Watershed Blog

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Rafting Magazine’s Class II Guide School

Looking for a career change or to expand your knowledge on what it really takes to become a Rafting Guide? Watershed Drybags and Rafting Magazine go hand-in-hand with a love for the rivers and the outdoors. Check out their step by step instructions and tips to becoming a successful rafting guide

Rafting Magazine’s class II guide school series is designed to help you get acquainted with the basic principles of whitewater guiding. Whether you are thinking about guide school and want to get a jumpstart or you are new to boating and you are interested in getting your basic skills down, this course will help you understand some of the essential skills of class II boating. Their convenient Modules* help you learn at your own pace and study in your free time off the river with your instructors Daniel and Trevor.

*These modules are not designed as a substitute for hands on training with a qualified instructor*

Module 1 – Introduction to Equipment

In this module we will be going over the basic equipment needed to get you on the river in class II whitewater. Having a good understanding of what is needed to successfully navigate a river is the first step to becoming a whitewater guide. We will introduce the following pieces of equipment in this module:

1. Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
2. Helmet – https://youtu.be/SolE_e9yXlQ
3. Barrel / Emergency Pump
4. Throwbag
5. River Shoes
6. Drybag
7. Camstraps
8. Gear Bag
9. Paddle
10. Raft

This covers the Basic gear that every class II boater should have while navigating rivers. Many of these items can have a high price tag, but most of your gear you will be able to assemble for a very low cost or you likely already have them if you do many other sports.

Module 2 – The Raft, Sitting, & Basic Paddle Strokes

In this module we will be introducing you to concepts relating directly to the raft. We will also take a look at body positioning for class II whitewater. Having a good understanding of what the raft is, how to sit in the boat, and your 3 basic paddle strokes will form the basic skills you will need to successfully navigate a river and become a more proficient whitewater guide. We will introduce the following concepts in this module:

1. Parts of the raft
2. Chambers in a raft
3. Valves
4. D-rings, Handles, and Perimeter lines
5. Need vs. Risk
6. Proper sitting and locking into a raft
7. Proper body positioning
8. Basic Forward Paddle
9. Basic Back Paddle
10. Stop and Resting Position

This covers the basic understanding of the raft, body positioning and movement the class II boater should be proficient with while navigating rivers.

Module 3 – The Boof Stroke

Having a solid boof is one of the essential building blocks of your class IV and V boating skills. In this video we will cover how to perform a boof in a raft, body dynamics, and accurate timing of delivering a good boof. For comparison purposes we ran Slab Creek on the South Fork of the American River on two different days with nearly the same flow and the same 12′ Sotar Custom.

Think you can handle the waters? Check out their site for more tips, tricks and information.