Choosing a Stand Up Paddle Board Instructor

Choosing a SUP Instructor

Everyone should try stand up paddle boarding. It’s a traditional Hawaiian sport, and you won’t get any closer to walking on water. We think that learning how to stand up paddle board through an instructor is the easiest and best way to learn. There are so many instructors and companies that can teach you, so how do you pick one?

Client Recommendation

We believe that recommendations from other clients and paddle boarders are going to tell you more than any website or advertisement. Talk to other paddle boarders and ask about the instructors they used. They’ll be able to tell you about their experience, if the instructor was easy to understand and how they felt after their sessions.

Cost

We know that cost is usually a factor for any decision, and choosing a paddle board instructor is no different. You need to look at the cost and decide what your budget is. We know that this isn’t the only consideration, and that the instructors with the highest prices aren’t necessarily the best or most suitable for your needs. The instructors with the cheapest prices aren’t necessarily the least qualified or the worst either. But most people will need to factor the cost in when they’re looking for an instructor.

Location

When you’re finding an instructor, think about the location. There may be somewhere in particular that you really wanted to be able to paddle board. Find an instructor that can offer that location. Also, you don’t want to find the most suitable instructor, only to find that they’re based to far away. Academy of Surfing Instructors has a list of certified instructors in many locations, so it’s a good place to begin your search.

Qualifications

The qualification of the instructor may be the most important factor. There’s many types of SUP qualification, and each of them offer different aspects of paddle boarding. You need to decide why you want to learn paddle boarding. If you want to use it as a way of keeping fit, then an instructor with a PaddleFit qualification might be better suited to you. The PaddleFit qualification focuses on the fitness and exercise aspects to paddle boarding a little more than any of the other qualifications. So look for an instructor that suits your needs and what you want to get out of the experience. The SUP Instructor website gives a good overview of each qualification, and which areas they focus on.

Equipment

Some instructors provide all the equipment you would need for your session, the paddle, the board, even a wet suit. Other instructors can rent you the equipment for an extra cost, and for others you need to bring your own equipment. If you already have all the equipment then this won’t have any affect on your decision. If you don’t have any equipment, you might not want to spend any money on hiring or buying equipment.

Access

It doesn’t matter if the instructor teaches full time, or as a sideline. You should be to call or email and get a response reasonably quickly. An instructor who doesn’t respond to your queries may not be the best one for you.

We know that you have many things to consider that will influence which instructor you ultimately choose. And the internet is a great research tool. Youtube.com has some tutorial videos by certified instructors that will give you an idea of their teaching methods and personality.

This video shows you the basics of stand up paddle boarding, and explains the stance and motions. It’s very useful, but we don’t think anything will beat having the experience with a certified instructor.