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Our Staff

At Charles River Canoe & Kayak, we're proud that our staff are paddlers. We've got sea kayakers, whitewater paddlers, surf kayakers, racers, and canoeists working with us. When you come to our shop, whether to purchase a boat, take a class, or rent for the afternoon, you know you're speaking with someone who knows the boat you're using and has real-world experience on the water.
Come down and speak with us — about anything: what to paddle, where to paddle, what gear to use, how to include your kids, whatever you like. You'll feel the Charles River Canoe & Kayak difference.
If you've taken a class, trip, or tour with us, please evaluate your instructor/guide. Evaluations help us maintain the highest quality standards!
Larry Smith
Owner, Instructor
With us since 1974
Boat: We-No-Nah Adirondack
Paddle: Camp bent shaft
Fresh-Water Spot: Charles River, Mass.
Larry joined Charles River Canoe Service in 1974 and has overseen its evolution to Charles River Canoe & Kayak, a full-service canoe and kayak center with five locations. After graduating with a masters degree in City and Regional Planning he was drawn to a Boston research lab. A career change brought him back to the outdoors to enjoy boating and cross-country skiing with Lincoln Guide Service. He organized the first "Run of the Charles" canoe and kayak race and began Weston Ski Track, the country's premiere urban cross-country ski center. Larry often canoes to work, and his latest excuse to be on the Charles is weeding the river of the invasive European water chestnut plants.
Ralph Boynton
Manager @ Allston/Brighton
With us since 1981
Boat: Mad River Explorer
Paddle: Mohawk Double
Salt-Water Spot: Martha's Vineyard's ponds and bays
Fresh-Water Spot: Restigouche, New Brunswick
Ralph has enjoyed canoeing since 1951, in addition to running a backpacking store, leading trips on the rivers of New Brunswick and Maine, and now managing our Boston rental operation. Ralph is an instructor in both canoeing and kayaking, and is a certified wilderness EMT.
Kevin Hagen
Part-Time Team Builder/Instructor/Guide
With us since 2010
Boat: Old Town Tripper
Paddle: Long Otter Tail for the stern
Salt-Water Spot: Cape Broyle, Newfoundland
Fresh-Water Spot: Bobowash Lake, Ontario
Hailing from the vast Canadian wilderness, Kevin grew up paddling the pristine waterways of Northern Ontario. Take off, eh! During college Kevin spent his summers leading multi-day outdoor adventures throughout New England and eastern Canada. He moved to New England full-Time in 2005 and spent four seasons managing youth leadership and adventure programming at a residential summer camp in New Hampshire. Kevin is a registered EMT, Solo WEMT, and holds Canoe and Hike Leader certifications through ORCA and Hike Ontario.
Armand Mickune-Santos
Part-Time Instructor and Guide
With us since 2008
Boat: P&H Quest LV
Paddle: Lendal Nordkapp 214cm
Salt-Water Spot: Elizabeth Islands, Massachusetts
Fresh-Water Spot: Nemasket River, Massachusetts
Armand (Mickey) Mickune-Santos is a seasoned coastal kayak instructor who recently joined the team both at Charles River Canoe & Kayak and Weston Ski Track. Armand is a veteran American Canoe Association Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer Educator who has trained and certified many coastal kayak instructors who are presently working in the New England region. When not paddling Massachusetts's diverse coastline he works as a special education teacher and head softball coach at Dartmouth (MA) High School.
Steve Hulbert
Part-Time Instructor and Guide
With us since 2005
Boat: Current Designs Caribou
Paddle: Mitchell Horizon 230cm
Salt-Water Spot: Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick
Fresh-Water Spot: Squannacook River, Massachusetts
Steve Hulbert is an ACA-Certified River Canoeing and Sea Kayaking Instructor. He particularly enjoys Traditional Solo Canoe and Greenland Style Kayak paddling. Fall through Spring he works in Health and Environmental Education. Steve has paddled throughout New England, but his favorite paddling is in the coastal areas of New Brunswick, Canada.
Dan Smith
General Manager, Webmaster, Instructor, Guide
With us since 2004
Boat: Current Designs Extreme
Paddle: Werner Ikelos 215cm bent shaft
Salt-Water Spot: Lower Hell Gate, Maine
Fresh-Water Spot: Umbagog Lake, New Hampshire
Dan Smith graduated from Cornell and spent several years pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Harvard before escaping to join Charles River Canoe & Kayak as our web and graphic designer and an instructor and ACA-certified guide. One of our most dedicated sea kayakers, Dan completed an eight-day, 120-nautical-mile, solo kayaking trip around Isle au Haut and Mount Desert Island in Maine during July 2006. He loves teaching beginners and considers tides and currents one of his specialties. He has moved to Maine (to be closer to awesome kayaking) and continues to maintain our web site.
 
Mark Jacobson
General Manager
With us since 1991
Boat: Tiger ICF, P&H Cetus, Epic V10L, Pyranha Inazone
Paddle: Epic Mid-Wing, Mitchell Seablade
Salt-Water Spot: Woods Hole, Anywhere East Of Schoodic
Fresh-Water Spot: Mystic River, Stinson Lake, Squam
Mark received a master's degree in Environmental Science before joining the Weston Ski Track and Charles River Canoe & Kayak. He has extensive experience in whitewater and sea kayaking, backpacking, backcountry skiing, and mountain biking. His current passion is kayak racing, in all types of boats from ICF kayaks to surf skis. His two children have given him a valuable understanding of paddling with kids, and he loves getting them out on the water.
Dave Jacques
Owner, Instructor, Guide
With us since 1975
Boat: Impex Susquehanna
Paddle: Werner Shuna 220cm
Salt-Water Spot: Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Fresh-Water Spot: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Dave graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a B.A. in Architecture in 1971, but followed his passion for the outdoors elsewhere. He climbed in the Everest region of Nepal for three months during 1972, ran the waterfront program at a major N.E. summer camp where he taught swimming, sailing, canoeing, waterskiing, and trip planning, then came to Charles River Canoe Service. He has been our Director of Guiding and Instruction since 1978. Dave holds ACA Certifications in canoeing and sea kayaking, and loves to share his knowledge with others.
Nate Stetson
Director of Staff Development, Instructor/Guide
With us since 2007
Boat: Mega Neutron, Maelström Vaåg
Paddle: Werner Sidekick 197cm
Salt-Water Spot: Wherever the surf is clean
Fresh-Water Spot: Kennebec River, Maine
Nate is a Newton local who's been involved with the company for a long time. He grew up on the water, spending time in kayaks, canoes, and sailboats, but really got hooked on our Kids' Sea Kayaking camps.
Video by Interlock Media.
Several years later, he decided to spread his love of the water by teaching. Now during the summer he guides kayak trips on the ocean and teaches classes in Newton. He spends his free time in the surf, and is starting to explore whitewater as well!
Kevin Horner
Asst. Manager @ Newton, Instructor, Guide
With us since 1998
Boat: Mega Neutron, P&H Delphin
Paddle: Werner Shuna 210cm
Salt-Water Spot: Any Wave four feet or taller
Fresh-Water Spot: Kennebec River, Maine
Kevin worked as an adventure therapist after graduating from college. Kevin has paddled in Kenai Fjords, Alaska and in British Columbia, and considers kayak surfing his favorite boating pursuit. Kevin loves teaching, and is ACA-Certified as an open-water coastal kayaking instructor. His favorite trips are Advanced Ocean Skills and both of our Ocean Skills: Surf trips.
Jentina Mitchell
Full-Time Supervisor/Instructor/Guide
With us since 2011
Boat: Tiderace Xcite, P&H Delphin 150, Necky Jive
Paddle: Werner Shuna 210cm bent shaft
Salt-Water Spot: First Beach, RI
Fresh-Water Spot: Charles River
Jentina started kayaking here at Charles River Canoe & Kayak the summer after her freshman year of college, taking an unplanned swim in jeans from a Necky Eliza and never looking back.
Video by Interlock Media.
She joined us full-time after graduating from Brown University with a degree in child development. She specializes in working with kids, and teaching our 2012 Sea Kayak Camps was a highlight. On her days off she loves hitting, or being hit in the face by, whatever surf she can find (see video at right). When not on the water, she is a part-time graduate student in psychology at the Harvard Extension School.
Dan Cox
Director of Guiding & Instruction, Supervisor @ Newton
With us since 2011
Boat: Valley Aquanaut HV
Paddle: Werner Corryvrecken 210cm bent shaft
Salt-Water Spot: Lillian Street, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Fresh-Water Spot: Lower Haw River, North Carolina and Wilson Creek Gorge, North Carolina
Dan's journey into the crazy world of paddling began sitting in front of a TV, watching Levar Burton of Reading Rainbow raft the Zambezi! Then he watched the Atlanta Summer Olympics slalom paddlers and wanted to be those people! One year later, using money from dog sitting and lawn mowing, he had his first kayak on top of his mother's car. Many years and thousands of miles paddled later, here he is in Boston, with his wife Bethany, working for Charles River Canoe and Kayak.
Bethany Cox
Social Media Specialist
With us since 2011
Boat: Valley Aquanaut
Paddle: Werner Ikelos
Salt-Water Spot: Shakelford Banks, North Carolina
Fresh-Water Spot: Lake Jocassee, South Carolina
Bethany didn't start kayaking until she went to college, but from that moment on... it was on... so to speak. She has a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. After graduation, she and her husband embarked on a kayaking adventure that lasted over a year and a half, paddling from Lubec, Maine to Key West, Florida. She is a transplant from the south, moving from the Outer Banks of NC to Boston Mass., to work for Charles River as a supervisor at the Kendall Square Location. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to) her husband, the ocean, Ireland, coffee, Christmas, music, and Walt Disney World.
    Charles River Canoe & Kayak
2401 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02466
(617) 965-5110
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