The Paddle Canada National Stand Up Paddleboard Program (SUP)

The Paddle Canada Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) program includes nationally-recognized certifications in eight skill levels, eight instructor levels and eight instructor-trainer levels. This program teaches paddlers how to safely and efficiently use stand up paddleboards in a wide variety of waters. Paddle Canada’s goal is to provide the most relevant paddleboard instructional programming in the world.

The Paddle Canada SUP Program begins with an introduction to paddling in calm, sheltered conditions followed by an advanced flatwater skills certification. The paddler can seek advanced skills in three additional tiers: river, surf, and touring. The complete program includes instructor and instructor-trainer levels.

Skills Stream

Basic SUP
Advanced Flatwater
River 1
River 2
Surf 1
Surf 2
Touring 1
Touring 2

Instructor Trainer Stream

Basic SUP Instructor
Advanced Flatwater Instructor
River 1 Instructor
River 2 Instructor
Surf 1 Instructor
Surf 2 Instructor
Touring 1 Instructor
Touring 2 Instructor

Instructor-Trainer Stream

Basic SUP Instructor Trainer
Advanced Flatwater Instructor-Trainer
River 1 Instructor-Trainer
River 2 Instructor-Trainer
Surf 1 Instructor-Trainer
Surf 2 Instructor-Trainer
Touring 1 Instructor-Trainer
Touring 2 Instructor-Trainer

To Register for a Skill Course

Contact the course director/organization and register with them.

To Register for an Instructor Course

  1. Contact the course director/organization and register with them first.
  2. Register yourself as an instructor candidate member with Paddle Canada here.
    • If you are an existing member or a past skill course participant please login to your account and follow the instructor candidate link there. Contact the office if unsure of your account details and verify email and retrieve password.
    • If you are brand new to PC, then proceed to the Instructor Candidate

Age Requirement

There are no age restrictions for any skills course (except at the discretion of the course director). For the Basic Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor course, candidates must be at least 16 years of age. All other instructor course candidates must be at least 18 years of age.

Please forward your questions, comments, concerns and feedback to the Stand Up Paddleboard Program Development Committee.

Basic Stand Up Paddleboard

Aim

Introduces the novice to paddling a paddleboard in calm sheltered water.

Prerequisites

None.

Typical Course Length

2-3 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion.


Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard

Aim

Builds on skills and knowledge gained in the Basic SUP course. The participant will be introduced to paddling in more challenging conditions and to more advanced paddleboard skills.

Prerequisites

Basic SUP course or equivalent experience.

Typical Course Length

2-3 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion. Advanced Flatwater SUP can be combined with Basic SUP into a single course of 4-6 hours or more.


Stand Up Paddleboard River 1

Aim

Introduces the novice to paddling a paddleboard on easy (Class 1) rivers and surfing on river standing waves. The emphasis is on mastering the fundamentals of river paddling, along with a strong grounding in water safety and safe paddleboard practices.

Prerequisites

Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard course or equivalent experienc

Typical Course Length

3-4 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion.


Stand Up Paddleboard River 2

Aim

Provides participants with the theory and skills to paddle Class 2 rivers. The emphasis is on transferring the skills of the SUP River 1 course to more challenging rapids and using the river to the paddler’s advantage.

Prerequisites

River 1 Stand Up Paddleboard skills course, or equivalent experience.

Typical Course Length

3-4 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion.


Stand Up Paddleboard Surf 1

Aim

Introduces the novice to paddling a paddleboard into moderate surf conditions ( <1m) in a coastal environment. The emphasis is on learning the fundamentals of entering and understanding the surf zone, introduction to tides and beach profiles, and a strong emphasis on safety and etiquette.

Prerequisites

Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard skills course or equivalent skills and knowledge.

Typical Course Length

4-6 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion.


Stand Up Paddleboard Surf 2

Aim

Provides participants with the theory and skills to surf more in bigger conditions. The emphasis is on transferring the skills of the Surf 1 course to more challenging surf and using the water to the paddler’s advantage.

Prerequisites

Surf 1 Stand Up Paddleboard skills course or equivalent skills and knowledge.

Typical Course Length

4-6 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion.


Stand Up Paddleboard Touring 1

Aim

Introduces participants to paddling and navigating in a coastal environment. The emphasis is on knowledge, navigation and safety skills. The course expands on concepts introduced in the Advanced Flatwater course and applies them to a more dynamic coastal environment.

Prerequisites

Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard course, or equivalent skills and knowledge.

Typical Course Length

6-8 hours, or more at instructor’s discretion.


Stand Up Paddleboard Touring 2

Aim

To provide the skills and knowledge for proficient kayaking in moderate conditions, on overnight trips along a moderately exposed shore with frequent easy landing opportunities.

Prerequisites

  • Touring 1 Stand Up Paddleboard course or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Experience: At least 3, one day long, SUP touring trips in different locations.
  • Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) with CPR strongly recommended.

Typical Course Length

3 days including at least one overnight.

Basic Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor

Aim

The instructor can teach Stand Up Paddleboard on protected flatwater with easy landing options; conduct Paddle Canada Basic SUP skills courses; assist on Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater SUP skills courses.

Prerequisites

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • Current Paddle Canada membership and Provincial/Territorial membership.
  • Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater SUP skills certification, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR (14-16 hours)
  • Instructors are expected have experience beyond that of the Basic SUP skills course

 Typical Course Length

2 days (16 hours) minimum.

Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor

Aim

The instructor can teach Basic SUP and Advanced Flatwater SUP skills courses and with prerequisite skills assist on River 1, Surf 1 and  Touring 1 SUP skills courses.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Current Paddle Canada membership and Provincial / Territorial membership.
  • Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater SUP skills certification, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR (14-16 hours)
  • Instructors are expected have experience beyond that of the Advanced Flatwater SUP 

Typical Course Length

2 days (16 hours) minimum.The River 1 SUP Instructor

River 1 SUP Instructor

Aim

The instructor can conduct Paddle Canada Basic, Advanced Flatwate, River 1 SUP skills courses in class 1 moving water and assist on Paddle Canada River 2 SUP. With prerequisite skills, the instructor can assist on Surf 1,

Touring 1 SUP skills courses.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Current Paddle Canada membership and Provincial / Territorial membership.
  • Paddle Canada River 2 SUP skills certification, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor certification
  • Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR (14-16 hours).
  • Paddle Canada recommends that instructors possess appropriate Swift Water Rescue Training
  • Instructors are expected have experience beyond that of the River 2 SUP skills course

Typical Course Length

2 days (16 hours) minimum.

River 2 SUP Instructor

Aim

The instructor can teach Stand Up Paddleboarding on class 1 and class 2 moving water; conduct Basic, Advanced Flatwater, River 1, and River 2 SUP skills courses. With prerequisite skills, the can assist on Surf 1, Touring 1, Surf 1 and Touring 1 SUP skills courses.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Current Paddle Canada membership and Provincial / Territorial membership.
  • Paddle Canada River 2 SUP skills certification, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Paddle Canada River 1 Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor certification
  • Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR (14-16 hours).
  • Paddle Canada recommends that instructors possess appropriate Swift Water Rescue Training
  • Instructors are expected have experience beyond that of the River 2 SUP skills course

Typical Course Length
2 days (16 hours) minimum.

Touring 1 SUP Instructor

 Aim

The instructor can teach Stand Up Paddleboarding in a coastal environment with moderate winds and surf conditions less than 1 meter and conduct Paddle Canada Basic, Advanced Flatwater, Touring 1 SUP skills courses and assist on Touring 2 SUP skills courses. With the prerequisite skills, the instructor may assist on Surf 1, River 1 skill course.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Current Paddle Canada membership and Provincial / Territorial membership.
  • Paddle Canada Touring 2 SUP skills certification, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor certification
  • Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR (14-16 hours).
  • Paddle Canada recommends that instructors possess appropriate Lifeguard and Surf Rescue Training
  • Candidates are expected have experience beyond that of the Touring 2 SUP skills course

Typical Course Length

2 days (16 hours) minimum.

Touring 2 SUP Instructor

Aim

The instructor can teach Stand Up Paddleboard in a coastal environment with moderate winds and surf conditions up to 1 meter and conduct Basic, Advanced Flatwater, Touring 1, and Touring 2 SUP skills courses. With prerequisite skills, the instructor can assist on Surf 1, River 1 SUP skills courses.

Prerequisites

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Current Paddle Canada membership and Provincial / Territorial membership.
  • Paddle Canada Touring 2 SUP skills certification, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
  • Paddle Canada Touring 1 Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor certification
  • Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR (14-16 hours).
  • Paddle Canada recommends that instructors possess appropriate Lifeguard and Surf Rescue Training
  • Candidates are expected have experience beyond that of the Touring 2 SUP skills course

Typical Course Length

3 days including at least one overnight.

 

 

 

Instructor Trainer Levels

The Instructor-Trainer teaches others how to teach the different levels of the SUP program.

The candidate apprentices on instructor courses and is assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the mentorship process. The IT Apprentice must assist on at least two (2) Basic Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor courses.

For a more detailed description of this level please refer to the Paddle Canada Stand Up Paddleboard Program Manual.

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