Working in Paddlesport? How to break in?

Well folks, I find myself looking for a job. Lots of Maintenance/Machine shop/ Manufacturing Management experience. Ready for something new and willing to relocate.

Any way to combine making a living with my love of paddling?



A few places around Tahoe

– Last Updated: Oct-25-05 1:37 PM EST –

are looking for guides but it is seasonal. Get a degree in Nursing. Lots of demand, decent to excellent pay and plenty of time to pursue other interests once you get through school.

making a living?
there’s no money in paddlesports unless you own a shop/store. even then, making a living is open tio interpretation.

A living?
hmm…I am working away towards continuing guiding, and instructor levels, and maybe sales, boat design? Maybe if I combine and train myself in every facet of paddling I could scrape out a living lol


We had the idea a few years ago…
To lead and guide custom trips in some of our beautiful NC mountain gentle class I rivers for the rich older seniors that abound in the Charlotte area.

The more you charge those folks, the happier they are!

We figured we would supply the tents, meals, a camping spot, the canoes or yaks and instruction.

Then we figured that it would cut into our valuable play time, and said the hell with it.

Instead we do it free to all our down and dirty friends!

There is no money to be made,in either a bike shop or a canoe/ kayak outfitter unless you are in a el primo spot.

Talk with any of the smaller shops, and they are hardly making ends meet.



Want to make paddles and boats in sunny
San Diego ?

Now you are a different story
I know several small kayak and boat builders who do pretty decent and are quite happy doing what they love.

New River Canoes in Independence Va has done quite well over the years, and there is a guy just like you down in Chassahowitzka, Florida that is just getting off the ground on building kayaks.



that sounds tempting…
but I don’t think Pat can pay me as much as my white-collar-chained-to-a-computer job. :frowning:

Good suggestion: Do not make hobby your
job if you want to continue really enjoying your hobby!

That said see e-mail



Thanks, everyone for your
sage advice-


LOL …payment in satisfaction and pride
of workmanship must count for something.

Glen, if you find yourself out this way please ring us up.

5 words in the english language
there are 5 words in the english language that NEVER get used together:

That’s the kayak instructor’s Mercedes.



definitely counts a lot!
Of course Pat, I paddle with a wooden Greenland paddle. I think I would be a black sheep in your shop (unless we can convince you to make some GPs) although I’d be happy to use your blades in whitewater/surf. As winter is quickly approaching here in the frozen tundra, sunny California sounds mighty nice!


yeah it has to be preceded by…
a whole slew of other words usually along the lines of “That’s the retired neuro-surgeon’s (who is kayak instructor as a hobby) Mercedes.”

Soon To Be Wrong
I am a Kayak instructor and am about to purchase a mid 80’s Mercedes 300td (turbo diesel wagon).

I am going to have a greasecar kit installed and run it on WVO (waste vegetable oil) and bio-diesel.

Granted I could not afford a new Merecedes…but I’ll still have a car with a fancy hood ornament.

This will actually be my second Merecedes while being a guide. I had a beautiful 1970 220 when I first started in 1989…but I did eventaully have to sell it for a VW rabbit diesel.

I really like that car … besides
the view of the world is pretty much the same from inside any car.

Did you have a hard time finding one ?

Industry Press Releases

CONFLUENCE RAMPS UP FOR ACCELERATED GROWTH- Outdoor Sports Leader Looks To Add 200 to 300 People Over the Next Four Months

For Immediate Release

Michael Collin

Fendler Communications

Easley, SC, October 18th, 2005 — Confluence, the world’s premier paddlesports company, announced that it plans to significantly increase its workforce over the next four months adding manufacturing and middle management positions. Confluence Holding Corp. acquired Watermark’s boat division based in Easley, SC in May 2005, and this news follows an intense process of consolidating Confluence’s Trinity, NC facility to Easley.

“When we decided to consolidate to one facility, key considerations were the excellent workforce pool and the great recreational opportunities in the greater Easley area,” said Richard Feehan, CEO, Confluence. “We work in an exciting industry and produce the most innovative products for canoe and kayak enthusiasts worldwide.”

As a result of a more than anticipated demand for Confluence branded products, the company will be instituting a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week manufacturing schedule. Confluence is seeking skilled workers to fill various positions for multiple shifts in the manufacturing of canoes, kayaks and accessories.

To aid in its search, Confluence will be hosting a job fair at its facility located at 111 Kayaker Way in Easley on Friday, October 21, 2005 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

“The Confluence team consists of a diverse group that is passionate about creating top quality products for an industry they love,” said Kelley Woolsey, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales. “We’re mountain bikers, surfers, climbers, and boaters, and whether we’re out enjoying the surroundings, challenging ourselves, or testing new products, we love being outdoors.”

“Confluence is a true leader in its industry with a strong record of growth and prosperity,” said Ray Farley, Executive Director, Alliance Pickens, a public/private economic development organization based in Pickens County. “An increase in employment of this magnitude is a great boost for our area and a sign of Confluence’s continued growth and commitment to the community.”

About Confluence Holdings Corp.

Confluence Holdings Corp, the premier paddlesports company in the world, manufactures and distributes water sports equipment in Easley, SC. Confluence, formerly based in Trinity, NC, acquired Easley, SC based Watermark on May 16, 2005. The Confluence family of brands include Mad River Canoe®, Wilderness Systems® touring and recreational kayaks, Wave Sport® whitewater kayaks, and Voyageur® watersports accessories, Dagger® touring and whitewater kayaks, Perception® touring and whitewater kayaks, Mainstream® recreational kayaks, Harmony® paddlesports accessories and AT Paddles®. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Confluence Watersports Canada, Inc., distributes all the brands in Canada. For more information visit

Still Looking
We have decided that this is the model we want, but have located the “one” yet.

Mid 80’s 300td’s with between 100k-200k go for between $4,000 - $8,000, on e-bay.

Once my work lets up in a few weeks I’m going to commit to a car and plan a trip to pick it up.

Love the old Benz diesels

– Last Updated: Oct-27-05 8:40 PM EST –

Congratulations. I had three of them. I used to love loading 'em up with a couple of canoes. My family grew out of them so I had to move on to the minivan thing. No regrets there either though.

Topher, I've got four '85 300D wheels mounted with Bridgestone Blizzaks. The Blizzaks have one winter season left on them (they are so soft they are only good for a total of three). You are welcome to them. Perhaps I can fit them in the car when I come your way next week. Changing out the tires and wheels to dedicated snows in the winter is definately the way to go.

Edit: I just read your post again and see that you have not located a TD yet. Good ones are hard to find. I'll keep an eye out here.

for every dreamer about boat design
there are hundreds of failures. I like tsunamichichs solution and endorse hare work at whatever path.

Rember for evey 100 folks who buy themselves a 10 foot long plastic boat and never learns to do a leaned turn, ther are about 5 real paddlers.

Only love, hard work mtivated by love, insanity, and joy can help one make a living in paddling these days