Learn the skills you need to provide the basic level of instruction to assist first time paddlers with the knowledge to confidently and safely paddle. This course emphasizes water safety along with the paddle basics.
The PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 Certification covers the skills you need to teach both a 1- and 2-hour basic SUP class confidently and safely. The curriculum emphasizes water safety, leadership, and teaching risk management and rescue procedures.
Certification is awarded upon completing the course. This includes passing an online test and demonstrating your ability to provide a quick lesson (monitored in person by a PSUPA instructor or remotely by submitting a video to PSUPA for review). This certification is a prerequisite for all other PSUPA Certifications.
Course Duration: 2 days. 8am-5pm with a lunch break
Minimum Age of Participants: 18 years old.
Teacher-to-Student Ratio: 1:6, 2:10 or 3:15.
- Have First Aid/CPR training or Wilderness First Aid or Lifeguard Training certification or the equivalent for your location.
- Be in good overall physical shape, be able to swim and be able to lift and carry all equipment.
- Be able to launch and land a board safely, as well as safely fall from and remount a board.
- Be comfortable walking on a SUP board and comfortable balancing in various water conditions.
- Know basic SUP paddling techniques and be able to maintain directional control of a board, including various strokes for turning and paddling straight.
- Have at least basic knowledge of paddling equipment, SUP terms and history of the sport.
- Have positive interpersonal skills.
- Hold current PSUPA membership.
This is not a course for beginners.
If you are not an experienced paddler or don’t yet meet the requirements for this certification, please consider taking some basic and advanced SUP classes from our Instructor Trainers or Certified Instructors before pursuing this certification.
- Water safety - which covers (among other things): emergency preparedness and rescue techniques
- Interpretation of weather and water conditions
- On-water group management and communication
- Leadership skills
- Teaching concepts and techniques
- How to teach the basic elements of stand up paddling
- Approaches to teaching students of varying ages, abilities, skill levels, and limitations
- Lesson formats and preparation
- Methods of teaching basic paddling techniques
- SUP gear and equipment overview
- Additional add-on course available on request: SUP Business - which covers business models and procedures, including how to start a business, insurance requirements, marketing, pricing and hiring instructors. A SUP Business Manual is included with this add-on.
Requirements for Course Completion and Certification
Tests are Pass/Fail with Passing grade at 80% or better.
- Pass on-water test
- Pass written test
- Demonstrate ability to teach land-based and on-water scenarios
- Approval of Instructor Trainer through standardized student evaluation, which includes accessing leadership, teaching skills, and attention to safety