Becoming an Ecomarine Instructor or Guide

Being an instructor is a hugely rewarding and fun occupation. If you have a passion for paddling, an interest in developing your skills, and most importantly a desire to share the sport with others, we would love to talk to you about joining our team!

Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres has introduced over 50,000 paddlers to the world of kayaking and stand up paddling since 1980. Our paddling school has grown to be one of the most respected in the world and our success is due in large part to our dedicated and skilled Instructor team. We employ a team of about 25-30 Paddle Canada certified Instructors and SKGABC Guides every season. Many are part time instructors with a core group of staff work full time. We also offer guiding, retail and rental positions which when combined with instructing can offer full time seasonal employment opportunities.  All positions are based in Vancouver, BC at either (or both) of our waterfront locations. Ecomarine is composed of the following four key elements and we have employment opportunities within each:

  1. Instruction & guiding
  2. Retail
  3. Rental facilities & equipment
  4. Administration & programming

Requirements for Becoming an Ecomarine Instructor:

There are many important steps to becoming a Paddle Canada certified Instructor.  Please consider this process carefully before beginning as it involves a serious commitment of time and resources.

  1. Skills:
    • Kayaking experience – Ideally, you will have 10 overnight tripping days. As a minimum, you will need to have solid Paddle Canada Level One Skills.
    • SUP experience – Ideally, you are confident in a variety of water conditions and have touring experience. As a minimum, you will need Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater SUP skills.
  1. First aid certification – Participation in a Standard First Aid program (14-16 hrs) with CPR-C is required to become a SUP or Basic Kayak Instructor. A 40 hour wilderness based first aid program is recommended for the Level One Instructor Course.
  1. Paddle Canada Instructor Certification – Please see program dates for our Instructor Courses here: Basic Sea Kayaking, Level 1 Sea Kayaking, Advanced Flatwater SUP. For kayaking, we recommend you begin with the Basic Kayak Instructor certification.
  1. Instructor ApplicationSubmit your application online here or ideally, drop it off in person to our Granville Island location (Monday to Friday).

*Requirements for becoming a guide are similar; however, we do not offer Ecomarine guide certification courses.  Please review Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC Website for details on their requirements and upcoming courses.

View the Instructor/Guide Job Description Here

 Once you have joined our Instructor Team the training process will be as follows:

  1. Ecomarine Training – Each spring we run in house training for our dedicated instructors as well as new hires. Training will focus on:
  • Paddling skills
  • Logistics of running an Ecomarine program
  • Instructional and coaching skills
  • Guiding skills and local knowledge
  • Product knowledge and sales skills
  1. Scheduling – We begin scheduling instructors in January so knowing your summer availability early will allow you to commit to programs as soon as possible and will give you to access more work. You must be available to work May through mid-September, including weekends and evenings. The amount of work you have access to will depend upon your availability during our busy times, which is evenings and weekends in the summer months.
  1. Observing – Prior to teaching a program you must observe it being taught by a seasoned instructor. The School Director will arrange for you to observe each course you are qualified to teach, at least once, and will work with you to help you develop your teaching skills.
  1. Assisting – Once you feel comfortable with the program content you will be able to assist on a program as a second instructor. The School Director will pair you with a seasoned instructor who will mentor you through the process. You will be given the opportunity to teach sections you are comfortable with and observe those sections you are unsure of. Ideally you will assist on at least two sessions of each program you are qualified to teach.
  1. Leading – Once you feel confident with the program content you will be given the chance to lead a program with a seasoned instructor aiding you as back up. After this you will be ready to teach on your own and possibly begin to mentor other new instructors.

Ecomarine is seeking instructors with patience, enthusiasm, motivation, maturity, creativity and knowledge.  These attributes will ensure a safe, respectful and enjoyable learning environment for all of our students. Thank you for considering becoming an Ecomarine Instructor or Guide, please get in touch if you have any questions.