SUP Level 1 Checkout

A free one-hour checkout is all you need to start paddling our SUP boards.

Checkouts primarily cover board care (e.g. boards should never be put down on hard ground, and must never be beached - step off the board well before hitting the beach). You will also need to show you can rescue yourself if you fall in the water (just climb back onto the board). No prior experience is required for the level 1 checkout.

The session will start on land and will cover:

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. 

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