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, with corresponding Instructor and Instructor Trainer certifications. The 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 program launched in 2011. It is maintained and updated by a committee of top-level Instructors Trainers from across Canada who leverage Paddle Canada’s kayak and canoe program experience to remain ahead of the industry-standard for SUP instruction. At last count, there were well over 800 current SUP Instructors in the Paddle Canada program, all of whom undergo regular professional development to ensure their skills and knowledge represent the paddling world’s best practices.

The Paddle Canada Stand Up Paddleboard Program begins with the Basic SUP skills course in calm sheltered conditions and progresses in steps to advanced touring skills on open water in rough conditions. Additionally, the paddler can seek advanced skills in the river and surf streams. The complete program includes Instructor and Instructor Trainer levels.

The SUP program no longer includes intentional camping in its curriculum. If your want to learn about camping while paddleboarding, check out Paddle Canada’s Camping Skills Program.

Skills Stream

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

Instructor Stream

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

Instructor Trainer Stream

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

Instructor Trainer 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.