Michael is the past president of the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC. He is also a Lead Guide, Guide Trainer, and Examiner with the SKGABC. He is a Senior Instructor Trainer with Paddle Canada. Guiding and instructing paddlesports for over 24 years, Michael also has extensive retail and business experience in paddle sports. He coauthored the 2002 Handbook of Sea Kayak Safety and Rescue, published by Ragged Mountain Press. When is not kayaking, Michael teaches at Royal Roads University.
JF has taught kayaking and guiding expeditions across Canada since 1998. He is a certified Full Guide Level 4 , Guide Trainer and Examiner, as well as vice-president, of the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC (SKGABC). He is a certified Level 4 Instructor and Level 2 Instructor Trainer with Paddle Canada. When JF is not kayaking, he runs SKILS, works as a Human Resource Management Consultant and develops innovative products to enhance the outdoor recreational experience. JF also owns and operates PRIA (Pacific Rim Informative Adventures). JF holds many diplomas, including a Master's degree in Industrial Relations and a Bachelor of Art degree in Political Science from Laval University. Among his many attributes JF is also the author of the book: "Kayaking the Broken Group Islands. The Essential Guidebook". If you have never met JF before, it is easy to pick him out of the crowd as his strong French accent cannot hide him for long.
Andrew has worked as a leader in the outdoor community since 1993. He has been involved in a number of businesses and was a founding member and Director of Operations for Power to Be, an adaptive recreation business on Vancouver Island. He was also the founding member/Instructor of Kindred Spirit White Water. He is an Intermediate Instructor Trainer with Paddle Canada, a Certified Lead Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of B.C. as well as a Level 2 Swift Water Rescue Technician. In addition he has worked in the head offices of Seaward Kayaks and holds many certifications outside of the paddling world.
Piper has been paddling since the earliest moments of his life. A member of the SKGABC executive for several years, has contributed to the Guides Education Modules (GEM's) as well as the Steering Committee. Piper is a certified Lead guide, Guide Trainer and Examiner with the SKGABC, and is a star 4 paddler with the British Canoe Union, level 1 swift water rescue technician, and level 2 instructor with Paddle Canada. Guiding and instructing since 1993 Piper has worked most of the BC coast from the Queen Charlottes to Victoria, as well as extensive experience in Baja Mexico. Piper also worked as the production scheduler of Current Designs, also acting as product tester and design consultant. Piper's love of the ocean has him living near the water, making his living on the water, and owning a 40' boat (Bring Out Another Thousand$) named Leona. Piper also works for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Meaghan’s water pursuits began at a young age in the swimming pool as a synchronized swimmer (yes that’s right, water ballet!) A quick stint as a rafting guide on the Ottawa River then lead her to the world of sea kayaking. Meaghan jumped on board with Paddle Canada's Sea Kayaking program in its early stages and was among the first women to achieve a Level Four Sea Kayaking Skills award. She is now a Level Three Instructor, Level Two Instructor Trainer and a BCU Level Three Sea Coach. In her spare time away from kayaking, Meaghan’s love of the ocean, the atmosphere and water compelled her to complete a Masters of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.
Beth-Anne has been a sea kayak guide and instructor since 1997. She is a positive spirit who has considerable sea guiding experience across the world. She has guided sea kayak tours in Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Canada and Antarctica. Beth-Anne is a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor and a SKGABC Level 3 Guide and Guide Trainer
Erik is forever drawn to the water and is truly in his element when paddling. He is equally passionate about sharing the paddling experience through instruction, guiding, and community involvement. Instructing since 1996, the majority of Erik's experience comes from paddling in unsalted Ontario waters. When on land, you can find him fixing friends boats or painting homes in and around the Toronto area. Erik has a keen interest in fitness and technical paddling skills, as well as open rough-water kayak play. Current certifications include: WFR, Paddle Canada Level I Instructor Trainer, Paddle Canada Level 3 Instructor, ORCKA Canoe Tripping II Instructor, ORCKA Basic CanoeInstructor Trainer, SUP Instructor Trainer, BCU Four Star and Three Star Sea Kayak Coach.
Growing up in St. John’s on “The Rock”, Chris garnered a healthy respect and love of the ocean. He now calls the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island home where he lives with his wife and 3 aspiring seafaring kids. Whether it’s leading kayak expeditions in coastal BC, riding long green rollers on his surf ski or sailing with his family, he is most at home on the sea. As past Director of the Sea Kayak Guides Allianceof BC, Chris has made numerous contributions to the paddle sports industry. He is a Paddle Canada Instructor and Guide Trainer with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.
Raised on the Pacific waters of Vancouver Island, some may call Kate Hives amphibious! After experiencing her first kayak trip at the age of 12, Kate has had a committed love affair with the natural world by way of paddle. Turning her passion into a career, she has worked as an outdoor educator, instructor and guide both commercially and in adaptive settings with school students and adults from around the world. A graduate of Lakehead University, with an Honours BA in Outdoor Recreation Parks and Tourism and a BA in Geography, specializations in Cartography, she has continued to pursue her training. After university Kate worked with Liquid Skills Kayak School on the Ottawa River in Central Canada, the United World College in South East Asia and has developed programs for community organizations such as the YM/YWCA. She is a Level 3 guide, Examiner and Guide Trainer with the SKGABC, a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor and a white water kayak Level 2 Instructor Leader with CKC. Kate’s nomadic spirit has taken her to the lands of Patagonia, Chile, Europe, Malaysia, and into her own native home of Canada in search of new adventures. She is an active member of the The Hurricane Riders.
As a SKGBC Level 3 Guide and a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor and a Level 4 Skills, Rowan is an enthusiatic, commited and professional sea kayak instructor. With over ten years experience, Rowan brings a unique and very positive style of instruction to paddling programs and leadership development. As an active sea kayaker, Rowan'skills and passion are demonstrated in his courses, his commitment to the The Hurricane Riders, and his paddling films. Rowan is very proud to be a part of the SKILS Team.
Sarah started her paddling career in Ontario working at a summer camp instructor taking youth on canoe trips in Algonquin Park. Sarah came to British Columbia in 1997 to take the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training Course (COLT) Since then Sarah has worked on the BC coast guiding and instructing adults and youth and working to always improve her kayaking knowledge and skills. Sarah was a board member for the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC (SKGABC) for 4 years and is a level 3 Guide and Guide Trainer for the SKGABC. She has worked in Baja and on the Central Coast of BC. When not in her boat Sarah loves to go telemark skiing or climbing in the mountains of Vancouver Island where she lives.
Costain’s introduction to paddle sports was through a flatwater racing club. Shortly thereafter he discovered sea kayaking and began to explore the many flavours of paddlesports. Costain taught canoeing and kayaking in the freshwaters of Ontario for a decade. He flirted with paddling on the west coast for a couple of years and eventually relocated to BC. A multifaceted teacher, Costain’s instructional experience ranges from recreational youth and adult courses to instructor and leadership programs. He seeks out unique paddling environments and loves to challenge what has traditionally been done in sea kayaks. Costain has sought instruction and inspiration from many paddling communities. He is excited to be the latest addition to the SKILS family and to keep sharing his passion for paddle sports. Costain is a SKGABC Level 3 Guide, Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 4 Paddler, Level 2 Instructor, Level 1 Instructor Trainer, and Intermediate Tandem Canoe Instructor.
Catherine is a life long local Tofino surfer who loves to spend most of her time in the ocean. Growing up on the beach inliving in the tropics as an other way to be on the water. As a commercial captain and a Paddle Canada SUP Instructor she uses her experience in teaching Flatwater, Surf, and Navigation Touring paddleboarding courses full time through her business, Tofino Paddle Surf. When she is not teaching surfing with her brothers Sepp and Raph or paddleboarding she will be found traveling and surfing with her kids. With her vast experience growing up on the ocean and surfing, Catherine is motivated by her love for the ocean and beaches, the fresh air and the rainforest. Catherine loves to share her stoke and appreciation for the planet. Catherine is sponsored by Roxy,Level Six and Aftanas Surfboards.
Gary Doran lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where he is the Head Sea Kayaking Instructor/Guide and Programmer at Ocean River Sports, and a core Sea Kayaking Instructor with Sea Kayak Instruction & Leadership Systems (SKILS). He has been a sea kayak instructor and guide since 1996, and has kayaked in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island, Baja, and the Great Lakes. Notable expeditions include Isla Angel de la Guarda, Baja, and Cape Scott, Vancouver Island. Gary is certified through Paddle Canada as a Sea Kayaking Instructor Level 4 and a Sea Kayaking Instructor Trainer Level 3. As well, he is certified through the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC as a Guide Trainer and Level 3 Guide. He holds degrees in Education, Environmental Science, and Biology, and is an accredited Leave No Trace Trainer and Individual Conditioning Instructor.
"Both JF and Chris were very knowledgeable in all aspects of the course. JF is a very patient person and is willing to put in lots of extra effort to make sure that everyone in the class learns and understands to the best of their ability. He never seems to get tired!"
Confidential, SKILS Survey Monkey, 2012