Dympna Hayes

Parry Sound, Ontario

Hello, I’m Dympna Hayes and I’m the co-owner and operator, of Ontario Sea Kayak Centre along with my partner and husband James. I love sharing my skill and knowledge of kayaking with others through my instruction on skills courses, my one on one private coaching and most especially through guiding others while on kayaking trips.

I achieved my Paddle Canada Level Four skills in 2012 on the BC Coast. I’m a Paddle Canada Level Two Instructor as well as a PC Level One Instructor Trainer. I’m also a PC Rolling Skills Instructor Trainer. When I’m not teaching, I’m guiding kayaking trips in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally alongside my husband James. I have my AESKO guides training, my BC Sea Kayak Guides Alliance AOG Training, my Wilderness First Responder Training, and my VHF Marine Operators license. I recently started guiding in Antarctica and have my STCW and SVOP training.

I’m also a Paddle Canada Stand Up Paddleboard instructor. I decided to give SUP a try even though I was a bit of a kayak snob and I instantly fell in love with it too. I love to introduce kayakers to SUP and show them how sweetly the skills cross over. I feel that paddling in multiple disciplines just makes you a better all-around paddler, and it just adds to the fun! When I’m on dry land, I teach yoga at home on our waterfront deck at Harmony Outdoor Inn and on the shore while on our kayaking trips. I’m a 500-hour Yoga Alliance certified instructor. I use my yoga practice to keep me agile enough to kayak for days. I love to share my yoga knowledge to help other kayakers improve their ability in a kayak.

I feel honoured to introduce new paddlers to the sheer joy of kayaking. Once you’ve woken with the sunrise and launched your kayak from a wilderness shore to paddle into the morning fog, you are hooked for life, guaranteed. Ontario Sea Kayak Centre runs Paddlepaloooza, the largest kayak symposium in Ontario every spring. We also run Ontario Greenland Camp, which is the only traditional skills kayaking symposium in Canada. My Women on the Water symposium is the one I’m most proud of which is the largest women’s paddling symposium in North America.

Dympna’s sponsors:

Kokatat Drysuits


  • Paddle Canada Level-1 Sea Kayak Instructor Trainer
  • Paddle Canada Rolling Instructor Trainer
  • Paddle Canada Level-2 Sea Kayak Instructor
  • Paddle Canada Rolling Instructor
  • Paddle Canada Level-4 Sea Kayak Skills
  • Paddle Canada Camping Basics Instructor Trainer
  • Paddle Canada Wilderness Camping Instructor
  • Paddle Canada SUP Advanced Flatwater Instructor
  • Wilderness First Aid Responder
  • 500 hour certified yoga instructor
  • SKGABC certified sea kayak guide
  • AESKCO certified sea kayak guide
  • Parks Canada Certified backcountry guide
  • STCW ( Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers)
  • SVOP ( Small Vessel Operator Proficiency)
  • PAL - Possession and Acquisitions Licence (Firearms)