Rafting, Rock Climbing, Kayaking, BWCA Outfitting, Ice Climbing

Welcome to Hard Water Sports Rafting and Climbing Adventure Guides – Sharing fun, laughter, and Northwoods hospitality with countless happy adventure seekers.


Outdoor Adventures … Tours are based out of the historic quarry town of Sandstone, MN.  Known as the “First City of the
North Woods” – Sandstone is surrounded by nature with tall pine trees and rocky outcrops.  For more information about Sandstone, Minnesota please visit the Sandstone Tourism Development Council’s website at https://visitsandstonemn.com

We offer easy access to adventure with

Our activities are perfect for corporate groups, school classes, sports teams and families. We can also customize a private outing for your group.

History… it kinda all started back in 2004, long before there was a Hard Water Sports.  Tony Vavricka founded the Sandstone Ice Festival, helping to open the climbing in Robinson Park.  
A couple years later the Sandstone City Administrator and a couple City Counsel members asked Tony if he would organize a whitewater paddling festival in their town. In the position of promoting and directing the festivals Tony met a lot of adventure seekers looking for education and guided adventures.

511 main street sandstone minnesota

Recent History…in 2014 Tony had enough of the 9 to 5 life in the big city and decided to peruse his dreams of spending his days paddling and climbing.  

As of October of 2016 our rafting and gear shop has moved to our new home in downtown Sandstone MN.  We have big plans to expand the adventure opportunities in the Sandstone MN area. Please stop by for a visit – we’re at 511 Main Street, Sandstone MN 55072

minnesota whitewater

Our Guides…

Tony V, with close to 30 years of climbing experience and more than 18 years whitewater paddling Tony is comfortable leading multi-pitch trad routs or canoeing class 4 rivers. In addition to being the head guide, Tony teaches a swiftwater rescue class and drives the shuttle bus.
Since 2016 Tony has held a position on the Sandstone City Park and Rec board advocating for climbing and river access in Robinson Park.
(I also built and maintain the website and take full responsibility for the bad grammar and misspellings)

Jeff,  a great addition to the rafting team Jeff has been with Hard Water Sports since the summer of 2015. With 5 seasons of guiding on the New River before guiding the Kettle River, Jeff brings his years of insight and experience to the company.

Lily V,  after proofing herself as an assistant rafting guide, Lily was promoted to the position of Director of Fun.  You’re lucky if Lily is on the tour with you, expect to be swimming under waterfalls and jumping off rocks.

Captain Glen Dagger 

Jessica, after a summer of guiding the Shoshone section of the Colorado River Jessy joined up with Hard Water Sports.

Kettle River Kayaker

whitewater rafting guide
“director of fun” LILY.

Contact information…

phone 651 302 1774

email HardWaterSports@gmail.com

511 Main Street, Sandstone MN 55072
(across from the post office)

“Adam was an awesome guide”

River was beautiful. Swimming under the waterfall was a total bonus!

“Great fun tour and excellent guides!”

Thank you we enjoyed our day and look forward to coming back again.

Who knew Minnesota had white water rafting?

Tony and Lily were knowledgeable, patient, and respectful to everyone. A great experience and a great team! I’d rate them more than 5 if I could!

Awesome adventure, the whole family loved the river tour.

Whitewater rafting, cliff jumping, and walking under a waterfalls. Fun staff.
We’ll be returning for more rafting.

The river is a blast but the guides make it great.
“So much fun!! “

Our first time with any whitewater and it was great! We will be back using Hard Water Sports again!!!

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