Raft Guide School in Durango, Colorado

Rafting all summer is a ton of fun. I was a private boater before I was a commercial guide. I guided commercially for years and was also a raft guide instructor. I never flipped commercially and on a year I didn't plan instructing I taught guide school by myself. That year our company had no commercial flips and we watched the others flip left and right

Advice to incoming guides

-Find out what the raft company pays before joining their guide school. Back in 2010 when housing was about $400 dollars a month cheaper on average in Durango, Colorado the starting wage was $10 an hour. If the company pays minimum wage go elsewhere. A business that pays as low as they can probably doesn't respect you

-A fun raft company lets you use their gear after hours with friends for free

-This year will be intense whitewater. They have changed the park, added features and the water will be high. Fun runs with friends and coworkers will help you have confidence on commercial trips. Get on the water as much as possible. The year that big company had a death on the river we watched them flip many times before the death. If you are not comfortable rowing strangers don't. Have confidence because you got it not because you think you got it. If the rivers too intense portage smelter, flipping customers is not the same as flipping friends

-Learn to use the river to your advantage. Muscling through the rapids can be fun and if you set up far in advance you can usually float through without any moves

-Test your skills in easy spots

-Help the other companies, I always found it fun swimming and rescuing their boats

-Do lots of fun runs and explore the nearby rivers

-Bike to work at the raft shop and you will be stronger then you ever thought possible

-Remember real guides camp all summer (you are missing out if you are not camping in the national forest) and have fun!

Durango, Colorado