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We’re Hiring! Join Us and Work Outside Creating Paddling Adventures

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Now Hiring Shore Staff, Supervisors, Managers, Sea Kayaking Guides & Stand-Up Paddleboard Guides

Portland Paddle is staffed by a talented team of folks who are passionate about paddling. Many of our staff members from past years return every summer, but we’re also seeking new members of our team for the 2023 paddling season.


  • SHORE STAFF: This is our entry-level position that involves supporting our sea kayak and paddleboard rentals and trips.
  • SITE SUPERVISOR: Similar to the core shore staff job, but also involves a leadership role supervising other staff and coordinating operations.

  • EQUIPMENT MANAGER: (Starts ASAP) This manager is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and deployment of our gear, equipment, vehicles and facilities. They may also assist with transporting gear and customers and coordinating the delivery of rentals.
  • SEA KAYAK and/or SUP GUIDE : You must have a valid sea kayak guide license from the state of Maine, or be prepared to get one by enrolling in our guide training course and taking the state guide exam, in order to guide or instruct any paddlecraft. Prior outdoor leadership experience required. ACA or similar certification a plus.


1.  Scroll down this page and read the full job description. Decide which position is the best fit for you. Also take a look at our website so you understand a bit more about us and what we do.

2.  Complete the online application by clicking the button below:





    This is the core staff position at Portland Paddle. We call it “shore staff” because most of the work is done on land as opposed to the on-water work of our guides. This position involves a wide range of tasks, but your basic job is to support our sea kayak and paddleboard rentals, tours and lessons at the East End Beach. If you’d like to spend the summer outdoors and you’re interested in paddlesports, this could be a great job for you. You’d be joining a terrific team that includes staff who have been with us for several years. This job requires hard work and commitment. It also provides lots of opportunities to learn new skills, meet interesting people from all over the world and become well-acquainted with the beauty of Casco Bay.

    This is a full-time seasonal position (30-40 hours/week)  that lasts from late May through August, with the option of taking more work through September and October. Scheduling is somewhat flexible, but working many weekends and evenings is essential. Our staff spends much of its time interacting with customers, so we are looking for individuals who are prepared to be friendly and communicate effectively. The job also requires lifting and carrying loaded kayaks every day, so you should be generally fit and capable of carrying a fairly heavy boat with assistance. This is a very active job that can be both physically and mentally challenging.


    • Helping customers rent from our fleet of kayaks & stand-up paddleboards (SUPS).

    • Offering basic safety and skills tips to customers.

    • Taking reservations, in-person and over the phone, for rentals and tours.

    • Lots of carrying and loading kayaks and SUPs (with help).

    • Assisting guides on tours and lessons.

    • Making important judgment calls regarding safety (for example, turning away customers based on an assessment of weather conditions).

    • Keeping our shop clean and organized.


    • Easy-going, with a sense of humor.

    • Interested in spending lots of time outdoors.

    • Able to help carry kayaks and assist with other physically demanding tasks.

    • Must be available to work from June through August, with optional work in May and September.

    • Kayaking and/or paddleboarding skills are not necessary, but candidates should be enthusiastic about learning and passing on knowledge of paddlesports to customers.

    • First aid or lifeguard certification is preferred (if you don’t have First Aid certification you would need to get certified before starting the job).


    • Starting at $15 per hour

    • Free use of kayaks and SUPs (with advance notice).

    • Pro discounts on outdoor gear.

    • Opportunities to develop paddling skills through free courses and training sessions.



    We are seeking a supervisor this year who can support managers with the leadership of the shore staff. The job will involve everything included in the description of the “shore staff” position (see above), but the site coordinator will also have the following responsibilities:

    • Assisting with staff training and staff communications.

    • Assisting with staff scheduling.

    • Managing the Portland Paddle physical site to ensure a well-organized, attractive appearance that is visible to customers and the public.

    • Attending bi-weekly meetings with managers.

    • Assisting with marketing through use of social media, blogging and other means.

    • Modeling strong customer service skills and outdoor leadership for the entire staff.


    • Customer service experience.

    • Experience working in a leadership position in the the outdoors industry.

    • Paddling experience (kayaking, canoeing, rafting or paddleboarding).

    • Should be comfortable using and/or learning to use various software programs and other technologies (online booking system, google drive, online scheduling, etc).

    • First aid certification preferred.


    • Starting at $17/hour, with higher rates possible for those with relevant leadership and paddling experience

    • Free use of kayaks and SUPs (with advance notice).

    • Pro discounts on outdoor gear.

    • Opportunities to develop paddling skills through free courses and training sessions.


  3. Sea Kayak Guide

    Portland Paddle is seeking sea kayaking guides and instructors to lead kayak tours on Casco Bay, in Portland, Maine. Our trips range from 2-hour Sunset Tours to multi-day expeditions on the Maine Island Trail. We also offer lessons for all skill levels and stand-up paddling tours. This is a seasonal position that runs from June through August, with optional part-time work possible in May and September. Candidates able to work 30+ hours a week will be prioritized, but we encourage experienced candidates with more limited availability to apply. Our team includes many part-time guides.

    There’s a lot to love about this job: Being part of a fun and friendly team of skilled outdoors people; working outdoors and on the water on the Maine coast; developing outdoor leadership and paddling skills; and giving people of all backgrounds ocean adventures that they’ll love and remember forever.


    Anyone who leads kayaking trips in Maine must be licensed as a guide through the state’s guide program. Unless you already have a Maine Sea Kayak Guide license, you must pass the guide exam in order to work for Portland Paddle as a guide. To do this you will need to take our guide training course over two weekends in the spring, take a criminal background check through the state, apply to take the guide exam, pass the exam and then pay the fees required to get the license. You can expect to pay around $275 in fees to the state government during this process; Portland Paddle will reimburse you for these fees if we hire you as a guide and you work full-time through the summer.

    First-year guides at Portland Paddle typically work a mix of “shore staff” shifts and on-water guiding shifts. If somebody hired to guide is not able to get licensed by the start of our season they can work onshore until they finish the process. And all new guides must complete a process of “shadowing” more experienced guides before leading trips on their own.


    • Sea kayaking experience, and competency with basic paddling skills
    • Outdoor leadership experience
    • Friendly and enthusiastic about giving people of all backgrounds kayaking experiences
    • Safety-conscious and proficient at assessing risks
    • First Aid and CPR certification (can complete after hiring)
    • Maine Sea Kayak Guide license (can get licensed after hiring)
    • American Canoe Association instructor certification not required for core guide position, but is a major plus. (All guides who teach our lessons are ACA-certified)


    • Starting at $17/hour for licensed guides after completing a process of “shadowing” more experienced guides ($15/hour while shadowing)
    • Gratuities (often substantial)
    • Guides also benefit from prodeals on outdoor gear, free use of sea kayaks and stand-up paddleboards and opportunities for free or discounted training.

    Portland Paddle offers a two-hour SUP lesson every Saturday and Sunday, and we often offer private lessons too. Most of our lessons are geared towards beginners, but we are interested in offering more advanced programming and guided trips also. We are always looking for qualified SUP instructors to work part-time teaching our lessons. Many of our SUP instructors also work as sea kayak guides or shore staff.

    Compensation: Negotiable, but competitive and tied to past experience and credentials.

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