SUP Teaching

Who is the ISA and why are they better than the other SUP certifications out there?

Becoming a paddle board instructor is the ultimate dream. You spend all day on the water, on your board, teaching people the remarkable joy that is paddleboarding. You spend the summers on the beach and have the option to travel the world teaching lessons. Heck you could run your own retreat, if you wanted to, and if you’re certified to teach yoga -you could combine the two. I think everyone who teaches paddleboarding has a dream that looks a little something like this, but what goes into making that dream a reality?  Besides being a strong swimmer, and a well versed paddle boarder yourself, a top notch certification is the golden ticket to being able to teach confidently.

In my opinion, it’s a big responsibility being a teacher on the water, you need to guide your students and let’s be real- keep them safe. Water and wind are literally forces of nature and to go out on the water requires a certain level of respect and preparation to meet that responsibility. Teachers have an obligation to provide a safe learning environment through their knowledge of waterways and good risk management practices. Anyone who has been crashed up under a wave can tell you, confidence is not about being able to stand tall and proud on your board- it’s about logging enough hours on the water to be attuned to the risks that come with it. That kind of understanding only comes with experience.

There are other ways to get certified to teach SUP, however in my opinion when it comes to sports training I will straight up admit I look to the Olympics governing body to steer me in the right direction. If it’s good enough for an olympic trainee, it’s good enough for me. This June SUPGirlz is offering an ISA SUP certification (for the first time ever in Eastern Canada) and here’s the low down on why this is the certification I’d highly recommend to get if you want to be rockstar SUP teacher.

Who is the ISA and why are they better than the other SUP certifications out there?

The International Surf Association is THE world governing authority for surfing. The International Olympic committee looks to the ISA to regulate all of their Olympic water sports. They’re actually kind of brilliant in the way they’ve managed to get a handle on all water sports and ensure that their training and participation on the world stage is top notch. They’ve ensured that Surfing and SUP are taken seriously and have helped countries develop their own surfing federations. Now they are taking these sports into the Olympics! You’ll be part of this exciting step by being a ISA teacher already.

ISA is the most recognized certification for surf and sup teachers in the world. If you want to teach internationally, this is for you. 

ISA is connected to each country’s Olympic committees, surf federations, surf & SUP schools, judges, and athletes.  In terms of training, the ISA Flat Water SUP accreditation is the most comprehensive training out there. In order to obtain certification you’ll need to complete 2 days of ISA training, complete a 2 day water rescue course, and log 20 hours of practical coaching time, which will need to be approved by your trainer

As a teacher your students look to you to be a role model, provide guidance and educate on how to advance their training. These students look to you for support and how to stay safe. This comprehensive training is going to make you develop into the best teacher you can be. When you’re guiding others in an open body of water doesn’t it help to know you’ve had the best training?  ISA doesn’t spent just 2 days with you and give you a certificate. You are getting feed-back from your trainer for 20 more coaching hours and have a year to complete the 2 day water award and coaching booklet. 

This June 23rd & 24th, for the first-time in Ontario, this ISA certification will take place at SUPGirlz. 

The certification is led by Team Canada SUPSurf athlete and Tofino Paddle Surf Owner, Catherine Bruhwiler & SUPGirlz Owner and Team Ecuador SUP trainer, Janna Van Hoof.  Included in your registration is the two day ISA SUP Flat Water Certification course, workbook, ISA membership, CSA membership and personal assessments of your skills. You’ll learn how to deliver a great 1st time class, how to plan a lesson that is safe and fun, how to teach and be a proper coach, safety procedures, managing groups and conflicts and how to develop skills at all levels.

SUP is the fastest growing sport in the world, so the need for teachers will just keep increasing.  Get yourself properly certified and set yourself apart now.  When you’re teaching retreats in Bali in 5 years from now, you’ll thank us.

-Lauren Schell

~catch author Lauren on the weekends at SUPGirlz & on social classes this summer