Working in the rafting industry you meet some real characters, but what might be surprising is that no matter where you go you can usually find the same types of river folk around the country! From the Eastern Rivers of Maine to the rivers of California you’ll find these 13 types of guides.


1.    The Rookie

These are the kids stoked on life and want to get on every trip available. Their enthusiasm is great for customers, but sometime their zeal can get them in a sticky situation on the river because they’re still learning ropes!


2.    The Lifer

 Dan K, Kentucky

They have been rafting since the beginning and they will raft until the end. They’ve been on more rivers than you knew were raftable. They have mastered the art of telling the most ridiculous stories and making them seem believable.

3.    The Girl

There is always at least one of them. This girl usually only stays for a season or two to prove that she can be one of the guys.


4.    The Wall Street Mogul

Recently went through guide school to “get back to nature” i.e. they’re rich enough to never work again for the rest of their life.


5.    The Second Year

Don N, Colorado

They have completed their rookie year and come back thinking they’re the best guide in the world. Of course they know everything about all the rivers in the area because they saw it once last year.

6.    The Driver

They’ve started as a driver, but practically got forced into rafting because the trips were overbooked. They usually only make an appearance a handful of times during the season and end up all over the river.

7.    The Weekend Warrior

They have a full time job as a real adult with responsibilities, but once the weekend rolls around they’re in their PFD, swimsuit, sandals & croakies. By Monday morning they’re back at the office, showered, shaven & just a little bit more tan.

8.    The Badass Girl

Anna F, New Mexico

This girl is a seasoned rafter and really is one of the guys. She can toot the whiskey bottle, easily maneuver down a Class V rapid and lift a raft like it was as light as a pillow. We wish there were more of them out there!

9. The College Student

This is the perfect summer job for these kids. They study for 70% of the year and play for the other 30%. They’re with you for 4-6 years (depending on the school), which is the perfect amount of time to climb the ladder and raft some of the bigger rivers.

10. The Poor Hugh Hefner

We can’t quite call them the Hugh Hefner because they’re a dirty raft guide, but you know who we’re talking about…

11. The Canyon Guide

They have worked in the Grand Canyon and it’ll take about 30 seconds after you meet them to know this. How? Oh don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

12.    The Underwear Model

He never wears a shirt, no matter the weather… Wait, does he even work here? It doesn’t matter.

13. The Office Girl

They make rafting happen and, if they’re lucky, they get to moonlight as a driver & photographer on busy days. But don’t feel too sorry for them, they definitely take in the views of all the topless guides (The Underwear Model) that wander about the shop during the day.

Regardless of the type of guide you end up with, you’re almost guaranteed an entertaining experience! These people are what make life on the river so wonderful! Join us for a rafting trip and experience first hand the characters that make rafting so addicting!!

Thank you to all of the guys & gals that helped inspire this blog. It would not have been possible without the group text, Ellie, my M2W friends (summer & Salt) and, of course, the EME Team. If you have additions to the list email them to