About us

About US

 

Rendezvous River Sports & Jackson Hole Kayak School

Rendezvous River Sports and Jackson Hole Kayak School are now in our 26th season of operation. Rendezvous is the hub of paddle sports in Wyoming and is located in the heart of Jackson at 945 W. Broadway. Led by World Class expeditionary kayaker Aaron Pruzan, Jackson Hole Kayak School has the most experienced staff in the region. From international first descents, national-level Wildwater and freestyle competition, World Cup slalom racing and touring kayaking from Maine to Mexico and the Pacific Northwest our instructors have expertise in all aspects of paddling. This breadth of knowledge (combined with over 60 years cumulative of teaching) gives an added element to our courses that all of our guests benefit from. In addition to kayaking, Aaron has personally been at the forefront of river Conservation and access issues in Wyoming and the intermountain region. As a founding board member of the Snake River Fund and a board member of American Whitewater, Aaron is working not only to keep the Snake user fee-free but also to ensure the long term health of the upper Snake River watershed and its outstanding scenic and recreational values. We are fortunate to live and work in this unique area and look forward to sharing both our passion for paddle sports and the wonders of Yellowstone Country with all our guests - we hope you join us! Courses include lunch, transportation, and equipment. We provide only the best boats and gear for your lessons. To get the most from your course we make sure you are matched to the appropriate boat. Comfortable custom outfitting is one of our hallmarks.

 

Meet Our Instructors

 

aaron

Aaron Pruzan

Jackson Hole Kayak School Owner and Instructor

Aaron Pruzan is the owner of Rendezvous River Sports and Jackson Hole Kayak School. As an instructor and coach, he has introduced thousands of people of all ages to the sport of kayaking since 1993. In 1996 Aaron founded the Jackson Hole Kayak Club to promote youth kayaking in the Jackson Hole area. In 2009 he began working with Teton Adaptive Sports to provide adaptive paddling opportunities in Northwest Wyoming. This also includes working with Honoring Our Veterans and Rivers of Recovery who help provide outdoor experiences for returning veterans.

Over the past three decades, Aaron has been deeply involved with many whitewater expeditions, exploratory descents, and kayaking competitions. This includes exploratory descents in Wyoming, British Columbia, Chile, Argentina & Siberia and numerous victories at regional kayaking races.

In addition to his activities on the water, Aaron has worked tirelessly for river stewardship as a founding board member of the Snake River Fund and a board member of American Whitewater. This includes being one of the leaders of the Campaign for the Snake River Headwaters – one of the largest conservation measures in Wyoming which was signed into law in 2009. His river stewardship work continues with the Wilson & South Park Beach Parks Project.

Aaron still enjoys expedition kayaking, racing and has been among the pioneers of stand up paddling on whitewater in the winter he tries to ski as much as possible. Aaron lives in Wilson, Wyoming with his wife Tamsen and their kids, Noah, Nate & Neve
will

 

Will Taggart

Rendezvous River Sports Store Manager

Will Taggart has been kayaking for 23 years starting at 13 years old. He started out paddling with a trained slalom C-1 racer Timothy Trezise and practiced in Logan, Ut on the local runs there with a slalom course on the Logan River. The "Ender Hole" was his first playspot on the Logan River where some of the first controlled cartwheels were happening in the industry. Graduating from Utah State University Will moved to Jackson, Wyoming for the long paddling season that he missed out on living in Utah. He's since been involved with the paddlesports industry working at Rendezvous river sports for over 10 years now. Still paddling nearly every day with the Rendezvous Crew his passion for kayaking lives on.

In addition to paddling, Will is an enthusiastic winter sports athlete. Skiing, mountaineering, snowboarding, and snowkiting are all passions carried through in the offseason when the snow is falling.

ling, Will is an enthusiastic winter sports athlete. Skiing, mountaineering, snowboarding, and snowkiting are all passions carried through in the offseason when the snow is falling.

 

Max Pelosi

Max Pelosi

Jackson Hole Kayak School Director 

Max is from Atlanta where he started outdoors fishing with his father. He attended Young Harris College in North Georgia focusing on outdoor education. He graduated from Brevard College in western North Carolina with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. While attending school in the southern Appalachian mountains he fell in love with kayaking. After a brief stint back in Atlanta he realized it wasn't for him and moved to Jackson, Wyoming.

Since arriving in Wyoming in 2012 Max has been teaching kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and canoeing for the Jackson Hole Kayak School. At the end of 2016, he became the director. He still loves getting out of the office to teach and grow the sport.

Max in his free time really enjoys competing in various games and sports. Most nights you can find him on the softball field or the bowling alley. He's not one I would typically challenge in bar or lawn games. During his off days, he's usually taking friends down the whitewater in a raft or fishing on one of the local rivers or lakes.

Max is an ACA certified L4 kayak and SUP Instructor, L4 Swift Water Rescue Instructor. He is a Wilderness First Responder through Desert Mountain Medicine.

 

Jonathan Souter

Jonathan Souter

Jackson Hole Kayak School Instructor

Jonathan started paddling in Vermont when he was 8 years old. At age 12 he made the US Cadet SL team, 15 the Junior US Slalom Team. He spent the next 4 years traveling around North America and Europe racing and competing in freestyle events including the Jr. Slalom World Championships in Bratislava Slovakia and the Men's Freestyle World Championships in Ottawa Canada. At age 15 Jonathan also found his passion for teaching kayaking at the local camp Adventure Quest. He took his first ACA Instructors course in 1998 when he was 16 years old and used his skills to teach kayak lessons and coach Slalom and Freestyle through High School. After Graduating High School Jonathan went to Colorado College in Colorado Springs where he found his niche in the Outdoor Recreation Committee (ORC) teaching kayaking, backcountry skiing, and backpacking to his colleagues. For Jonathans Senior Project for his Environmental Science Degree at CC, he traveled to Chile and studied the Environmental and Economic impacts of Hydroelectric Power on the Bio Bio and Futaleufu rivers.

In 2002 during summer break from CC Jonathan moved up to Jackson WY to teach Kayaking at Rendezvous River Sports/Jackson Hole Kayak School. He continued to work there during the summer seasons until 2004 when Jonathan graduated from CC and moved to Jackson full time. In the fall of 2004, Jonathan traveled to Costa Rica to coach freestyle and teach Math and Science for the New River Academy's Huge Experiences program. He returned to Huge Experiences for the fall semester 2005 as the Associate Head of School, Head Math Teacher, and Freestyle coach. He traveled around eastern North America and New Zealand teaching, coaching, and kayaking. In the Spring of 2006 Jonathan took a Professional Instructors Course with The National Outdoor Leadership School and over the years has worked several kayaks, raft, canoe courses in the Rocky Mountains with NOLS.

Jonathan currently lives in Jackson WY with his wife Charlotte and son Arlo. He is a manager for the Jackson Hole Kayak School, the Head U14 ski racing coach for the Jackson Hole Ski Club, and sits on the boards of the local non-profit Jackson Hole Kayak Club and Snake River Fund. He is a Wilderness First Responder, ACA Certified Level 5 Swift Water Rescue Instructor, ACA Certified Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor Trainer.

 

Andy lex

Andy Lex

Jackson Hole Kayak School Instructor

Andy Lex was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and has always had a love of the outdoors. His passion for teaching began at the age of 17 when he started guiding rock-climbing in the Wyoming backcountry. This was just the beginning of his outdoor education experiences. After high school graduation, Andy moved to Steamboat, Colorado to pursue his love of snowboarding, rock climbing, and whitewater kayaking. Andy spent the summers of 2003 – 2004 working for High Cascade Snowboard Camp in Mt. Hood, Oregon, and the summers of 2005-2007 as a rock climbing guide for Rocky Mountain Ventures and kayak instructor at the Mountain Sports Kayak School in Steamboat, Colorado. Finally, at the age of 23, Andy pursued his interest in personal scholarship; taking a hiatus from ski-town life to attend Colorado State University where he earned a BS, Business Administration. After graduation, Andy fulfilled a life-long dream and moved to Jackson, Wyoming to work in the mountains and on the rivers. Andy has worked as a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and served as Head Snowboard Coach for the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club’s freeride program. At this writing, Andy is pursuing a Master’s degree in Education, Leadership, and Policy – specializing in teaching adult learners. Andy is a certified American Canoe Association (ACA) L4 Whitewater Instructor. ACA L4 Swift Water Rescue Instructor. ACA L3 Stand Up Paddle Board Instructor. NOLS/WMI Wilderness First Responder. This summer Andy will be working on select courses with his returning guests. This will be Andy’s 9th season teaching for the Jackson Hole Kayak School.

 

Tyler babcock

 

Tyler Babcock

Rendezvous River Sports Instructor

From canoes to kayaks, kayaks to rafts and back again, T-Bone celebrates his 13th summer as a river guide this year! Tyler hails from Salt Lake City, Utah where early on he fell in love with skiing. He spends the winter Wyoming months working at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and follows that love into the melted snows of the summer. T-bone can play the harmonica, strum the guitar, and recite Shakespeare. With this abbreviated list of talents, you will surely be in great hands with T-Bone here on the rivers and lakes of the old west!

 

Conor Kelleher

Conor Kelleher

Jackson Hole Kayak School Instructor

Originally from Big Sky Montana, Conor has been in and out of whitewater kayaking since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. His Home river is the Gallatin River that acts as a tributary to the Missouri River and also is where the infamous movie A River Runs through it was filmed. Conor spent the majority of his youth kayaking with his family and friends around Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. He was fortunate enough to attend The New River Academy (which has since merged with World Class Kayak Academy).

After high school Conor worked for the Yellowstone club as a ski instructor and attended Montana State University, eventually graduating with a B.S. in History with a focus on Science and Technology. After which he spent three years working In Garmish-Partenkerchen, Germany for the military as a ski instructor and eventually landing in Jackson Hole where his old kayak coach Jon Souter gave him a job teaching for Rendezvous River sports. Where his passion for river life has remerged. After his first summer, Conor spent a winter overseas teaching skiing in Hokkaido, Japan. Now, however, Conor Works as an instructor for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

 

Tom Gehling

Tom Gehling 

Jackson Hole Kayak School Instructor

Thomas hails from the seacoast region of New Hampshire, where he grew up playing on the lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. His outdoor leadership education began with a NOLS course in southern Chile that set him on a path that would lead to Jackson. While attending the University of Vermont, Thomas coached prospective leaders in the Paddle For Development class before turning his attention to whitewater. He would serve as president of the UVM Kayak Club until heading to the deep woods of Maine to river guide full-time. After 3 years of commercial rafting on class IV and V rivers, he moved to Big Sky, MT and fell in love with the mountain west. Thomas now splits his time between Jackson, WY, and Moab, UT. When he is not paddling, you will likely find him backcountry skiing, riding his bike or lost in a Sci-Fi novel. This will be Thomas’s fourth season with Rendezvous River Sports and he currently serves as the Wildlife Officer for the Grand Teton National Park programming. He is an ACA certified L4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor, Wilderness EMT, L4 Swift Water Rescue certified and a Leave No Trace Master Educator.

 

Connor Phillips

Connor Phillips 

Jackson Hole Kayak School Instructor

Connor grew up in Lodi, California, made famous by the CCR song "Stuck in Lodi." But he's not stuck anymore, despite his 150 years of family history in the area. Connor moved to Maine to attend Bowdoin College and quickly discovered paddlesports. He began instructing his peers while he was still learning, joking that he was always just one step ahead of his students. He credits his compassion and empathy to years of working with his classmates at school. His degree may say Earth and Oceanographic Science and, yes, he can certainly teach you about the geology and hydrology of the Tetons. But he claims that his primary academic focus was whitewater kayaking. Before joining Rendezvous River Sports, Connor worked in outdoor education and guided multiweek whitewater kayak expeditions for kids. This work allowed him to combine his passions of teaching youth outdoor programs, whitewater kayak instruction, and wilderness medicine. He is a Wilderness EMT, Level 4 whitewater kayak instructor, NAI Interpretive Guide, and a ski instructor during the winter. Though he spends most of his time whitewater kayaking, Connor is at home with any craft, including kayaks, rafts, SUPs, and canoes. Outside of work, Connor is always with his dog Pepper. They love to run up mountains, ride the local trails, and ski in the backcountry. Connor also loves to cook and Pepper makes a great sous chef whose primary role is taste-testing.

 

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