ABOUT US

  • Chinook Rafting is THE family rafting company!
  • Kids raft for free on their birthday.
  • We have rivers ranging from MILD to WILD.  Something for every level of adventure seeker!
  • No hidden extra costs after you book: all of your personal and safety equipment, an experienced guide, and even photos for your social media are included in the price.
  • We have 35 years of experience, so we know our rivers and we know how to have fun.
  • We offer exceptional levels of guest interaction and service, and provide adventure, entertainment, interpretation, team building and education.
  • We use top quality modern equipment and have industry-leading risk management strategies and safety standards in place.
  • We want whitewater rafting to be the highlight of your trip to the Canadian Rockies, and will do everything we can to make sure you have a great day.
  • We know you will come back for another visit after rafting with us – just check out our TripAdvisor reviews!

MEET OUR TEAM - ABOUT OUR GUIDES

  • Guides are essential to the enjoyment of your trip, so we choose our team carefully. Many have been guiding internationally for over 10 years now.
  • We are highly trained professionals committed to showing you a great time on the water.
  • Every guide possesses the Professional Rivers Outfitters Association of Alberta (PROAOA) rafting license, along with First Aid, CPR & River Rescue qualifications as minimum standards.
  • We will share our knowledge, local stories, enthusiasm, skills and passion for rafting with you and leave the most lasting memories for you to tell your friends and family.
Richard the Raft Guide Senior Trip Leader at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide (Operations Manager)

Richard van der Ploeg - Netherlands

During his time studying mechanical engineering, Richard took every opportunity to sneak off and play in the water. Summers were spent guiding in beautiful Slovenia with rafting on the Soca river and also heaps of canyoning and caving. Expeditions, work and randomness brought him to Canada, La Reunion, Italy, Sri Lanka, Azores, Tropical Belgium, New Zealand, Honduras and other gems. With over 15 years of experience in outdoor tourism, he’s now a full-time guide by day. When he’s not around the flowing waters outside, it is highly likely you can find him making laps in the swimming pool, discussing which Taylor Swift song is best (Wildest Dreams!), welding some steel together or daydreaming about ice cream, pizza or cookies, in no particular order. His all-time favourite quote: “Njom njom njom njom” – Cookie Monster.

Lead Guide Gabriel for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Senior Trip Leader)

Gabriel Arias - Ecuador

Being born and raised in Ecuador, Gabriel’s passion for the great outdoors and adventure started early in life. Having worked as a guide for youth camps and a national tour guide in Ecuador, he has led multi-sport expeditions to the Galápagos Islands, the Andes mountains and the Amazon. As a trip leader, rafting guide and avid kayaker, he has explored class III and IV rivers in Ecuador, Argentina, Canada and the United States. He now calls Canada home and has proudly been working for Chinook Rafting since 2017.

Raft Guide Maven for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide & Off-River Assistant

Maven Boddy - Canada

As a recent university graduate, I can think of nothing better to do with my economics degree than spend the summer whitewater rafting and spending as much time as possible outside unicycling, wandering up mountains, and canoeing. When I’m not outside, I enjoy training jiu-jitsu, making kombucha, and serenading people on the piano. I am so excited to share the beautiful mountain views and thrilling whitewater with you adventurous people.

Raft Guide Sarah for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide & Off-River Assistant

Sarah Royce - Canada

Hello, my name is Sarah, and I’m excited to be on the river soon for my third season with Chinook! I’ve grown up paddling in Ontario, and I’ve done whitewater trips on the Madawaska, Spanish, French and Dumoine River. I’ve been working as a Lifeguard for ten years during the summers, most recently as a member of the Port Stanley Beach Patrol. I’ve been living in the Bow Valley for the past five years now, and I am stoked to get out on the water again this summer. I’ve just finished my second season with Sunshine Village Ski Patrol. When I’m not at work, I enjoy climbing, hiking, skiing, and biking.

Chris
Raft Guide (Senior Trip Leader)

Chris Burnham - UK/Canada

Originally from the UK, Chris is at home on rivers worldwide having kayaked and rafted for over 25 years in places like the UK, France, Italy, Norway, Argentina, USA, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Nepal, India & Zambia. He is a rafting examiner for the BC and AB River Outfitters Association, a certified kayaking instructor, a Swiftwater & Ice Rescue Technical Instructor for Rescue 3 International, and is an Emergency Medical and Advanced Wilderness First Responder. In his spare time, he is also a Volunteer Firefighter with the Banff Fire Department.

Chris also has a strong background in rope rescue and has worked for the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association. Chris brings a wealth of experience, skill and charisma to our team. Asked how his rafting career began, “I suppose it all started when I was 10 years old. My local Scout Group had just bought six new kayaks, so I started testing them out on a nearby river. After a year of weekly kayaking lessons, my dad bought me my first kayak, and before I knew it I was becoming hooked. My desire to combine both my passion for kayaking with my love for travelling eventually led me to train as a Whitewater Raft Guide.”

Trip Leader David for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

David Romero Velo - Costa Rica

Hello there!
I’m David from Costa Rica, my nickname is Jesus and I have done local studies related to tourism. I’m always looking for outdoor activities in my off time and work time,haha. I’m so excited to meet you all and share this amazing adventure in the river, and being grateful to life for these experiences.

I have worked on different Costa Rican jungle rivers for the last years, so it means this will be my first experience abroad doing rafting. I’m gonna make sure to give you the best time ever while delighting in the energy of nature. PURA VIDA! See you on the river!

Driver Hiro for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Driver & Trip Assistant

Hiro Miura - Japan/Canada

Hi, I am Hiro, a long time Bow Valley Resident. I have been involved with a lot of TV filming and guiding within Canada and around the world. You won’t see me on the river, but you will see me behind the handle. I will be your captain while you are on the bus.

Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Cristobal de Bittencourt - Chile

Hi everyone, my name is Cristobal you can call me Chris. I am 30 years old from northern Patagonia, Chile where I work in the Canadian winter on the Petrohue river. I am a white water guide and kayaker. I’ve been working as a rafting guide for about 8 years with experience in different rivers in Chile, Norway, USA, Ecuador and Europe. In the last few months, I’ve been building my own house and garden. In my free time, I like to cook, play music and share this with my friends.

James McKinlay
Raft Guide (Senior Trip Leader)

James McKinlay - Australia

From Australia, I started working in the outdoors in 2013 as a bushwalking, rock climbing, & rafting guide! Leading 10 day expeditions all around Australia, I discovered that my passion for the wild rivers surpassed my other hobbies and I have since raft guided on the Snowy, Murrumbidgee and Barron Rivers. If I’m not out paddling I’ll be out surfing, climbing, or doing pretty much anything to stay outside.

Heather-01
Off-River Assistant

Heather Chrystie - UK/Canada

Heather is an import to Canada, hailing originally from England.  She fell in love with all that Canada’s vastness has to offer at the age of 18, and has since spent years living and working in the Canadian Rockies.

In between being off-river manager for Chinook Rafting, Heather loves to get out in these beautiful mountains both on her own and with guests as part of her work as a qualified hiking and wildlife guide.

A keen ski-tourer and advocate of cool weather, Heather spends some of the off-season guiding polar bear and northern lights trips in Northern Canada.  Her passion is showcasing the natural world, making nature’s beauty available to everyone who visits it.

Raft Guide Paz for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Paz Gajardo Hernandez - Chile

I have been competing in slalom kayaking for a few years on the world champs in Slovakia, in Prague, and the Panamerican champs in Toronto and Rio de Janeiro. I’ve also done many friendly nationals and binationals in south Argentina and Chile. For rafting, I’m in the Correntina’s team, the actual IRF national champs, and they are my awesome team in daily life too. We have been training and competing in rafting world champs in Argentina and China, and in our awesome rivers in Chile, like the Trancura river, Liucura river, Ñuble river, Rio Bueno river and the most beautiful where I was working last winter, the Petrohué river. I enjoy kayaking in all these rivers too, and had two amazing two paddling trips in California <3 And in all these travels, I’m sharing the river love and have made awesome friends around the globe, thank you all !!!!

Rafting Guide Tadhg with Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide

Tadhg Dignan - Ireland

Hi there, my name is Tadhg and I’m a 24-year-old from Ireland. My name may sound strange but it’s easy to pronounce I promise. This will be my first time as part of the chinook team but I’ve been working as a canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddler guide for the last 6 years. I studied outdoor education and leisure in college and fell in love with the field. From the first time I experienced white water, I was hooked I’ve travelled the length and breadth of Ireland (not that far really) chasing rain for harder and hard rivers to run and hope to find the same thrill as part of the Chinook Rafting team.

Rafting Guide Adrian with Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide

Adrian Vendrig - Canada

Hi everyone! I’m stoked to join the Chinook Rafting team for my first season. Originally from Ontario, I graduated from Algonquin College’s Outdoor Adventure Program in 2015. I have guided on the mighty Ottawa River, Petawawa River, and Madawaska River back home as well as the Rouge, Gatineau, and Jacques Cartier rivers in Quebec. I am a Wilderness First Responder and International Trauma & Life Support Provider. In my spare time, you’ll find me in a kayak on the river or cooking at home. During the winter I work on the Ski Patrol & Snow Safety Team at Nakiska Ski Area.

Raft Guide Christian for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide

Christian MacDonald - Canada

Hey y’all, my name is Christian. I grew up here in Alberta doing whitewater trips on the North Saskatchewan River and am super stoked to be joining the Chinook team as a guide this summer. When I’m not on the river, you can find me hiking or climbing. In the winters, I’m skiing at Sunshine Village, where I work as a Ski Patroller.

Off River Assistant Ana for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Off-River Assistant

Ana Jessett - UK

Hi, I’m Ana from the UK. I worked as a lifeguard for many years back home and was fortunate enough to experience some amazing summers in New England in the USA working on the lakes, canoeing and kayaking basically living the dream. Most winters you’ll find me on a board up a mountain though. This will be my first summer at Chinook and you’ll be able to spot me working off the river taking some action shots and making sure everyone is getting the most out of their trip.

Driver Bastiaan with Chinook Rafting in Banff
Driver & Trip Assistant

Bastiaan de Bruijne - Canada

Born in the Netherlands I came to Canada for a new adventure. I worked the last 20 winters as a Snowmobile guide and the summers as a Hiking guide and later as a tour guide across Canada & Alaska. This is my first season with Chinook Rafting. On my days off you can find me hiking or biking the local trails.