I like to think about instructor PEDIGREE. Where did they get their training and experience from? Who were or are their coaches and instructors? Training. Certifications. Competitive backgrounds or paddling career highlights. And again look for that matchup with your interests.
And then there is the all encompassing EXPERIENCE. Paddling experience is one thing. Instructing, guiding and coaching experience are quite another. Look for both - but especially the latter. I have seen some great paddlers who are poor instructors and coaches.
One final word. Don’t fall for marketing hype. Claims about being “the best” or whatever, abound out there. Let the pedigree and experience of the company and instructors speak for itself.
Reviews and testimonials are definitely something to look for.
Hope that helps when you are trying to find or decide on a great instructor.
Paddle Canada River 1 and 2 Instructor Trainer
Coach and Mentor to CANRVRSUP's
Head Instructor Reta Boychuk