International Rafting Federation Guide and Trip Leader Workshop

May 27, 2024
May 28, 2024
May 29, 2024
May 30, 2024
May 31, 2024

Location: ACE Adventure Resort

Duration: 3 - 5 days


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International rafting Federation(IRF) Guide and Trip Leader Workshop

Join us for an International Rafting Federation (IRF) workshop for river guides and trip leaders facilitated by IRF Instructor Bryant Baker along with IRF Instructor Trainer Mark Hirst of Lapin Koskikoulu. This course will allow for certifications up to Level 4 and is intended for experienced river guides and whitewater professionals looking to increase their education. IRF certifications can be used for guiding and trip leading whitewater around the world.

Rivers: New, Gauley, Meadow, Cherry

Dates: May 27, 2024 – May 31, 2024

$450 – first three days of raft guide/safety craft workshop
$750 – two additional days of Trip Leader workshop

Meals: Lunch will be provided each day of instruction.

Prerequisites: Experience as a commercial guide, logbook, and first aid certifications.

Additional Cost: IRF Award Fees


Raft Guide and Safety Craft Workshop

The first three days of the workshop assesses the fundamentals of commercial river guiding and/or safety boating. Assessments are completed on the level of whitewater corresponding to the level of the guide. While on the course, experienced river guides are assessed on a variety of tasks including:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Safety and paddle talk
  • Whitewater boating skills and crew management
  • Flip and throw-bag tests
  • Whitewater swimming
  • Building a 3:1 rope system with appropriate anchors


In order to receive an IRF Guide Certification you must first submit a logbook, first aid, and CPR certification. During the workshop you will need to pass a guide assessment which includes a written exam.


Trip Leader Workshop

The fourth and fifth day are spent evaluating trip leader candidates with on-river scenarios. These scenarios are designed to test their decision-making, communication skills, delegation ability, and performance during a rescue. They are designed to be as realistic as possible, again corresponding to the level of the guide being assessed.

An IRF Trip Leader candidate also needs to have a valid advanced first aid certificate that includes CPR. Upon successfully passing the qualification, the IRF issues an IRF Trip Leader Certification.


About Mark Hirst

Mark is an international rafting and safety instructor who teaches courses for Rescue 3 Europe and the International Rafting Federation. He is originally from Manchester, England and is now based in Finland. He currently teaches river guide and safety courses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Nepal, India, and Morocco. Learn more about Mark’s philosophy on this Lapin Koskikoulu Blog.


Bryant Baker

Bryant Baker has spent the past 21 years working as a commercial river guide throughout the United States. The New & Gauley Rivers of WV are where he calls home, working as the River Operations Mgr. and guide for ACE Adventure Resort while also instructing whitewater rafting and swiftwater rescue courses for the International Rafting Federation and the American Canoe Association.


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