Instructor Certification Course (Dates: TBD)

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Instructor Certification Course (Dates: TBD)

465.00 650.00

PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 SUP Instructor Certification

This course is a 2-day SUP Instructor Certification through the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association (PSUPA). This internationally recognized program is beneficial for both independent SUP instructors as well as recreational business owners who offer SUP instruction and rentals.  You will learn the skills needed to teach a 1 to 3-hour SUP class confidently and safely. The curriculum includes the PSUPA Water Safety Course  and is adaptable to client's specialized needs. Certification is awarded upon completing the course, passing all tests, and achieving a satisfactory evaluation. The certification is valid for 4-years.   -- Details about the course are listed below --

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What You're Learn:

  • Risk management, group management, making smart decisions, legal issues, waivers, communication, marine weather, basic navigation
  • How to teach a 1.5 to 3hr basic class or tour
  • Teaching concepts, learning personalities and how to work with each, student phobias, modeling,
  • Learn about paddling equipment, equipment manufacturing, board and paddle design, hydrodynamics
  • On-water teaching techniques such as standing methods, falling, getting back on, turns, forward stroke, balance techniques, paddling straight,
  • Rough water paddling in wind and boat wakes.
  • Teaching kids, games, skill building drills, team building
  • Rescues - flip, dip-pull, towing, board push, rough water rescues, flip rescue for CPR, prone paddling, sitting/kneeling, stirrup rescue

Certified Instructor Benefits:

  • Students receive our 107 page PSUPA Instructor's Flat Water 1 manual (and business manual)
  • Access to our Facebook member page to network and discuss industry questions with other instructors
  • Access to our extensive online teaching resources and guides
  • Pro-Deals from Astral, MTI, ProMotion, SurfCo, NUUN, Mile22, OR, Mountaineers Books, McNett, Seattle Sports, etc
  • Online business listing with your contact info
  • Promotion of your business and/or paddling endeavors

Requirements to Attend

  • Current PSUPA membership. Sign up here.
  • At least 18-years of age.
  • Have a strong grasp of SUP paddling techniques and directional control. This is not a course for beginners. Not sure of your skill level? Call us to set up a skills assessment clinic prior to the course. We can provide training before the course.
  • Have current hands-on (i.e., not Internet-based) First Aid/CPR certification – or – Wilderness First Aid (with CPR) or Lifeguard Training certification.
  • Be in good physical shape and able to swim 100 yards and to lift and carry all equipment.
  • Gear Requirements – all equipment will be provided by SurfSUP Adventures.  You're welcome to bring your own gear as well.

Certification Valid for 4 Years: PSUPA certified instructors are required to take a one-day refresher course in their certification every four years to keep their certification valid.

Course Schedule

Day 1:  Dates: TBD

Day 2:  Dates: TBD

*Times and location are subject to change due to weather or conditions

Location: TBD

Course Fees


+ PSUPA Annual Membership Fee (required) — $75 per person. Join here.

Your Instructor:

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Ian Smith is a standup paddleboard athlete, guide, and writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His work and videos have appeared in the Standup Journal, SUP the Mag, the American Whitewater Journal, The Paddler, Boarders Mag, and more.  In 2011, he founded SurfSUP Adventures based in Pittsburgh.  Ian is also an Instructor Trainer for the Professional Standup Paddle Association (PSUPA) with specialties in flatwater and whitewater certifications.   In addition to teaching, Ian is a team athlete for ULI Boards, Werner Paddles, and NRS.

Ian is also the founder of First Waves, an organization that uses standup paddling, river surfing, and the art of filmmaking as a catalyst to inspire watershed conservation and mentorship for at-risk youth.  In 2016, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh award First Waves as their "Partner of the Year."