Work for Portland Paddle! We're hiring.

Portland Paddle is staffed by a talented team of folks who are passionate about paddling. Several of our staff are leaving in the next few weeks to go back to school and we need help to finish off our 2017 season. Our season stretches into mid-October and starts up again in May 2018. 

All positions require weekend and evening work. 

 Here are the positions that are open: 

SHORE STAFF: This is our entry-level position that involves supporting our sea kayak and paddleboard rentals and trips. All of our staff work as shore staff at various times, but the roles described below involve additional duties. 

SITE SUPERVISOR: This position is similar to the core staff job, but it also involves a leadership role overseeing operations at our main site. 

OPERATIONS MANAGER:  This is a position for someone who has management and outdoor leadership experience and is interested in taking on a major leadership role in coordinating our operations and supervising staff. Ideally, this person would continue to work part-time through the winter and work with us during our 2018 season 

SEA KAYAK GUIDE: You must have a valid sea kayak guide license from the state of Maine – or have plans to get one by June 30 – to qualify for this position.

The 2016 Staff 

The 2016 Staff 


1.  Read the job descriptions below and take a look at our website so you understand a bit more about us and what we do.

2.  Send an email to Zack at that includes a resume and a brief note or cover letter describing any relevant experience. Please describe your availability during the rest of August and September. 


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. 

Scheduling is somewhat flexible, but you will need to work some weekends and evenings. 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.

What the job entails:

  •  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. 
  •  Available from late May through August, and September if possible.
  • 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 $12.00 per hour, with higher rates possible for more experienced candidates. 
  •  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 always seeking people who can support the managers and the owner with the leadership of the business. The job will involve everything included in the description of the "shore staff" position (see above), but the site supervisor 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 weekly meeting with the owner and operations manager.
  • 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 and/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.


  • Based on experience and qualifications. 
  •  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 looking for someone to help manage all aspects of our operations through the rest of the summer and beyond. This is a position for someone with plenty of experience working in the outdoors industry and significant paddlesports experience. The ideal candidate will have significant experience as a manager or supervisor. The operations manager will work closely with the owner and site coordinator and will be responsible for managing all staff and ensuring that all operations are running smoothing, safely and efficiently. The job involves a diverse mix of tasks, including office work, customer service, management of staff and some manual labor. If the manager is qualified (with a guide license), they could also spend a considerable amount of time guiding trips. Professional experience with graphic design, bookkeeping or marketing is a plus, but not required. 

Responsibilities include all those described above in the "shore staff" description above plus the following: 

  • Staff scheduling. 
  • Assisting with staff training. 
  • Managing reservations for tour, rental and lesson programs.
  • Maintaining and coordinating repairs of all Portland Paddle gear and equipment. 
  • Ensuring that all staff policies are being implemented and followed. 
  • Providing staff with clear instructions on a daily basis regarding specific tasks that need to be addressed
  • Ensuring that all customer phone calls, emails and online reservations are dealt with in a timely manner. 


  • Competitive, commensurate with experience and qualifications.  
  •  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 always looking for registered guides to join our terrific team of trip leaders. You must have a guide license from the state of Maine to qualify for this position. We may consider hiring someone who is on track to receive their guide license, but we are not able to help with that process. We would prefer to hire someone with significant previous sea kayaking experience. Previous experience boating in Casco Bay is not required but is a big plus. ACA –instructor certification is also a big plus (and it allows the candidate to teach our many lessons), but certification is not a requirement for the job.

 Portland Paddle offers a wide range of guided trips in Casco Bay. Take a look at the "guided trips" page of our website to see our list of offerings. New guides typically lead lots of Sunset Tours, Fort Gorges Tours and Half-Day Tours. There may also be opportunities to lead overnight trips. New guides go through a brief training process and start off shadowing other guides before leading trips on their own.

 Scheduling is flexible for this position. The hours could be part-time or full-time, and we may be able to work around scheduling constraints (such as a regular day job). However, we prefer to hire a guide who is available to lead at least a couple dozen day trips throughout the 2016 season.


  • Starting at $14.00 for newly-registered guides, starting at $15 or higher for guides with prior guiding 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.