Legends of Rafting: Bill McGinnis

Bill McGinnis helped take commercial boating from its crude roots to the polished professionalism it practices today. In 1975, McGinnis wrote Whitewater Rafting, the first source on the techniques of the sport. That same year, he started Whitewater Voyages, which grew into California’s largest and most diversified river outfitter. McGinnis’s guide-training programs became industry standard, and his variety of trips offered were unequaled. For decades, if you were a boatman who wanted to guide the hard stuff, you worked for Voyages. A true believer in the potential for inspired growth on commercially guided trips, McGinnis bred a culture of inclusivity. His quest for “Deep Fun,” has been widely emulated. His books on rafting and guiding (he’s written four, and seven books total) wielded broad influence, and the California rivers that McGinnis pioneered for rafting have become standard fare for later generations.

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