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It’s no big secret raft guides have major swagger. From My Little Pony swim shorts to polyester suits and NRS belts these guys set fashion trends without even trying. In fact, we’ve heard a rumor you’re going to see raft guide inspired collections on the runways of Paris, New York or Milan soon. With that in mind, we’ve put together this Christmas Wish List to help create your “a-la-raft guide” style just in time for the holidays.

Designer Belt

First things first, every good looking raft guide rocks an NRS cam strap belt. Nothing screams “I’m a raft guide” like one of these babies holding up your pants. Not to mention they’re versatile – you’ll feel like James Bond when you take off your belt to tie down your cooler. It’s a win-win. Well, as long as you don’t drop your pants while reaching into the cooler. Bedazzle your belt with a designer belt buckle or kick ass carabiner for a classier look.

Smelly Sandals

Three words: Stank ass sandals. Preferably from the major fashion houses of Chaco, KEEN, Astral or Teva. After purchasing, we highly recommend soaking them in your toilet or sewer drain for at least one week in order to achieve maximum stankiness. Putting them on creates a Cinderella like moment – POOF – you’re a raft guide.

Tan Lines

Weird tan lines are also a must have. In order to achieve this, you’ll want to purchase a guide vest and a cheap pair of sunglasses. Combine those two items with your stank ass sandals and a pair of board shorts that come to your knees. Now, sit in the sun for at least 6 hours every day. You’ll pull off the perfect guide tan after about a week of sun bathing. You’ll know you’ve reached optimum color once everyone starts complimenting the stripes on your feet and those bright, white thighs.

River Knife

Every raft guide needs a good river knife. Wear it with anything. Use it for everything. For instance, if you’re trying to impress a certain someone, pull that bad boy out and clean your fingernails or trim the hedges. It screams badass and is certain to get you at least a first date. The rest is up to you – but let us clue you in on a little secret; you know it’s true love if you’re willing to let them borrow your cam strap belt.

Adventure Mobile

To round out your ensemble and put together the full package you’re going to need a vehicle. Any of the following will work:

  • Subaru – Any make or model will do. The make and model will only help us identify whether you’re a trust-funder or not
  • A 20-year-old mid-size truck with a camper on the bed. Rust holes and a Yakima rack will round it out nicely
  • Full-size vans tricked out with a small house inside are a guide favorite. You’ll need a bed, smelly gear filling every corner and some fancy Christmas lights hanging everywhere.


Lastly, you’ll need as many stickers you can get your hands on. You can place them everywhere and on almost every item listed here – specifically your vehicle. The goal is to allow an average person to see into your soul through your stickers. We should be able to identify where you’ve been, what you love and your position on a wide variety of political and environmental issues.

Now, go get your swagger on.

BY aceteam

Bringing you all the latest whitewater rafting, adventure, and all things ACE from the New River Gorge of West Virginia for over 40 years.