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Paddle West, Paddle Best 

Why work for paddle west?

First and foremost, Paddle West Kayaking operates in some of the most breathtaking and pristine locations — including Meares and Vargas Islands in the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve. As a guide, you’ll have the privilege of leading paddlers through these picturesque landscapes, fostering a deep connection between your guests and nature.

Guides at Paddle West benefit from a supportive and collaborative work environment. We value continuous learning and provide extensive training to ensure that guides are well-equipped to lead sea kayaking excursions safely and informatively. This commitment to professional development not only enhances the skills of guides but also contributes to creating memorable experiences for guests.

We offer competitive wages (plus tips!), the option for staff housing, and free gear use for personal adventures. One of our main goals is to foster a fun working environment – from staff events to the staff house, guides often leave having made friends for life. 

2024 Open Positions

Day Guide: Lead sea kayaking excursions in the Tofino Harbour, Lemmens Inlet, to Meares Island, and Vargas Island. A typical day consists of a 3.5-hour kayak-only trip, and a 5-hour paddle/ ancient rainforest hike combo. The season runs from mid-May to the end of September. Compensation ranging from $22-26/hour + gratuities.

Due to an overwhelming amount of applications, hiring has been paused for day guides requiring staff-housing. NOTE: Those with housing in Tofino/ Ukee are still welcome to apply — year-round!

Level-3 Guide: Lead expedition style trips to Vargas island, Flores island, and Hot Springs Cove. Typical trip length is 3-5 days. Season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Compensation ranging from $325-375 + gratuities. 

Assistant Operations Manager: Work in our classic ‘little yellow shack’ booking tours, greeting guests, and helping to support our guide team. Paddling experience preferred, but not required. See more details on the position hereCompensation ranging from $24-27/hour.

Due to an overwhelming amount of applications, hiring for the Assistant Operations Manager has been paused for those requiring staff-housing. NOTE: Those with housing in Tofino/ Ukee are still welcome to apply — year-round!

Required certifications

To day guide from Tofino, you will need to following certifications. While it is preferred for administrative staff to hold these certs, it is not required.

  • SKGABC Level One (or equivalent)

  • ROC(M) VHF radio certification

  • CPR-C + 16 hour standard first aid

If you are a Tofino/Ucluelet local and do not require housing, ask Paddle West about sponsoring your SKGABC Level One certification. 

How To Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected] — subject line ‘Last name guide application’. Include in your email whether you will require staff housing, your availability (which months), and current certifications/ plans for certification.

If you are not a resident of Canada, please explain your current legal entitlement to work in the country. 

For locals — Paddle West is proud to offer part-time work to fit into your existing schedule. Looking to pick up extra work over the summer? Looking to drop down to part-time at your office job to join the team? Let us know your specific situation and we can try to make something work! If you have local accommodation, Paddle West offers partial sponsorship for the SKGABC Level One course. 

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Reviews from past guides