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Raft Guide Training

Quick Details

Please submit the form below if interested!

Includes Swiftwater Rescue & CPR Certifications
$ 450

Raft Guide Training

Raft Guide Training is often the first step for people who end up enjoying a lifelong passion for whitewater. Trainees who attend all required dates will be invited to continue their training into the spring, and begin the process towards potential employment.

  • Prior river experience is great but not required.
  • Scholarships available
  • Submit your application today and start rafting as soon as this weekend
  • Practice trips through the winter every Sunday and additional High Water Dates!

SUNDAY FUNDAYS – See if it is for you FREE

Send us an e-mail [email protected] to join our Sunday Funday training sessions.  This is a great way to learn about the river and guiding skills and see if guide training is for you.  Sunday Fundays will be held through February and switch to a weekday after work outing during training.

Schedule for Spring 2023 Raft Guide training:

March 4-5 – Richmond
March 11-12 – Richmond
March 18, 19, 21, 22, & 28, 29 – Richmond (Pick Two Days)
March 25-26 – Swiftwater Rescue Training (Mandatory to get cert)
April 1-2 – Richmond – SWR Advanced / additional days

Trainees seeking employment post-training are required to attend the first four dates and four additional dates.  Swiftwater Rescue training is mandatory.

Upon completion of training, employment is not guaranteed. It depends on your performance as well as interaction with your fellow guides. All employees must carry current CPR and First Aid certifications.

Why RVA Paddlesports?

Our trainers come with decades of experience on many rivers across the US and abroad.  When training with RVA Paddlesports you are not just learning the lines on the James, but skills that are transferable to a lifelong passion of river running.  We pride ourselves in preparing our guides to the highest industry standards and professionalism.  We have a fun work environment that promotes both constructive feedback and positivity to foster personal growth and a team mentality.  Trainees also receive discounts on gear from various paddlesports brands including Immersion Research, NRS, & Astral.


Guide Training is $450 and includes all instruction, shuttles, equipment use during training dates, Swift water Rescue & CPR. Wilderness First Aid certifications are available to trainees at discounted rate.  Payment plans are available and scholarship/discounted training costs are given on a case by case basis (see below).  Trainees who checkout and work for RVAPS commercially will get $50 back on their training costs.

Additional information

Additional information on specific qualifications and expectations can be found on our employment page. Training is open to applicants ages 16 and up. Completion of Raft Guide Training and the accompanying Sierra Rescue River Rescue Certification is required for employment as a Raft Guide.

To apply, please fill out the form below OR send a cover letter to [email protected]. If you are an experienced guide, please include your river experience log.

See You On The River!

Interested in joining 2023 Guide Training?

Get in touch!

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