Seems that most swiftwater instructor programs have one or more swiftwater rescue courses as prerequisites. Have you taken some swiftwater rescue courses before? Was it ACA, or Rescue3, or some other cert? Figure out the track you want to do, then go for it.
Here are a few Swiftwater rescue classes coming up that caught my eye (I am not associated with any of these companies btw). There is tons going on; tis the season!
Next Adventure in Portland has been having 2 for 1 specials which are the best prices I've ever seen for a 2 day course: $220 for one person, or $220 for two people! April is full; May has openings: Yahoo! Groups
You could get ACA level 4 at this course; that would be a good way to start toward ACA swiftwater instructor level 4. Their instructors would know more about it than I do; give them a call.
Volunteering for downriver race safety has always been a great learning experience for me, and a fun time too. Lots of races coming up. The NW Creeking comp put out a request for safety boaters recently; and I'm sure they could use safety on the banks too.
Heads up on becoming a SRT instructor for Rescue 3. According to a friend of mine who has been in the process for YEARS -it's a real pain in the ass to get an instr level cert. The real problem isn't in taking an instructor "class" but on being observed enough times co-teaching to be checked off as being able to teach on your own. Not sure how other organizations handle instructor authorizations.
Check out downstreamedge.com for several SWR courses in colorado in the next couple months. Ask around. We have great courses that are practical and totally hands on in nature. No boring dryland text book class time. It's in the river from the beginning, and students come away with more experience and practice on the real situations that we, as kayakers, need to be able to handle. All of our instructors are 10-30 year veteran expedition paddlers, fun people to hang out with, and really great instructors.
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