Tom Rylands

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?


Where do you call home now?

South Lake Tahoe and Lotus, California

Year started at OARS?


Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike or camp and what makes it special

One of my favorite rapids has to be Tunnel Chute. There’s so much going on in that rapid with the water, and there is a lot of interesting history behind it.

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

I don’t really have a lucky charm or river tradition, but this job has definitely made me superstitious! If I have a rough day on the water, I try to avoid wearing the same combination of clothes on the river.

What can you not live without on a trip?

I love my cookies!

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

My favorite guiding memory is probably from the Kern River at a rapid called Ewings. I had a great group in my boat and they wanted to go big. It was the last last rapid of the day and we hit the meat of the wave and it flipped our boat. It was the first time that I flipped but everyone was fine and they actually loved the experience!