Pumping Out River Professionals: Why Wildwater is an Industry Leader in Guide Training

Lysianne PeacockNantahala, Uncategorized, White Water Rafting

If you’re wondering if you should feel safe in the hands of Wildwater’s expert raft guides, checkout this breakdown of the training Wildwater whitewater staff receive before they get checked off to take Guests down rapids. When you’re booking a river trip with a whitewater company in the Southeast, ask if your guides will be trained to the standard of this list. Wildwater is confident that our guides set the regional bar for training and experience.

So, who decides what training guides are required to receive? Benchmarks vary from river to river. For the Chattooga and Natahala Rivers the National Forest develops the operating plan which determines training requirements. The managing agency for the Ocoee River is the Tennessee Valley Authority (TDA). Outfitters like Wildwater consult and give input going back thirty years on these expectations.

At Wildwater guides must complete these qualifications before taking Guests on the water:  

  • Establish between 6 to 10 trips on the stretch of water they want to guide
  • Every new stretch of water requires 6 to 10 practice trips
  • Guides must complete Guide School/training which typically happens in May. Guide school covers company culture, why Guest is spelled with a capitol “G,” community living, locations of put ins and take outs and emergency evacuation points
  • Swift water rescue training 
  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid and CPR training
  • Guides are always encouraged to get the highest level of training they can achieve 
  • There is also a Senior Guide training day. This is considered the top, elite level and covers tips and tricks and knowledge passed down from the ages.

Do you know someone interested in river guiding for Wildwater? Have them check out the Wildwater Employment Opportunities page or the Raft Guide Jobs page. If you want to know more about what it’s like to guide at Wildwater, see these staff testimonials…

Joe – Wildwater Employee 

Brandi – Wildwater Employee

Mac – WIldwater Employee