Guide Interview: Brad

This interview is part of a series of interviews in which we help you get to know these amazing and passionate people who help to make RITS what it is. To view more, check out the Guide Interviews page.


Brad learned about Rafting in the Smokies from his cousin and RITS guide, Birdman (Drew).  He was trained in 2016 and is from Orlando, Florida. He’s now solidly hooked on rafting!

How is the training program?

We do different drills and swim. You learn a lot about yourself as you push yourself harder to go on different rivers.

What’s your favorite part of the day?

Being first here and seeing all the boats and watching the water rise. I love that first trip. I love all the trips and being with my customers. I like showing them a good time and taking people out for their first site.

What do you do special with guests in your raft?

I’m pretty wild. I stand up on top of my head through Big Ben and spin around in circles while I do that. I show them a really great time.

Is this something you think you can do for a long time?

This is something I can do for the rest of my life. I’m just never going to stop doing it until I’m really old. I saw a boater out the other day and he was 62 years old. I want to be like that.

What do you think makes this addictive for you?

Pushing myself to do other rivers and experience never seeing the river before. Reading the water and driving yourself into smooth lines. Doing this every day is addictive. I’m not sitting inside.

Do you have a story that’s interesting to tell?

The first rapid was Upper Railroad and we were coming up to it and didn’t realize it was that steep. It was smooth since we had Birdman guiding. This was our first class IV/V river and we just smashed that first wave.


Are you ready to smash into some waves? Check out the Upper Pigeon River rafting trips at Rafting in the Smokies. If you want something smoother, paddle your way over to a Family Float rafting trip.