Maine White Water Rafting Guide: Zach Davis
Name: Zach Davis
Hometown: Smithfield, Maine
Age of First Rafting Trip: 14
Year you started guiding at Northern Outdoors: 2011
What type of guiding do you do? Whitewater Rafting, Leadership Programs
What do you enjoy most about working at Northern Outdoors?
Having a job that doesn’t feel like a job. Living, working, and playing within a community whose powerful common thread is a river.
What is your favorite river to guide, and your favorite rapid on that river?
The Penobscot. Cribworks.
What’s your classic Northern Outdoors memory?
The first time I tried to ferry above The Falls to the video spot. I was following Alex Nelson, a more experienced video boater than I, and when I went to leave the final eddy and make the push to the river left video spot, I plugged my bow and lost all momentum. At this moment in my life I was presented with two options: bail on the video spot and point my kayak down stream to run The Falls, or fight upstream for the video eddy knowing full well the consequence was upstream ferrying into the chundery beat-down immediately below. Needless to say, I chose poorly. I'd never really surfed anything in my kayak before and now I was at the mercy of one of the most powerful rapids on the Penobscot. It ripped my paddle out of my hands, imploded my skirt and dislodged my leg from the thigh brace of my Jackson Superstar. As I bobbed downstream, trying to pick up the scattered pieces of my whitewater yard sale, I looked upstream and there was Alex, safely in the video eddy, giving me a thumbs up and laughing his ass off. The river taught me something that day and I respected Nesowadnehunk Falls a little more going forward. Awesome memory.
Where do you adventure when you are not working?
The river, cook-outs with the river family, and the Kennebec River Pub & Brewery.
What do you do in the off-season when you’re not guiding for Northern Outdoors?
Ski Patrol at Sugarloaf
Tell us about any certifications, special talents, guide awards.
Level II Maine Whitewater Guide
Outdoor Emergency Care Technician
Professional Ski Patrol Association Certified Patroller
2011 Rookie Guide of the Year
2012 Penobscot Part-Time Guide of the Year
2013-2015 Iron Paddle Award
2016 Outstanding Performance Award
What rivers have you run outside of Maine?
Hudson River, New York
Black River, New York
Colorado River, Arizona
Clackamas River, Oregon
Which Kennebec River Brewery beer is your top choice after a day on the river?
Magic Hole IPA