMOC, 10281 Highway 50, Howard, Colo., 81233.
There is no substitute for hands-on instruction, but the following books are helpful:
``River Rescue,'' by Les Bechdel and Slim Ray (Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club, 1989, $12.95 cloth). This invaluable resource book presents general safety guidelines and rescue techniques.
``Kayak,'' by Bill Nealy (Birmingham, Ala.: Menasha Ridge Press, 1886, $10.95 cloth). Known to kayakers for his cartoon books, Nealy transfers his talents into a useful instruction and river safety guide.
``Adventure Sports: White Water Kayaking,'' by Ray Rowe (Harrisburg, Penn.: Stackpole Books, 1988, $15.95 cloth). A straightforward presentation of kayaking techniques for all skill levels.
For general information on kayaking and other river activities, write: The American Canoe Association, Box 248, Lorton, Va. 22079