Housed at the bottom of the roaring Willamette Falls, which comprises the confluence of Willamette and Clackamas Rivers, eNRG Kayaking's on-water shop and docks serve as the home base for instructional excursions in kayaking, rapids rafting, and standup paddleboarding. Head instructor Sam Drevo also helps those more experienced in watersports to attain a swift-water rescue certification or an ACA instructor certification, required credentials to shake hands with most river deities. Sam watches over all levels of kayakers with experience earned through years of competing, including a ranking as the world's sixth-best freestyle kayaker in 1998 and a first-place win at the Ford Gorge Games' Outdoor World Championships in 2001.
When Sam is not leading tours around the falls or down segments of either river, he guides extended expeditions to other northwestern and foreign waterways. His 16 international aquatic excursions have taken paddlers to rivers on four continents, through countries such as Canada, Costa Rica, Thailand, Laos, China, India, and Botswana. Sam and his staff aim to protect the rivers through eco-friendly exploration and sell a range of kayak models to help others to similarly respect the ecosystem or sneak up and tickle unsuspecting bass.
Safari Sam's virtual jungle of kid-friendly entertainment is densely packed, thoughtfully designed, and well maintained. The enormous jungle gym is built big and strong so parents can play along with their kids. The Black Diamond Challenge Course challenges older kids with more physically demanding obstacles. The indoor miniature golf course is well designed, with glow-in-the-dark paint on jungle-like details on the kid-friendly obstacles, including palm trees and Aztec-like temples. Gonzo's game room is an old-fashioned redemption arcade with more than 75 games in which kids can win prizes, from key chains and stuffed animals to glow-in-the-dark senses of superiority.
A USHPA-certified advanced and tandem instructor, John of Oregon Hang Gliding School has taken to the skies on hang gliders since 1990 and taught the sport to newcomers since 1997. He also advises the curriculum for a university engineering program laying out pointers in a systematic way, and discouraging the use of protractors as weapons. Under John’s guidance, students begin with introductory lessons and ground school before advancing along the path to earning individual pilot ratings.
At Natural High Rafting, they lead guided rafting and fishing trips on more than 12 of Oregon’s scenic and coastal rivers, including the Deschutes and Clackamas. The fishing trips also seek out fish by species, often encountering monsters such as steelhead, trout, and coho and chinook salmon.
Willamette Sailing Club's docks stretch out into the Willamette River, where novice nautical voyagers gain their sea legs on a fleet of small sailboats. Classes of up to 30 spend two hours on the banks with a U.S. Sailing–certified coach as students learn how sails work, the necessary knots, and important terminology, such as "port," "starboard," and "boat." The coach will also cover how to rig and de-rig a boat, as delicate a procedure as rigging a casino game or school-board election. The club curates a fleet of Laser, Opti, and 420 sailboats for the use of its sailing classes.