By: Stephanie Capilongo 

Stephanie helps secure at PFD on a toddler “We’re not selling an object, but rather an experience.”

Once a fashion major, I relied on material things to give me comfort. I have long forgotten that outlook and believe the experiences I have had in the outdoors is what has given me confidence to encourage others to do the same.

Throughout the last two years of working at Kayak Pittsburgh I realized how the things you’re passionate about can also be your job. Maybe it’s the constant dose of Vitamin D or the eager customers. Regardless, there is never a dull moment.

To be a part of an organization where we believe that everybody belongs outdoors, makes me feel like I am a part of something much bigger than myself. Seeing customers come up to the concession looking apprehensive and then filled with confidence as soon as they get off the kayak is so gratifying. To see the reactions and positive impact this sport and organization have on individuals, to see returning customers bringing new people, and the staff connecting with the customers is what I live for.

By no means is the job simple. The days are long, and you definitely get your “recommended” 10,000 steps. You must be on top of your game always. There are many risks involved. Outdoor recreation requires you to be on your toes constantly, address any issues that may come up, and constantly communicate with staff and customers so everybody feels safe. But at the end of the day, this job is the most rewarding experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

kayak pittsburgh views Stephanie gives a paddle talk

My advice to anyone wanting to try something new, come down to one of our three locations [North Shore, North Park or Aspinwall] this summer and kayak your heart out. I assure you, you won’t regret the breathtaking views or the core work out. We will provide the confidence you’ll need to feel comfortable on the water, not to mention the amazing mental and physical health benefits you’ll receive from it.