We Create Lasting Memories...
Its not easy to become a J & L Kayak Guide! Our guides go through a very intense training program that is backed by a lifetime of kayaking experience and over 10 years of local kayaking experience. They are put through many trails specifically designed to test them physically and mentally. It is our job to be prepared and ready for anything and keep a fun, safe, and engaging adventure from start to finish. Our guides a very knowledgeable of our coastal waters and the indigenous wildlife that calls it home. We are a collective crew of corky, goofy, nerdy, personalities and we each have a great trait to bring to each tour to keep it fun, exciting, and memorable!
Meet The Guides
Experienced, Professional, Knowledgeable, & Lots Of Fun!
Meet Kat! She holds a Level 3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor Certification through the ACA (American Canoe Association). Her confidence, and excitement for each new day is inspiring. She has traveled quite a bit finding balance between school and her interest. Neat fact about Kat is that she lived in a South American rainforest for a month while studying. A graduate of Biology from Coastal Carolina, her passion is sustainability and conservation of our natural ecosystems. She has studied abroad and developed a bit of an addiction to it, having visited 4 different countries over the last two years. In between everyting else she has also aqcuired her life guard cetification. She is a crack up and a perfect candidate to throw corny jokes at. She is known to laugh at everything. She is loved by her guest on tours and if you get her on the river she just might catch a snake to give you a closer look! She doesn't mind getting her feet dirty and hates shoes. Her favorite thing at J & L "behind the scenes" is to show the guys up when it comes to lifting those kayaks!
Brandon is known at J & L Kayaking for his trademark guide look. Always dressed for the part complete with a variety of Croc shoes and his trusty fanny pack. He is very meticulous to details, no doubt a by-product of being raised by a Marine. He holds a ACA Level 2 Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment by completing various task including deep water rescue assisted and unassisted.
Laurie is the most important ingredient of J & L Kayaking. Even though she doesn't guide kayak tours often, she is at the start and the end of each day. Don't be fooled though she kayaks every chance she gets! She holds an ACA Level 2 Coastal Kayak Skills Assesment and is looking to press forward with her Level 3 assesment. She is the one that controls all the strings making sure that each kayak tour is done to the best that it can be. Laurie is the direct line of communication for you all the way till you meet your tour guide. When you call J & L you won't get a booking service you will get Laurie and her undivided attention to your questions or needs. She is behind each tour we do and is there making sure everything goes smooth. Her warm southern hospitality will make you feel right at home. Her expertise is in talking to our guest and helping them choose just the right tour. Her local kayaking experience gives her a steep advantage to the "other guys". Her first hand kayaking experience goes along way in helping each guest to pick the right tour. She is a one of a kind in customer service and is commtied to you as our guest.
Justin is an avid birder in his off time and loves to take his camera out with him to get some great photos! In fact pretty much every picture on this website was taken by him! Justin owns J & L with his wife and he enjoys being on the water more than anything. He holds an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor certification and is planning to get his Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor certification in the near future. Some would say; he can swim better than he can walk. When he is your guide there is no need for maps, or identification charts. He has been leading tours in this area since 2009 and has grown a real passion for our coastal waters and the conservation of them. He also developed a bit of a "geek" side when it comes to his birds. Not only can he indentify the birds to you when he sees them, he can identify quite a large selection just by hearing them or seeing the way their wings flap from a distance. He knows quite a few interesting facts about many of our coastal birds that he has learned along the way. Aside from his geeky side, Justin is a very laughable fun guide to have with you on tour and has an expert knowledge of kayaking techniques and paddleboarding techniques and kayak safety. We missed him in 2019 during his deployment to east Africa fullfilling his military commitment, after 371 days on continent he has returned safely to rejoin our team!
Henry is a very active explorer taking the opportunity to jump on an adventure anytime he gets a chance like achieving his ACA Level 2 Coastal Kayaking status. He graduated from our local university, Coastal Carolina, last fall with a degree in Biology- ecological conservation. Originally from New York he fled the north to pursue his education here. We are glad he did! He is a great addition to our family can be a bit of a goofball. He has a strong passion for the water and better yet the conservation of our local estuaries. If he isn't on the water he is probably on the trails for an overnight backpacking trip, and we should watchout because he just might develop his own camping meals! He also loves to cook. Perhaps well see him on Master Chef one day. He has our support! One last thing about Henry, feel free to say hi to him in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, or Swedish! Thats right! He is more than just bi-lingual. He can speak 5 different languages; however, go easy with him in Swedish- he is still learning that one!
And then there is Mario...! Mario is a highly experienced kayaker and loves taking people down the Waccamaw River. He shares Laurie and I's love for the outdoors. He is an Appalachian Trail blazer having completed all 2,189 miles of the trail once and his half way through his second go-round! On the water, he has paddle the entire distance of the Waccamaw river from its source at Lake Waccamaw all the way down to Georgetown. He jumps at the opportunity for overnight kayak camping trip and always is the best prepared kayaker on the trip. He is an energetic companion and always eager to offer great tips and advice on tours. Mario is an expert river rat and is full of great information about the Waccamaw River.
Bitten by a radioactive kayak in the summer of 2014, Nick has been on the water ever since! Armed with a keen sense of adventure and a healthy dose of humor, Nick's mantra has always been "With great fun, comes great responsibility!". Safety first, awesomeness a close second, Nick is commited to providing a positive kayaking experience for novices and seasoned veterans alike. A transplant from Ohio, Nick is an avid, tree hugging outdoorsman who loves learning about the local history and wildlife in the area, and passing it on to you! Join Nick for your next eco-adventure with J & L Kayaking, claim your place among those who braved the yak, and reap all the rewards these beautiful areas have to offer!
Riley is an "Army Brat" that has traveled and lived in numerous places. Between 1st and 5th grade he lived in Morocco full time with his family due to his Father's military service. Once a year they escaped to the U.S. to vacation in none other than Myrtle Beach! For him Myrtle Beach holds a special place in his memory bank as it was the only time he was on US soil. Following in his families footsteps, Riley is in the National Guard and has been serving since 2018. He has a passion for the outdoors and actually enjoys when his squadron takes off for annual military training. He was appropriately named Squirrel for his love of the outdoors and because he is our wild child. Boisterous energy and smiles are never in short supply with Riley.
Maisie hails from Virginia. She is a resident student at Coastal Carolina University where she dedicates her studies to Marine Biology. Her specific interest is in coastal marsh bathymetry. She is an experienced lifeguard from her home state and loves anything water! What we love about Maisie is she brings the enthusiasm and great versatile knowledge to the team. Always smiling and easy to adapt to the ever changing environment. We can testify that great things do come in small packages! She has a ACA Level 2 Coastal Kayaking Achievement, and even learned to roll her kayak during her skills assessment. She is a born natural to kayaking and has a smile that could tame a lion!
Matt joins us this summer and is officially the tallest guide on our team. We dubbed him "Groot" for his height. He was born in New York but raised right here in Little River. Matt is our athletic guide having been the only team member to play a college level sport. During his study he took advantage of a study abroad program which has officially made him a world traveler. He is fascinated with history and studied much of the European "old" history while visiting: Greece, England, Poland, Germany, & Italy during his studies. He brings a lot to the guide team with his local knowledge of the area and a love for kayaking.
Upcoming Kayak Tour Calendar
Main Office Location:
403 Strand Industrial Dr. • Little River • SC • 29566
Office Hours: 9am -5pm • Mon-Sat
Tour & Rental Hours: 7am -10pm • Sun-Sat
*Our office hours vary Mar, Apr, Sept, Oct.
Office is closed Nov-Feb, but we are available by appointment.
Phone: 843 • 267 • 6816
Phone Hours: 7am-9pm
Online booking available 24/7.