Be trained by the best. Our Instructors bring with them a wealth of knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and a fun-loving attitude.
Richard van der Ploeg is Chinook Rafting’s Operations Manager. He is from the Netherlands and 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 brought him to Canada, La Reunion, Italy, Sri Lanka, Azores, New Zealand, Honduras and other gems. With a total of 14 years experience in outdoor tourism, he’s now a full time raft guide chasing the endless summer. International certifications include Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Certified, an Alberta PROAOA rafting qualification, and he has been trained in Wilderness Advanced First Aid.
Chris Burnham is our Head Instructor. Originally from the UK and now a Canadian citizen, he has been kayaking for over 25 years and a professional raft guide for over 20 years. He is a rafting examiner for both the British Columbia River Outfitters Association & Professional River Outfitters Association Of Alberta. Chris is a certified Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Rescue & Surface Ice Rescue Instructor, Emergency Medical and Advanced Wilderness First Responder and has managed rafting companies & trained raft guides in Canada, USA, France, & Africa to name but a few. He has spent much of his life on the river kayaking & rafting. In his spare time he is also a Volunteer Fire Fighter with the Banff Fire Department.
Marshall Ezelle is originally from Alaska and learning to guide on the big, fast, and cold rivers native to the North, he has always had a ‘thing’ for rivers. Graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Marshall divided his time between Queenstown, New Zealand, Alaska, and the Canadian Rockies. He has guided professionally for over 12 years now and International certifications include Rescue 3 International Swiftwater Rescue Certified, a New Zealand River Workshop Certificate, a Professional River Outfitters Association Of Alberta qualification, and an Advanced Wilderness First Aid certificate. Marshall has a huge passion for rivers and would love to have a chance to show you why he does what he does.
All of our guest instructors also have many years of rafting experience under their belts and are holders of valid First-aid or Wilderness First-aid certificates and are qualified Swift Water Rescue Technicians as a minimum standard.
We ensure a guide-to-client ratio that guarantees you will be able to maximize your learning experience.