Name: Reid Jackson
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Position at RMOC: Whitewater Kayak Instructor & Raft Guide
Certifications: ACA: Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor, ACA: Swift-water Rescue Tech, NOLS: Wilderness 1st Responder
When did you start guiding? I first began teaching kayaking when I was 19 years old. I realized that teaching kayaking was as much fun if not more rewarding than kayaking for myself.
When did you start at RMOC? I began working at RMOC in May of 2014.
What is your most rewarding experience while guiding? A few years ago, a father and his three sons came to RMOC to spend a few days kayaking with us. The trip went great, mostly because I realized that one of the most valuable things that I can provide as an instructor is a place where family can grow closer. It’s not always about kayaking, most of the time it’s about family and being with the people who we care about most.
Your most epic day? The most epic day that I have had on the river was a high-water trip down the Royal Gorge with the RMOC staff. I spent the first half of the day on the three-rocks section learning how to use rubber for the first time. Later, we were joined by rest of the folks from the shop for the more exciting Gorge trip. As we set out, the hail had set in, which made for an ominous curtain call to what felt like the deep unknown. Once we hit the first main rapid, the sun came out and the sense of community was never so strong. It seems that the people at RMOC always make for the best trips
Education/Background: I was born in North Carolina and spent much of my time learning to kayak in Southern Appalachia. To make ends meet, I’ve done just about every odd-job that you can think of. Kayaking has introduced me to some of the coolest people and experiences in my life, and I don’t think I will ever grow up because of it.
What do you do in the off season? I teach history to 7th graders in Colorado Springs.
Favorite beer: Any beer that doesn’t flow through a shoe first.
Favorite day off activity: I like to play music, and when the water is too low you’ll probably find me hanging out on the bus singing some down-home spiritual tunes.
Favorite whitewater run: I think the coolest run in the world is the Chattooga River in GA/SC. I love wilderness runs, and this one puts you as far away from the highway as you can get in the southeast.
Favorite thing after the river: Getting naked in the parking lot!