We are a young and vibrant company with a huge enthusiasm for sea kayaking, adventure and Scotland's epic coastline.
Kayak guide jobs at Arisaig sea kayak centre.
Careers at Arisaig Sea Kayak Centre
Arisaig sea kayak centre is a small business based in Arisaig village at the heart of Scotland’s West coast. We run a range of sea kayak journeys along some of the most stunning coastline in the world.
As a guide for Arisaig sea kayak centre you'll work as part of a small and friendly team and help to deliver enjoyable and rewarding sea kayaking journeys for our clients. You'll get to explore some epic coastline, meet like minded people and enjoy the reward of helping others discover the joy of sea kayaking.
We are recruiting:
Freelance Sea Kayak Guides to guide individual trips or complete blocks of work during the 2024 season and beyond.
Arisaig sea kayak centre is a small business based in Arisaig village in the heart of Scotland’s West coast. We run a range of sea kayak journeys along some of the most stunning coastline in the world. We are a young and vibrant company with a huge enthusiasm for sea kayaking, adventure and Scotland. The business has enjoyed rapid growth and now runs a range of trips throughout Scotland. Arisaig sea kayak centre is owned and run by Mike Martin.
The driving force of Arisaig sea kayak centre is a strong connection to Scotland’s coast and seas and a love of sea kayaking. We thrive on exploring this coastline, finding ourselves transformed by the magic of paddling a kayak or living in wild places. Sharing these transformational experiences with our clients is at the core of what we do - simply letting the magic of the experience of sea kayaking shine through in how we present our trips and how we guide our trips. To the clients we aim to be relaxed but professional and easy-going but strong leaders, creating a sense of inclusion, care and friendliness whilst also keeping control and safety within our grasp.
Our easy to use and inspiring website, diverse range of trips, high quality equipment and most importantly our knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic guiding team are the core of our success. Attention to detail in our work, knowledge of our sport and coastline and exceptional levels of customer care are all fundamental to our success and can be demonstrated by all those who belong to Arisaig sea kayak centre’s professional team.
The core of the role will be centred on guiding sea kayaking journeys. A successful guide will not just have the ability to keep people safe on a sea kayak journey but should possess the knowledge, skills and emotional intelligence necessary to create superb experiences for the centre's clients. The role will involve working with a range of customers, with a range of skill levels and expectations. Adapting to these different customer groups will be a daily task and a successful guide will blend coaching, journeying, insight and interpretation in order to deliver excellent sea kayak trips.
A successful guide will be able to work independently; assessing the forecasted conditions and choosing an appropriate location, managing the logistics and equipment for their trip and coaching and guiding the clients so that they have a successful day.
Knowledge and experience of paddling in Scotland will be a huge advantage, we will rarely consider applications from guides who have not paddled in Scotland before.
Specific tasks for a sea kayak guide:
- Sea kayak guiding. Delivering a high level of customer care, an expert knowledge of sea kayaking and the marine environment and a strong personal paddling ability and experience.
- Running multi-day sea kayak expeditions.
- Managing the use of vehicles, trailers, kayaks and equipment to ensure the centre is operating as efficiently as possible.
- A minor role will be to assist with the maintenance and repair of the sea kayaks and kit..
Training and development
We do not expect that every guide we employ will turn up with expert level knowledge or training and due to the range of trips we run then we can offer the chance for less experienced guides to gain experience progressively through their employment.
BC sea kayak leader (or equivalent)
Driving licence (cat B is fine)
BC Advanced sea kayak leader
BC coaching awards
The type and range of trips you will be asked to run can be found below:
The most common type of trip. A full day exploring anywhere around the Sound of Arisaig area, usually with mixed groups of adults and sometimes families. The guide would be expected to choose an appropriate location and to both coach and guide the group, initially coaching as a group and then individualised throughout the day so that clients’ enjoyment of the trip is maximised through gaining better control of their kayaks. A balance should always be reached where the main emphasis is on completing a journey but the client should also feel able to progress their skill and knowledge. Guides should be well practiced in teaching clients how to control their kayaks in the wind, how to paddle efficiently and how to turn their kayaks - a successful guide will be able to deliver these sessions to the clients with minimal interruption to the journey or the flow of the day.
Sea kayaking courses:
A range of courses based on consecutive day trips aimed at various levels of paddling experience. Coaching needs to be individualised and relevant to the clients needs as much as possible.
Sound of Arisaig expeditions:
The guide will be expected to pack for the trip, as well as to coordinate the cooking of meals. To run these trips successfully then guides will need to have a good knowledge of the route choice possibilities in the Sound of Arisaig, with windier forecasts then guides will need to be creative and careful with route planning and logistics to ensure the clients have a good trip.
Other expeditions and bespoke expeditions:
We also run a range of other expeditions throughout Scotland which can all be found on our website. We also run bespoke expeditions throughout the season.
Guiding work is available on a flexible basis - either for the whole season or for blocks of work or individual expeditions.
If employed as a full time seasonal guide you’d be expected to work 5 days a week, holiday pay is 5.6 weeks per annum, you’d not be expected to take any holidays during the main season of July and August. Sometimes the nature of the trips and expeditions means that you may work more than 5 days in a row, we recognise that time off is important to the quality of your work and so do try and keep working patterns as consistent as possible.
You’d be expected to start work on most guiding days at 09.00 and finish anytime between 16.00 and 17.30. Expeditions will generally involve more time commitment with the start of your day at 08.30 and finishing on the last day anytime from 16.00 to 20.00.
We have a staff website which contains a rota, which is produced well in advance, as well as information on your employment conditions and the operating procedures of the centre.
We don’t have any staff accommodation. Short term accommodation around Arisaig is very difficult to find. Fort William has much more accommodation available and is a 45 min drive away.
Rates of pay 2024:
Our guides can expect to earn between £135 and £165 per day. There is a £40 supplement for expedition nights. Specific rates are dependant upon the type of guiding work (expeditions, courses, day trips, lead guide/second guide) and also your qualifications and level of experience.
We’d expect a CV as well as an email containing relevant information about your sea kayaking experience and work history. Please remember that sea kayaking experience and your ability as a guide is our main interest and you should form the focus of your CV and application.
If you are satisfied that the demands of the job are suitable for your knowledge and experience and we are interested in taking your application further then we will invite you to either a phone or in-person interview where we will discuss your relevant experience and what we require from our guides. If we feel that you satisfy the requirements for working at Arisaig sea kayak centre then we will discuss opportunities for guiding with us.
Either Guide selection, staff training, shadowing or employment:
If we are happy to take your application further then we will invite you to come and paddle with us, either as part of our staff training or on a seperate day. This will give us the opportunity to assess your skill and knowledge and for you to make sure Arisaig sea kayak centre is a good fit for you. In most circumstances we will not be able to confirm employment until we’ve paddled with you, depending on the circumstances of your application.
Depending on experience we’d expect you to attend staff training, shadow an existing guide, work as a second guide or go straight into guiding trips.