We take our sports seriously, and with stand up paddle (SUP) boarding, we make no exception. Since we began selling SUP boards 3 years ago, we have seen the sport explode in popularity. Sport Chalet already offers a great selection of SUP products along with in-store expertise. As of this month, we have a brand-new rental fleet of SUP Company boards available in selected locations. The next natural step is to offer SUP instruction to complete the experience for our customers.
We needed a reputable partner to help us get our instructional program up and running. Research led us to the World Paddle Association (WPA), and our SUP vendor partners confirmed and supported our decision. We chose eleven of our best experts to participate in a two-day stand up paddle instructor certification course. The course, taught by WPA Master instructors and SUP Company representatives, Jaime Donnelly and Josh Plotkin, was nothing short of excellent. Here is a short recap of that experience.
The Certification Experience
Day One was a skills review and assessment day, designed to gauge each person’s skill level.
The instructors focused on the paddlers’ awareness of the ocean and their current skill level while stand up paddle boarding. Our experts have varying levels of experience, from professional surfing to kayak and canoe tour guiding. The WPA instructors took our group from surf to flat water, and exposed us to various water conditions and scenarios. It was a full day, and the group came back invigorated and bonded by their experience. The instructors’ assessment was that our group had solid SUP skills that would serve us well for the rest of the training program.
Day Two was an intensive 8-hour instructor training curriculum.
WPA President Byron Kurt kicked off the day, sharing the history of SUP and the WPA mission with us.
“The mission of the WPA is to provide a comprehensive voice, fair and equal access, and organizational structure to the sport of stand up paddling and its participants in a manner that benefits the collective stand up paddling community.“
This organization is committed to providing structure, consistent messaging, and standards within the community. They focus and encourage:
- RESPECT for all water, boating, and paddling safety
- RESPONSIBILITY for the environment
- ADVANCING THE SPORT within the community
Byron had us fired up to be a larger part of a sport rich in tradition, historical significance, and community-building. Teaching SUP helps us to “Inspire a Movement” (the SUP company motto)!
The training continued to include the following topics for both on and off the water:
- Equipment education & handling tips
- Injury prevention
- SUP etiquette
- Safety planning
- Water dynamics
- Boating laws
- Board/paddling Instruction skills
- Proper paddling techniques
- Rescue techniques
- Surf vs. race
The group spent time in the water, practicing instructional techniques and rescue skills.
The instructors are well-equipped to teach anyone how to SUP. One of the great things about this sport is that any person, at any fitness level, can do it. With the help of our instructors, we will help you become a part of the “Movement” as well. Thanks to WPA and SUPco for helping us to advance to the top level in SUP instruction. We’ll see you on the water!