PSUPA Instructor Certification

We offer 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.

PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 (FW1) SUP Instructor Certification This course covers the skills needed to teach both a 1 to 3 hour basic SUP class confidently and safely. The curriculum includes the PSUPA Water Safety Course and covers the basics of how to start a SUP business, but is also adaptable to your specialized needs.  Certification is awarded upon completing the course, passing all tests, and achieving a satisfactory evaluation.

Flat Water 1 Manual – Students receive our 107 page PSUPA Instructor’s FW1 manual which includes also SUP business.

Course Curriculum: Risk management, water safety, making smart decisions, group management, paddling equipment, on-water communication, student phobias, learning styles, working with beginners, teaching children, presentation skills, marine weather, boating right of way, paddling in adverse weather.

On-Water Course Curriculum: Rescues and water safety, how to teach paddling, working with beginners, lesson protocol, rough water skills and more.

The SUP Business section includes how to start a business, building community, legal matters, insurance, pricing your services, developing your classes and tours, partnerships, hiring and training guides, marketing, websites and social media, sponsorships / ambassadorships, public relations, reviews and business forms. Note: SUP Business will only be covered in FW1 for business owners.

The PSUPA course taught by Rob Casey was professional and very thorough. From all the information presented in the extensive manual to the hands on, on the water, training, this class was sufficient to give any instructor the confidence and knowledge to SUP safely and teach others to do the same. I have been in the “instructor” business for over 30 years and I Highly recommend this course.” Lisa Hertrich Worthington, Seattle. 

Who can benefit from instructor training and certification?

Towing Practice

  • Retail shop staff
  • Summer camp staff
  • Rental company staff
  • Hotel and resort staff offering SUP
  • Municipal Parks and Recreation staff
  • Fitness professionals
  • You’re want to start a paddling business.
  • Anyone who aspires to improve the skills necessary to SUP with confidence in various flat water environments.


Course Size: 2 – 15 People.  Courses with 1-2 people may have a different rate than larger groups. 1-1 Courses have a higher rate than group courses.

Course Location: Seattle (Ballard Elks Lodge and beach on Shilshole Bay). Custom locations available.

Course Duration: 3 days.


Requirements to Attend:

  • PSUPA membership. $65 annually. Sign up here:
  • Course Fee: $499 per person – Payable to Salmon Bay Paddle (Contact us first)
  • Strong SUP Skills – Have a solid grasp of SUP paddling techniques and directional control, Level 2 or higher (See our Skills Ratings at bottom of this page)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 provide basic to advanced SUP training.
  • First Aid / CPR Certification – Current hands-on (i.e., not Internet-based) First Aid/CPR certification – or – Wilderness First Aid (with CPR) or Lifeguard Training certification with CPR.
  • Must be in proper physical shape and able to swim 100 yards and to lift and carry all equipment.
  • Equipment Requirements –  Stable surf style board, paddle, leash, PFD, tow system (we can supply).  Full surfing wetsuits or drysuits required Fall-Spring or during cooler summer days. Booties recommended for walking on rough beaches. Gloves are a good option as well for staying warm during rescues. Rentals available for all gear.

Read more about requirements for this course on the PSUPA website.

2014 PSUPA Certified Instructors


2017 Dates (Seattle) with Rob Casey

Feb 3-5 (2 spots left)

March 24-26 (5 spots left)

April 7-9 (6 spots left)

May 9-11 – NW Paddling Festival May 12-13 / 5 spots

June 2-4 (6 spots left)


Why is PSUPA Different?

– We have the most extensive course manual in the  industry.

– We are an international organization with instructors in the US, Canada, Australia and Mexico.

– Our curriculum includes SUP Business – How to start a business, marketing, risk management, legal info, buying gear and how to build a community.

– Our course content is updated 2x a year.

– We’re adding FW2, River, Downwind, Surf and Camp Instructor certifications.  

– As a smaller organization, we return your calls in a timely manner.

– We accept input from all levels of PSUPA members to benefit our curriculum and overall program.

– Unlike some other programs, it is possible to become an Instructor Trainer (IT) with the PSUPA

PSUPA Member Benefits – Pro-deals, Facebook member discussion page, we promote your business, online Resources page – business, marketing, environmental and paddling links, books and seminars.


Questions Or Sign-up: 206-465-7167 / 

Rob has certified the following businesses and organizations: Blackfish SUP,  ROW AdventuresDownwind Gladiators, the US Navy (NAS, Everett, Bangor), Gorge PerformanceLet’s Go TubingUnion Paddle & Row CenterKayak Academy, WWU Outdoor Center, and Urban Surf, Hydrology H2o, Godfather Testing Center, SUP-fari Paddle Adventures, Given to Glide Paddle Sports, Clatsop Paddle, SUP Spokane, The Stand Up Paddling School (Singapore), Port Stevens Paddlesports (Australia), Harbor SUP (Oak Harbor); Sound Yoga & SUP (Anacortes), Wilde Adventures, Alaska Wilderness SUP, H2o SUP Yoga (Portland), Fat Cat Paddle Boarding (Vashon Island), Kansas Department of Boating.

SUP Business Consulting also available from Rob.  Starting a business? Rob can help.

PSUPA SUP Instructor Certificaition course, 7/27/13 Bellingam, WA

Student demonstrating teaching skills


“The PSUPA Level 1 certification course provides fantastic on and off- water training and instruction. Rob Casey sets an excellent example of professionalism in the stand up paddle board business. His emphasis on high-quality instruction, customer service and high safety standards was very much appreciated during our course. Rob’s insight and experience in the paddleboard business has provided us with great ideas, tools and inspiration to get our own business started in Alaska. The PSUPA course manual has been an essential tool in developing our business model and safety operations plan. The PSUPA network on Facebook has also been a great tool for networking and learning from other business owners and individuals in the SUP community. We would highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to instruct paddleboarding or start a SUP business!”

-Jennah Jones and Amber Walker, Alaska Wilderness SUP, LLC

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