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Our Instructors

Jonny Ortiz

Home River: Nantahala River, NC

Jonny Ortiz loves teaching paddling because it allows guests to connect with nature in a unique way, taking them to places that are inaccessible by other means. He finds joy in pushing his students slightly out of their comfort zones, helping them grow both on and off the river. Jonny has met many incredible people, visited numerous great locations, and considers this work a fundamental part of his life.

Hobbies Outside of Work:
When not at work, Jonny can often be found on a river, either staring at the sky or performing cartwheels. He is actively involved with the ACA River Kayak Committee, spearheading the Regional Update program to enhance high-level instruction nationwide. Off the water, Jonny is very active at his local CrossFit gym, where he coaches members and mentors new coaches. Additionally, he enjoys biking—whether gravel or mountain biking—thriving on the thrill of speed and the challenge of chasing faster cyclists. Recently, Jonny has also cherished time with his 16-month-old child, who inspires him to grow and maintain an open mind.


  • NOC Master Guide
  • ACA L4 Instructor Trainer
  • ACA L5 Instructor
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • CrossFit L1 Trainer
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