Brad Self

Brad Self

What is the best part of the job?

Seeing the enjoyment of all types of people as they experience something I love to do. Whether it be the first timer or the experienced rafter riding along with me for umpteenth time.

Why do you think people should go on a rafting trip?

Being outside and challenging yourself is good for the human spirit. It’s something that so many never experience.

What is a fun fact about you?

This season on the Ocoee River will be the year that I have spent half my living summers as a guide.

Why would I want you as a guide?

This season on the Ocoee River will be the year that I have spent half my living summers as a guide.

How long and Why/How did you start working at Ocoee Inn Rafting?

Started in the summer of 2001 (makes it really easy to remember which season is coming up, 2022 = 22nd season). After a year of college and working in restaurants a great friend (Kent H. on the guide page) recommended I come join the crew at OIR. It was a decision that truly changed the direction my life took.

What are some crazy/adventurous things you’ve done?

In hindsight the riskiest/most dangerous thing I’ve ever done had nothing to do with whitewater (although some might debate this). Myself and Kent H. were mountain biking years ago and lost track of time. Ended up riding wide open down the mountain (about 1200 feet elevation) in the dark with the moon barely illuminating the trees above and next to no light on the trail. I guess “young and dumb” is a saying for a reason, luckily made it with only almost wrecking.

What do you love about Ocoee Inn Rafting?

The life-long friendships that have grown in this place. Sometimes I think my fellow guides know things about me that my real siblings don’t. This is probably true.

Do you have anything to tell first-time rafters?

Don’t be afraid to speak up to your trip leader or guide. If you are anxious/nervous let us know. I count myself lucky to help individuals overcome their anxiety and push out of their comfort zone. We will do our best to help you feel at ease if needed. On the other side, if you want to push the envelope let us know.

Where did you grow up? If not not locally, what brought you here?

The first 14 years of my life were spent in a suburb of Detroit, MI. My family moved to Cleveland, TN at the start of my freshman year in high school. I am still a U of M fan so if you are from O—O you may want to request Jon G.

What does your off season look like?

I teach everyone’s favorite subject, math, at Cleveland High School. Which is the school I went to that year I moved from Michigan.

What are your hobbies?

Whitewater, Mountain Biking, Fly-Fishing, Golf, and Basketball to name a few. Of course, most of my free time involves figuring out when train A crashes into train B.

What/Who inspires you?

My family, I have a beautiful wife (Lindsey) and daughter (Isabella) that keep me in check.

Brad Self
Brad Self