raft guide school.jpg
Two+Days+on+the+South+Fork+of+the+American.jpg
north fork american river.jpg

Whitewater Guide School (ages 16+)


2020 Guide School Dates to Be Announced


For Aspiring Commercial Guides and Private Boaters

River Runners white water guide school is great for aspiring commercial guides and private boaters. 

Maybe you have never boated before. That's okay. You will still get to sit at the back of your boat with a paddle in hand, screaming commands at the other students. Things will seem crazy. Impossible. Really scary. And then...you will be at the bottom of a class three rapid having successfully guided your way there.

Maybe you already have some boating experience and want to hone your whitewater skills. That is great too! Our instructors recognize that everyone comes to guide school with different levels of experience. We can accommodate the needs of every student. 

$805 includes

  • 7 days of whitewater boating instruction

  • Equipment (life jacket, safety equipment etc)

  • Lunch Monday-Sunday

  • Camping 7 nights

  • Tax

  • Government fees

Breakfasts and dinners are self supported: bring your camp stove and a cooler etc. There are stores 20 minutes away if you need supplies.

805.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart

What You Will Learn at Whitewater Guide School

This seven day whitewater guide school is an introduction to whitewater boating. During the course you will be given the opportunity to learn the following skills;

  • Ability to paddle guide the South Fork of the American River

  • Basic swiftwater rescue techniques

  • Basic concepts of hydrology

  • Basic knowledge of the river environment

  • How to adequately prepare equipment for a river trip

  • How to manage the basic logistics of a river trip

  • Basics of what it takes to be a professional river guide

 Students often excel in some areas and struggle in others but this should not discourage you. This school will be taught in an inclusive manner so all students will be encouraged to excel and challenge themselves no matter where they are in their learning process. Whitewater rafting is a challenging activity and requires consistent practice. Guide school is not the end of learning. It is just the beginning! 


About the Facilitators

Instructors

John Kosakowsky is in love with the river. He has rafted the South Fork of the American over a thousand times and still to this day finds new river features and historical and environmental curiosities to get excited about. John is an inspired guide through and through and if you learn how to guide from him you will catch the guiding bug and will leave with an invaluable amount of knowledge. John has 16 years experience rafting commercially and privately, and has taught many students who have gone on to become successful and competent commercial river guides and boaters at large. John has worked all over the US and Costa Rica, and has boated all over the world. He is a class five boater and a certified ACA swiftwater rescue instructor.

John Kosakowsky is in love with the river. He has rafted the South Fork of the American over a thousand times and still to this day finds new river features and historical and environmental curiosities to get excited about. John is an inspired guide through and through and if you learn how to guide from him you will catch the guiding bug and will leave with an invaluable amount of knowledge. John has 16 years experience rafting commercially and privately, and has taught many students who have gone on to become successful and competent commercial river guides and boaters at large. John has worked all over the US and Costa Rica, and has boated all over the world. He is a class five boater and a certified ACA swiftwater rescue instructor.

Sarah Vardaro was born in the Riverland, South Australia where the wide and slow Murray River winds it’s way through the low mallee scrub. Always seeming to jump right into the deep end Sarah rafted for the first time in 2009 on the class V Tully River in Queensland, whilst travelling around Australia. After travelling around Central and South America, Sarah immigrated to the USA and became a commercial river guide in 2012 and by 2016 she was co-running River Runners. Sarah loves rafting the South Fork of the American River and thinks it is the perfect place to learn and practice the craft of whitewater raft guiding. She is always excited to share the skills necessary to providing an outstanding experience to rafting guests and is inspired to teach others how to raft so they can enjoy the peace, excitement and art of rafting as much as she does.

Sarah Vardaro was born in the Riverland, South Australia where the wide and slow Murray River winds it’s way through the low mallee scrub. Always seeming to jump right into the deep end Sarah rafted for the first time in 2009 on the class V Tully River in Queensland, whilst travelling around Australia. After travelling around Central and South America, Sarah immigrated to the USA and became a commercial river guide in 2012 and by 2016 she was co-running River Runners. Sarah loves rafting the South Fork of the American River and thinks it is the perfect place to learn and practice the craft of whitewater raft guiding. She is always excited to share the skills necessary to providing an outstanding experience to rafting guests and is inspired to teach others how to raft so they can enjoy the peace, excitement and art of rafting as much as she does.


Sample of Daily Schedule 

8:00 am Class starts

1:00 pm Lunch

6:00 pm Debrief

6:30 Class finsishes


Whitewater Guide School Graduation

Sometimes guide school students looking to become professional river guides are hired by River Runners but completing the guide school by itself is no guarantee that you will be offered employment. In addition referrals to other companies in the area for paid employment as a river guide can be made by your instructor if they feel confident in your skill level

 


Frequently asked questions:

What is the class size?

We run the class if no less than 4 students sign up. There will be one instructor per 6 students.

Will I get to guide the boat?

Yes. All students will have the opportunity to navigate the river

Will I learn to row?

Not necessarily. This class is primarily focused on paddle guiding an inflatable raft. If you are interested in learning to row please call us to discuss the possibility. 

Does River Runners provide me with cold weather gear?

No. If you are worried about being cold and you own a wet suit, bring it along. If you don't own one we can arrange a rental for you. 

Does River Runners provide me with equipment for rafting?

Yes. We will provide you with a life jacket (PFD) and other necessary equipment. 

Does River Runners provide me with a tent, pad and sleeping bag for camping?

No. You should bring these things with you. 

If you have any other questions e-mail adventures@riverrunnersusa.com or call 530 622 5110