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3 min read

How a Whitewater Rafting Business Automatically Processes Forms

By Joey Blanco · December 18, 2017
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Running the family business comes with its own unique stresses and expectations. There's the brand—established before you were born—and, tied into that, a standard that customers expect. Plus, the day-to-day operations and maintenance required of any company.

Add whitewater, rafts, camping, and adventures and you get Kern River Outfitters. Founded in 1978 by Bob Volpert, Kern River Outfitters provides guided rafting tours in Idaho, Oregon, and the Kern River in California. Bob's three sons, Matt, Will, and Skip now own the rafting business, each managing a different river in each state.


Taking adventurers out on the Kern River and running the business is Matt Volpert. "Being an adventure activity operator means we generate thousands of online waivers," he explains. "These aren't straightforward name, signature and date forms either. They include allergies, emergency contact info, and more, so it's quite a bit of data."

Matt had himself a "Eureka!" moment while talking marketing, trends, and efficiency with a friend and fellow business owner who mentioned app automation tool Zapier. Matt soon learned that instead of spending hour upon hour processing thousands of waivers, Zapier could do it all for him instantly and automatically.

Instantly Create and Add Forms to a CRM

Kern River Outfitters runs guided trips all along the Kern River in southern California. This particular river has a bit of everything to offer, too: easier, Class II rapids on up to wild Class Vs. You can spend as little as two hours on the river or two days adventuring in the wild with Kern River Outfitters.

With such varied trips—and so many natural variables—waivers are a necessity. But that doesn't mean they're fun.

"[Processing waivers] was just brutal. Processing took hours and even worse, it was monotonous," Matt says. "So what we had was an important job that not only took hours but was boring as well."

When Kern River Outfitters received a waiver, Matt would have to enter the data into customer relationship manager (CRM), Streak. With an adventuring season lasting from April or May through the entire summer, the number of waivers the company processed was in the thousands.

Now, Matt uses a Zap—a bridge between two or more apps—to connect Formsite to their CRM. When a customer fills out a waiver through Formsite, Zapier automatically takes their information and creates a new box in Streak. Boxes in Streak contain customer data and, in this case, that information could be about an allergy or emergency contact information.

This Zap gives Matt's river guides easy access to anything they need to look out for, like a peanut allergy. So while your business may not need waivers, if you collect customer information, this Zap will instantly add all that data to your CRM.

Build Your Newsletter List with MailChimp

It's not just waivers Zapier helps Kern River Outfitters with: Matt also builds his newsletter lists with automated workflows. Any visitor to their website can opt in to join the newsletter by filling out a quick form from GetSiteControl. When the future-adventurer enters their email, Zapier gets to work!

For each new GetSiteControl entry, Zapier adds the customer's email address and name to a MailChimp list. No copy and paste needed—it's all done instantly.

To go one step further, Matt built a second Zap. This one takes new MailChimp subscribers and creates a box for them in Streak. With this box, Matt can track this customer's journey from newsletter sign-up on through to a booked adventure.


If you spend your days helping big groups navigate whitewater rapids and go camping, managing waivers takes time away from the outdoors. By bringing Zapier into Kern River Outfitters' regular workflows, Matt and his river guides spend less time fighting a torrent of paperwork and more time battling actual torrents.

What's your story? Tell us how you use Zapier to do more. You can also read even more customer stories and find new ways to improve your workflow and productivity.

All images courtesy of Kern River Outfitters.

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Joey Blanco picture

Joey Blanco

Joey Blanco is the founder of Zapier's video team. When he's not working (and even when he is, let's be honest), he's listening to pop-punk, dreaming of dinosaurs, and snuggling his dogs.

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