SUP Level 1

Basic Safety Skills 

Falling off safely — Paddlers should be confident falling off the board safely in shallow and deep water while maintaining control of the board and paddle. Competence in this skill does not have to be demonstrated by participants at this level but it should be explained and understood. 

Remounting the board — Remount the board quickly in shallow and deep water, maintaining control of the paddle. 

Use of a leash — Properly attach a leash and use it at all times. Understand the importance of using a leash. 

Understanding weather and paddling conditions — Awareness of the current and forecasted weather and how it will affect the water and paddling conditions. 

Basic Paddling Skills 

Essentials of maneuvering and control of the SUP. Competence to paddle a SUP along an enclosed and sheltered shore in the company of a more skilled partner. 

Lifting and carrying a SUP — Lift and carry the SUP in a safe and appropriate manner, using the handle (suitcase method), on the shoulder and balanced on the head. 

Choosing and holding a paddle — Choose a proper length of paddle and demonstrate the proper grip. 

Mounting and dismounting the SUP on your knees — Mount the board from beach to a kneeling position.

Stand up on the board — Transfer from kneeling to standing on the board while maintaining balance and stability. 

Paddle in a straight line — Paddle forward in a straight line for 100 metres, switching sides as needed. 

Basic Knowledge

Board design — Parts of the board, different board shapes and their effect in the water. 

Safety equipment — Basic safety equipment required for paddleboarding, and its proper use. 

Paddles — The attributes of various paddle materials and how to choose the correct paddle length. 

Equipment care — Proper care of the paddle, lifejacket, leash and board. 

Risk assessment and management — 

Water/ wind/ waves/ weather concerns and hazards Appreciate how water, wind, waves and weather interact within a paddling environment and the hazards associated with each. 

Hypothermia and hyperthermia Awareness of signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention of both hypothermia (low core body temperature) and hyperthermia (heat related illness).

Paddle Canada lifejacket policy Recognize the importance of wearing a lifejacket at all times, except when surfing. 

SUP Level 2

Level 2 Paddling Skills

Launching into waves — Launch the board safely into the waves with confidence while protecting the board, the fin, other paddlers and themselves. 

Paddling in waves — Paddle directly into wind chop with good speed, balance and control over 100 metres. While quartering waves (paddling at an angle to the waves), show good speed, balance and control over 100 metres. 

Foot positions — Use various foot positions and explain when each is most applicable. 

Pivot turns — While underway, quickly rotate the board 180 degrees by shifting weight backwards and using sweep strokes. 

Efficient forward stroke — With good speed and control over 100 metres, show good posture and use of body rotation. 

Bracing — Prevent a capsize with a variety of braces, both on-side and off-side. 

Edging — Understand how edging can assist turning or assist tracking and begin to show good edge control. 

Paddling in wind —Discuss strategies for dealing with wind and wind generated waves including headwinds, tailwinds and crosswinds. Strategies might include paddling positions (prone, kneeling and standing), paddling side, stance, and using the wind and waves for added efficiency. 



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