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Discussion Starter #1
Who are the best rafting companies to work for? And what makes them the best?


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This thread has been played out many, MANY times, but I will state my opinion again. Performance Tours, Buffalo Joe's, River Runners and The Adventure Company (if your experienced). The are some other good companies if your interested in primarily running the Royal Gorge, or fishing. If you would like to guide in several 4 corners states look at Wilderness Aware and Dvorak's, Kokopelli in New Mexico and Oars in California/Utah.
 

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Who are the best rafting companies to work for? And what makes them the best?


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What part of the country do you want to be in? Being from the SE, I'd say Rolling Thunder River Co or Wildwater, Ltd. Wildwater has outposts on a few rivers so you have some options of where to work each season, but with Thunder, you still have time to go play on those rivers without having to deal with custys.

Get trained on the Ocoee and spend a couple seasons with either of these companies. Then you'll be primed for the New / Gauley and anything out West.
 

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It totally depends on what you want to do. If you have no experience and don't know anybody the best outfit is the one that will hire you. If you are not going to do it for more than a season or 2 it won't really matter where you work. Finding a fun crew will be more important than working for the best outfit.

If you are thinking about doing it long term you have to think of your end goal. Think about whether you want to mostly paddle guide or row. Paddling on the Ocoee will not help you land a job running a motor on the Grand or rowing Middle Fork trips. Paddle guiding does not necessarily translate well to rowing and vice versa. You don't see nearly as much paddling out West as compared to out East because the rivers are bigger. With that said there are plenty of places to paddle guide out West.

Look at the permits that each company in the area you want to guide holds. Some companies are going to offer trips on their website that they don't have permits for, and they just refer customers that call to another company. You have to do your homework if this matters to you. Being stuck on the same day run with no other options gets old pretty fast unless it is an epic class IV-V run, but you won't get there in your first year unless you get lucky.

The culture/reputation of the company is important too. You can learn this stuff pretty easily by asking locals. Show up at the put in one day and find the crustiest old timer DRIVER and pick his brain.

Good luck
 

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The best rafting company to work for is the one that pays you regularly, gets you on the water daily, and within walking/biking distance to the liquor store and bar


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Precision Rafting in Friendsville, MD. Basically because they won't hire you unless your are a excellent kayakers, they are the only outfit at the takeout, they've never killed anyone, and they probably run more class 4-5 than any other single outfitter...and in the winter it's 15 minutes to the ski area for your off season job.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Buy one. I was just looking for options so I would be able to retain my guides and give them a great experience as I had 20 years ago.


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Ok. White Otter in Sunbeam on the Headwaters is hiring or interviewing right now.

I had a chance at a Middle Fork company years ago, but besides the lack of scratch I didn't want to have to learn the outfitters fidget. Where you worry about every fffing thing that can and does go wrong. Good luck.
 
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