Advanced Whitewater Rafting Workshop

Saturday April 25th - Friday May 1st 2020

The Kaweah River 

Three Rivers California

Is this for you?

This course is designed for individuals with prior experience guiding rafts in class II/III whitewater. It is preferable that you have had some experience paddling (but not necessarily guiding) class 4/5 rivers but this is negotiable.  If you do not have any prior whitewater experience but you are interested in learning to guide, check out our entry level guide school.



Arrive: Friday Evening (please do not plan on arriving Saturday morning as you are expected to be fed, dressed and ready for a long day by 8am)

Depart: Class will finish around 3pm on Thursday

Cost: $560

Cost includes; Camping Fees, Tuition, River Fees

Cost DOES NOT include; Meals, Cooking Equipment, Personal rafting gear

Where: Three Rivers Hideaway 43365 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271

How to sign up: 

Call River Runners on 530-622-5110, e-mail or sign up online below. 

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About the Instructors

John K

John Kosakowsky started rafting 19 years ago and never looked back. Being on the river became his career, passion and lifestyle. After his first couple of seasons on the South Fork of the American River, John ventured off to Costa Rica to become a guide on the class IV Pacuare River, only to find out that he knew a lot less than he thought he did! It was this experience that set him on a determined course to approach whitewater rafting as an art form that requires consistent and focused practice. Since then John has rafted privately and commercially around the US and the world, from class II backyard creeks to epic class V runs. John has a wealth of knowledge and he loves to share it. He has taught many students who have gone on to become successful and competent river guides and boaters at large. He is also a certified ACA swiftwater rescue instructor.

Travis Cobb (the man in black)

Travis Cobb (the man in black)

Travis Cobb started rafting and kayaking with his best friends in jr. high school and has done his best to make it a regular habit. His professional rafting career began in 2001 on the Shenandoah River in West Virginia. Since then he has worked and played on whitewater of all classifications in at least 15 states and 5 countries, teaching both guiding and Swiftwater Rescue. He is known for teaching techniques based in hands on, practical application rather than a scenario dependent curriculum from a "by the book" checklist. Though he is not part of the every day staff at River Runners he has been a close friends with John K and Daniel J (he affectionately calls the Kozo Clan) for the last 12 years. He had this to say about the River Runners guide school;

     "River Runners' guide schools are among the most successful whitewater programs I have ever participated in. John and Sarah provide a structured program  with clear goals and excellent resources are provided for their students. Where River Runners stand apart from other schools is that they cultivate an experience that feels like we are all, both instructors and students, out on a play trip. I come away from every class feeling lucky to have been involved."

Daniel J

Daniel Jenkins started guiding 18 years ago now but his history with with the river goes further back than that. At a young age he learned to swim in the South Fork of the American River. After spending many years exploring the side creeks and swimming the river, he finally got into a raft. Since then he has rafted the South Fork American River from the headwaters to where the river is lost under Folsom Lake. Daniel has also worked many seasons on the Kaweah River as a commercial guide and has rafted many sections of that river as well. He has also worked all over the country and the world from the class I Dart River in New Zealand to working this year on the class V Cherry Creek in California. Daniel plays as hard as he works, and has R-1’nd things just because everyone else was too scared to go with him. Needless to say, he has learned a lot and he is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with others.

The Curriculum

What will be covered: This workshop will cover the more advanced elements of whitewater navigation. Instruction will be primarily in the medium of paddle guiding a raft. Students will be encouraged to develop the ability to read chaotic river currents and a dynamic approach to navigation.

Many skills will be demonstrated and practiced, including:

  • The dark art of using rocks instead of avoiding them

  • The troubling art of planning for the best and expecting the plan not to work

  • The fine art of thinking of every paddle stroke as unique

  • Planning out and successfully executing unconventional lines within rapids

  • Navigating a river uncontrolled by dams and being comfortable with daily and yearly changes in flow and obstacle placement

  • Intentional and unintentional rock slipping and pivoting

  • Controlled and uncontrolled raft surfing

  • Catching microeddies in a larger craft (it’s not just for kayakers)

  • Pinballing and shaboinging

  • Lowsiding (and highsiding)

  • Running rapids without the luxury of calling a get-down

  • Intentional and unintentional swimming of rapids

  • Avoiding man-made obstacles, like bridges and pipes

  • Negotiating strainers and foliage-choked passages

  • Intentional and unintentional scenarios involving rafts pinned on rocks and rafts being surfed in holes

  • Treating a river trip as an expedition

  • Rescue on the Run

  • Downstream safety

  • River safety triage

  • The joy of R2ing