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0 Behind the Thrills with Matt Knott | River Riders

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The Guide Life: Behind the Thrills with Matt Knott


Do you ever just wonder what it’s like in someone else’s world? Each month, we’ll be giving you a mini peek into the quirky and intriguing side of our employees (or in the case of today’s highlight…our CEO!).

River Riders' CEO Shares about Adventure

We asked Matt Knott, president and CEO of River Riders, a few fun questions about his journey in the adventure industry.

While Matt started his adventure journey as a river guide, since he’s been CEO and president of the growing company, his time is spent less ‘in the middle of adventure’ and more ‘in the middle of the business’. But he still loves the thrill of running such an exciting company and makes sure he finds time to foster his own love for adventure!

Enjoy his answers below. Oh, and check out “How do you relax?” Pretty epic way to relax!

Question: How long have you been with River Riders?

Answer:  “24 years”


Question: How did you get into the guiding/adventure related industry?

Answer: “My older brother and several friends were raft guides. A friend of mine suggested we respond to an ad in the paper, but it was for Blue Ridge Outfitters. We went to River Riders on accident and loved it.  The first time I went rafting that day, I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

We’d say that ended up being a pretty fortuitous accident!


Question: What’s the first memory you have of an adrenaline rush when you were a child?

Answer:   “My dad’s cousin, who worked on our farm, told me that when I was 3 years old, they couldn’t find me one day. They finally found me standing in the middle of the barnyard with the cows in a major thunderstorm looking up at the sky!”


Question: What’s the absolute craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Answer:  “Quitting my job at State Farm and buying River Riders”

We’re glad you did!


Question: What would you say to someone that wants adventure but doesn’t know how to make the time for it?

Answer:  “You can’t afford not to do it. The only way to really find yourself is to get out of your comfort zone and explore nature.”


Question: Most awkward moment on the river…go…

Answer: “As a guide, once, I fell out of the raft and landed on my head on a rock, then I had to swim back to the raft in excruciating neck pain and have my guests help me back in the raft because it hurt so much.  I finished the run, though!”

Yes, awkward. But rather ‘boss’ that you finished!


Question: What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Answer: “Cranberry oatmeal”

So healthy! Nice.


Question: How do you relax?

Answer:  “Fly airplanes”

So…can we expect that as the next added adventure at River Riders?!


Question:  What’s an adventure or destination on your bucket list?

Answer:   “I love travelling with my family. I still have hundreds of places I want to go. The one I always talk about, though, is running the Grand Canyon.”

Ooh, can we come?! 


Thanks, Matt, for sharing a little about yourself and for continuing to provide great experiences for all of us seeking adventure!

To see more of our other employees, visit Riverriders.com. Look for more employee highlights in the months to come.