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Old 07-10-2010   #1
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
WFR to take or not

So I'm thinking of taking a WFR course soon. A couple friends of mine that raft guide and kayak took the course this spring and said the course is mainly geared toward commercial guides or people working in the outdoors. I don't plan on becoming a guide but see many river days a year and ski days in the winter. Most river trips I do are multi days 2 to 7 days. That said is the course worth the time and money for a private boater that does need the cert. for employment reasons? My friend told me just to use her books and teach myself the material saving time and dough. While I am very interested in the course I just hope the course isn't something you invest time and money into only to forget or not use the material. Or that its mainly for people working in the outdoors everyday that also need the cert. Any thoughts feedback are appreciated, Thanks.

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Old 07-10-2010   #2
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
A well taught WFR or WAFA spends lots of time doing hands-on drills and teaching improvisation, so unless you are a natural Macgyver I think they are valuable for anyone who plays outdoors. I would look for an open course rather than one sponsored by an outfitter to have a more balanced approach. I've taken classes from both WMI & WMA, and like them both.
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Old 07-10-2010   #3
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
I agree with asleep-at-the-oars: You'll get a lot more out of a course than you can get out of the book. The hands on practice is very valuable.

I think the training is worthwhile for anyone playing in the outdoors, regardless of whether it's for work or pleasure. I am always more comfortable when my paddling partners have training than when they don't.

Perhaps you can think of it this way: You don't take the training to take care of yourself but to take care of your buddies. And who doesn't want to be able to take care of their buddies when they're in need?
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Old 07-12-2010   #4
roosternater's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 28
I took my WFR through WMI and it rocked. As others have already said, you just can't replicate the hands on scenarios. Taking the course will give you more confidence in the backcountry and in my case the cert helped me relax a bit when taking any city-folk-friends on excursions.
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Old 07-13-2010   #5
V for Victory
9300ft, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 329
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WFR is what I wish all my outdoor recreation partners had.
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Old 07-14-2010   #6
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
Thanks for the responses that is what I was hoping to read. I am going to take the course and am looking forward to it, knowledge is always useful.
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Old 07-14-2010   #7
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
in my experiance, a WFR thru WMI is what you are looking for. WMA tends to be more for the "pro", while WMI is geared for more of the "enthusiast".

have fun, i always meet cool people in these classes.

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