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From canyoning safety to whitewater skills: How to become an adventure sports instructor?

The work of guides and technicians in adventure sports is essential for the practice of any activity in the best safety conditions. However, the big question is, how does one become an instructor? 

“Find a job you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life.” This is what the Chinese philosopher Confucius said and, despite the fact that centuries have passed since he shared such a thought, the statement still stands. Nowadays, it is the late motiv of professionals in the adventure sports sector, an activity that has undergone a great evolution in a very short period of time, causing the need in the sector to hire more instructors to be able to respond to all the existing demand in the market. For this reason, the work of the instructor or guide of any outdoor activity has gained much importance in recent years.¬†

In other words, the profile of the guides is on the rise, even more so in the most popular outdoor sports activities.. These are rafting, canyoning or kayaking, among others. For this reason, centres such as RocRoi offer specialised training courses so that all enthusiasts of these types of activities can learn and experience first-hand the work of guides, as well as learn the basic elements of a service of these characteristics and carry out rescue work. These courses are suitable for all those who want to turn their passion, adventure sports, into their profession.   

  

Adventure sports training 

What is the aim of this training? To become a sports technician with specific teachings according to the discipline or activity and at the same time to acquire general knowledge in terms of safety. At our facilities we receive every year professional training centres from different territories whose students seek to achieve the qualification of guide and receive the technical knowledge that will allow them to carry out this work.   

In addition, they can take their first steps in the profession through professional practices. “It is common for many of these students to stay for internships and thus be able to accompany a group in activities such as kayaking or sailing,” explains Frederic Br√ļ, director of the RocRoi sea vertical and the center that we operate in Vilanova i la Geltr√ļ.¬†

In the aquatic environment, for example, training blocks of more than 90 hours are offered in which students take their first steps with sailing or paddling boats, depending on the type of training. In theend, the challenge is to achieve technical autonomy on board various types of vessels and in specific conditions, to acquire the right knowledge and know how to put it into practice with groups of clients. 

‚ÄúThe important thing is to be comfortable in the enviroment, to master the relational part with the customer‚ÄĚ, points out Gustavo Ortas, partner and head of training at the new UR Pirineos center in Murillo de G√°llego.¬†

As it is a pyramid programme, students can gain experience in all areas of adventure sport. Thus, they will be able to work as snow sports instructors, whitewater descent guides or sailing, paddle surfing or Big Sup instructors. 

 

Rescue and salvage courses 

‚ÄúThere is a common block regarding the design of the itinerary, progression, self-rescue and first aid. In short, it consists of learning how to develop an itinerary, embarkation and disembarkation points, part of the logistics, function in the environment, guide other people and take charge of risk management‚ÄĚ, Ortas points out.¬†

Therefore, rescue training is another of the most valuable attributes for the proper functioning of adventure sports centers. In addition, to the pedagogical work they carry out with clients so that they can develop with ease on the specific discipline or activity, each monitor or guide must be prepared to respond to extreme situations in which to help or rescue any of the prarticipants. 

“In short, it is about acquiring basic knowledge whether in the river, in the sea or in the ravines, to know how to rescue oneself and learn to react in certain emergency situations”, concludes the head of the Ribes-Roges nautical base.¬†¬†¬†

These courses are not only aimed at adventure sports enthusiasts and sports professionals who want to expand their curriculum, but are also aimed at students of sport and physical education, as well as security personnel, such as police and firefighters. Without going any further, UR Pirineos has provided training from Rescue 3, an international accreditation body for technical rescue courses with more than four decades of experience.   

This type of training is aimed at all those who want to be technical instructors in white water and flood rescue. The fire brigade teams of the Madrid and Zaragoza City Councils have carried out these trainings, for example.