Kayak Guide
Discovery Sea Kayaks

Lead Sea Kayaking Trips off the stunning San Juan Island of Washington State!

Pacific North West. One of the best places in the country.

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  • summer
  • fall

Kayak Guide

Discovery Sea Kayaks
Friday Harbor, Washington
$105.00 - $210.00 / day + tips
Some experience required
Start Date:
Starts immediately!

Sea Kayak Guide: San Juan Island, Wa State. Discovery Sea Kayaks.

We are reopening for a couple of kayak guide positions. Kayak Experience Preferred.

We are looking for individuals who have a passion for the outdoors, kayaking, and working with the public. Applicants should be in alignment with the company's values of providing safe and educational kayaking experiences. We feel strongly that every staff member should be able to work at a professional level and be eager to join our team and learn the skills required to be a Discovery Sea Kayak guide.

All prospective staff members must be prepared to work for the duration of the season with dynamic seasonal schedules and long days. Be able to work independently and maintain professionalism. 

The Hiring Process

Once we receive your application form and process through the details we will reach out to set a time for a video interview. The video meeting will give us a chance to get to know you and better understand why you chose to apply with Discovery. 

During the video interview, we will cover a short informational on job duties and responsibilities, work schedules, and training. This is also a good chance for you to let us know why you feel you will be a good fit for our team and why our company is attractive to you.

Upon conclusion of the video interview, we generally take 3 to 4 days to process the information covered. Individuals we believe are a good fit for the position will then be offered the opportunity to come to San Juan Island and complete kayak guide training. All kayak training must be completed before seasonal employment begins. Training is of no cost to you. The opportunity to achieve ACA Trip Leader award is available post-training. 

Job Responsibilities: Seasonal work is a team effort, and jumping in to help when needed is always appreciated. 

  • Lead and assist kayak tours and provide guests with a safe and educational experience. Pre-trip planning with tides and weather data collection. Maintain awareness of water conditions and changing weather patterns.
  • Arrive on time for trip prep and trip departures.  
  • Pre and Post-trip clean up of equipment and vans.
  • Van and Kayak washing.
  • Assist in shuttle driving for multi-day drop-offs and pick-ups when needed. 
  • Guide facility general duties: grass and brush trimming, garbage, and recycling disposal.
  • Equipment and maintenance assistance. (Kayak repairs etc.)
  • Some Kayak Tours require food preparation and meal planning.

Requirements: Online permits can be completed post-training

  • A valid First Aid and CPR certificate. (WFA, WFR, or Red Cross)
  • A valid driver’s license with a clean driving record. 
  • Be able to lift up to 75 pounds overhead.
  • Complete Discovery Sea Kayaks pre-season training program.
  • Complete Washington State Food Handler permit (Online before seasonal employment begins)
  • Complete the Washington State Kayak Guide permit (Online before seasonal employment begins)

Preferred Background: Preference is given to applicants with previous experience guiding and current kayak certifications.

  • ACA, BCU, or equivalent kayak certifications.
  • Previous kayak guide or other guide experience with a good reference from the previous employer. 
  • Biology or Ecology Background.

Employee Disposition: Traits we seek in new staff.

  • Positive attitude with a desire to learn.
  • Hard-working and flexible.
  • Able to work individually and as part of a team.
  • Punctual and detail-oriented.
  • Act with maturity and patience.

Workload: The season on San Juan Island flows like many seasonal locations. A slow start to a crazy busy middle and a fairly abrupt ending. 

  • May is generally the month we have new staff arrive for training. We will have a few tours departing but not a full schedule. Most time is focused on training, facility maintenance, and preparation of kayak equipment for the season. By late May we hope to have all new guides in the position to lead tours. 
  • June starts similar to May and generally, a bit of free time or guides to explore the island. As we approach mid-June the schedule of tours starts to be consistent and guides expect to be on the water most days of the week. 
  • July is the kickoff month for San Juan. Multiple tours depart daily with overnight tours going out twice a week. This is one of the busiest months of the season.
  • August will feel like July. The workload will be pretty much the same with guides working daily.
  • September starts strong then we start to reduce the departures as we progress through the month. This is a very weather-dependent month. But overall you can expect it to be busier than May or June. This is the last full month of tours. 
  • In October we offer tours for the first week while we relocate kayaks and equipment back to the base for winter storage. 

Thinking of the season as a bell curve is a good way to look at things. We start with training and free time is more available. As we hit the crest of the curve (July, August, and early September) it is difficult for us to schedule time off with regularity. 

We offer several departures each day, and night departures for approximately 2 weeks each month. Guides can expect to have two tours a day during the period we offer night tours. We understand the demands of a seasonal schedule and the time crunch of a short season. When accepting the position you must be prepared to work as the intensity of the season increases. 

How to Apply

Click Apply Now to complete our online application.

Contact Info