river rafting

How to Become a Whitewater Rafting Guide

If you’re an adventure seeker, most likely you have been whitewater rafting before. The rushing water, the thrill of the ride, and the beauty of nature surrounding you is the outdoorsman’s dream. Do you have what it takes to be a whitewater rafting guide? Even if you have a lot of rafting experience, to become a guide there are some specific steps you’ll need to take. 

Complete a Whitewater Rafting Guide Training Course 

You’ll need to complete a whitewater rafting guide training course. The course will cover boat control, paddling, boat spacing, hydrology, high water safety, risk management, rapids classification and more. The primary focus will be on safety so that you can guide groups of people on whitewater rafting excursions and ensure that everyone stays safe throughout the excursion. 

  • Become Certified in CPR and First Aid. A large part of whitewater rafting guide training is CPR and First Aid training. You need to know what to do if someone gets injured or experiences a health emergency of any kind. As a guide, you are responsible for administering CPR or First Aid when necessary at any time. 
  • Learn How To Classify Rapids. As part of your training course you will learn how to classify rapids in order to assess the level of danger. The rating system ranges from Class I to VI, with Class I rapids being the mildest and Class VI being the largest and most dangerous. What class of rapids you and your crew can handle will depend on everyone’s level of experience and personal preferences. 
  • Gain Experience. Part of your guide training will include time out on the water. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to whitewater rafting. The more you go, the more you learn about boat handling and hydrology. 
  • Communication and Leadership. Guides in training will also learn communication skills and how to teach and lead groups of all experience levels. As a guide you’ll lead people whose knowledge of whitewater rafting may vary from first timers to those who could almost be guides themselves. The key is to be confident and stay in control. 
  • Equipment Management. You’ll learn how to plan the equipment you’ll need for the size of the group you are leading. You will be responsible for the boat, paddles, lifejackets, and helmets. You’ll also want to ensure that the people in your group have adequate clothing and shoes for the trip.
  • Knowledge of the Area. Ideally, your whitewater rafting training course will take place in the area where you are planning to be a guide. This helps you to get to know the stretch of river you will be guiding groups on. You will also learn about local wildlife along the way so you can educate your group about the natural world around them during the breaks and calm stretches of your excursion. 

Where To Find Work As a Whitewater Rafting Guide

If you look for whitewater rafting destinations in the US, Jackson, Wyoming is one of the top destinations. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for guide jobs in this area for whitewater rafting and scenic float trips on the Snake River at the foot of the Grand Teton Mountains. 

Teton Expeditions provides whitewater rafting and scenic float trips in Jackson, Wyoming. Call 307-733-1418 or contact us today to learn more about our expeditions and how to become a guide.