The OSKC Team

Skilled and Passionate Paddlers

Our Coaches

We choose our coaches at Ontario Sea Kayak Centre with the utmost of care. All of our kayak instructors are skilled and passionate paddlers with decades of experience. They are all Paddle Canada certified instructors and have their Wilderness Medical training. They are excellent communicators, they are thoughtful and kind, and most of all they know how to have fun on the water. We know that people learn best when they are relaxed, having a good time and most of all laughing. We strive to create a classroom where you will thrive. You can rest assured that taking a course or trip with OSKC means you are getting some of the highest-trained instructors in Canada.

Our Culture

The culture of OSKC is one of acceptance and encouragement. We all started as novice kayakers and we remember that first foray into kayaking. We share everything we can with our students to help them become independent, skillful kayakers. We’re available every step of the way to answer all of your questions, build all of your skills, and share our love of nature from the seat of a kayak. We acknowledge that kayaking was founded as the traditional skill of survival of the first indigenous cultures in the high Arctic. We honour this heritage by teaching skills with contemporary and traditional paddles. We also acknowledge that the locations we teach and guide kayaking are the traditional territories of the multiple indigenous groups.

OSKC Coaches


James Roberts

James started kayaking at 18. Since then his paddling career has taken him all over the world as an expedition leader and senior kayak instructor.


Dympna Hayes

Dympna is co-owner and operator, of Ontario Sea Kayak Centre along with her partner and husband James. She loves sharing her craft with others through her coaching on skills courses and through her guiding while on kayaking trips.


Greg Mason

Greg has been paddling and teaching kayaking on Georgian Bay for around 25 yrs… since he was not but a wee grasshopper.


Jeff Phaneuf

Jeff has been a teacher/coach (volleyball & rugby) at Ursuline College in Chatham for almost a quarter of a century. He is now combining his passion for teaching/coaching and the outdoors.


David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 20 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada.


Eric Clinton

Eric has loved paddling and the great outdoors his entire life. He has been working in the outdoor industry since 2019 and spends his summers at OSKC as a level 1 instructor and also works for our sister company Georgian Bay Tours as a kayak guide and commercial boat captain.


Ray Boucher

Ray Boucher lives in Wawa Ontario with his wife Patty. Ray has been a school teacher and an x-ray technologist, and enjoys spending his time working and recreating in the outdoors.


Jeff Arbing

Jeff is the primary instructor/mentor for all new recruits with a large southern Ontario Police Service. He also instructs senior level adult education, mental resiliency/leadership and supervisory courses.


Joedy Ebert

Joedy has been teaching teenagers for 25 years but she has always recharged at and on the water. She got her Paddle Canada start with OSKC 10 years ago, spending the years since padding the shores of Lake Ontario and the Niagara waterways. She is thrilled to be joining the team at OSKC.


Heather Stewart

I love helping people find their connection to their kayak… Yoga for Paddlers is a great way to find how to move and be one with the boat.


Mike Fairburn

Mike’s passion for sea kayaking began about 15 years ago. In the years that have followed Mike has become a Greenland rolling and skills enthusiast. While Mike has always loved the great outdoors, Sea Kayaking has intensified this love and brought him closer to nature through back country camping.


Melissa Heaman

Melissa grew up visiting Parry Sound every summer, where her love of being on the water began.


Mark Gibeault

As an avid marathon paddler, Mark is always looking to refine the forward stroke and loves the efficiency of the Greenland Paddle, a shout-out to Traditional Indigenous Knowledge! A teacher by trade and lifelong learner, he also collects paddling certifications. Amongst his collection, PC Level 3 Sea Kayak Skills and is a PC Level 2 Instructor and Kayak Rolling Instructor.


Kyle Steward

Kyle Steward has been one of our instructors since 2015 and his passion for the sport is infectious. Kyle is a very skilled Greenland roller and kayak instructor.

OSKC Guest Coaches


Lee Richardson

Lee is an inspirational business leader and professional sea kayak instructor with over 17 years combined in the educational and sea kayak industry. He has taught at Symposiums all over North America and teaches and guides regularly on the East Coast and West Coast. 


Karl Vollmer

Karl is a Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Instructor Trainer. He has also been a volunteer member of the Paddle Canada board and skill development committees for years.


Jarrod Gunn McQuillan

Jarrod Gunn McQuillan is the owner/operator of Cloud 9 Adventures and lives in St. Peters Harbour, PEI with his wife Heather, and their two children Finlay and Emma.  Cloud 9 Adventures focuses on offering high quality sea kayak coaching and instruction to all levels and abilities throughout the Maritime Provinces


Erik Ogaard

Erik is forever drawn to the water and is truly in his element when paddling and coaching. He is equally passionate about sharing the paddling experience through instruction, coaching, guiding, mentoring and building a healthy paddling community.


Marcos Simental Saldaña

Born and raised on the Baja peninsula, Marcos has been working on the ocean since 1998. A talented sea kayaker and fisherman he is our Baja local knowledge and super-guide.


Mathew Sutherland

As a Chef I have had a passion for cooking and for the outdoors that
has lasted for as long as I can remember. More recently been excited to bring memorable
culinary experiences to remote locations.


Tim Gallaway

Tim began his kayaking career as a guide and ACA instructor at Woods & Water Ecotours in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when he was in college. He cut his rough water teeth on the rocky shores of Lake Superior.


James Manke

James is an international Greenland kayak instructor local to Victoria British Columbia. His passion is shared around the world and it has taken him to some amazing places, recently back from Chile where he taught at the very first sea kayak symposium there.