QWPA Guide School

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Course Overview:

The QWPA Canoe/Kayak/SUP Guide School course is designed to equip candidates with the necessary skills to lead canoe, kayak and SUP days trip on moving water up to Class II.

Successful completion will lead to employment with QWPA as a river guide using solo canoe or individual kayak, although our guides are strongly encouraged to use solo canoe whenever possible. 

An additional Swiftwater Rescue course is also offered to candidates, is highly recommended, and successful completion is rewarded with higher compensation upon employment.

The swiftwater course is deeply discounted for successful candidates, and will be held May 5 - 7..

Interested Candidates:

Please call (505) 771-1234 to arrange a preliminary interview for consideration. No payment will be required or accepted prior to acceptance as a candidate.

Course Fees:

QWPA Guide School Only: $295.00 

Swiftwater Rescue: $250.00

Eligibility Criteria:

In order to participate, each prospective student must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities listed in the course outline while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position.

  • Be a strong swimmer, comfortable underwater, and able to swim effectively in current.

  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other course participants.

  • Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently.

Course Prerequisites:

Prior experience, instructional courses and/or certifications are helpful, but not required.

Course Duration:

4 Days (Monday, April 17 through Thursday, April, 20)

Course Location / Venue:

Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures Offices, appropriate flat and moving water venues to be determined.

Class Limits: 

5 Students

Course Outline:

(Full synopsis and course materials will be provided upon acceptance of candidate)

Monday, April 17

Classroom Session (Full Day)

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Introductions, Expectations, & Logistics
  • Guide Characteristics, Qualities, Skills and Essential Knowledge
  • The Paddling Environment
  • Canoe, Kayak and SUP Terminology & Nomenclature
  • Essential Gear & Equipment
  • Ropes & Knots

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Proper Planning
  • Hazards & Accident Prevention
  • Safety and Instructional Orientations

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • Review and Exam

Tuesday, April 18

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

  • Distributing Gear
  • Loading, Unloading and Securing Watercraft and Equipment

10:00 AM - 12:00 AM

  • Flat Water Skill Development & Evaluations (Recreational Kayak)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Flat Water Skill Development & Evaluations (Solo Canoe, Stand Up Paddleboard)

Wednesday, April 19

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

  • River Dynamics
  • River Hazards & Management

10:00 AM - 12:00 AM

  • Moving Water Skill Development & Evaluations (Recreational Kayak)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Moving Water Skill Development & Evaluations (Solo Canoe, Stand Up Paddleboard)

Monday, April 24

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

  • Course Review
  • Final Written Exam

10:00 AM - 12:00 AM

  • Moving Water Final Skill Evaluations (Recreational Kayak)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

  • Moving Water Final Skill Evaluations (Solo Canoe)