PSUPA Instructor Certification

PSUPA is an internationally recognized program beneficial for SUP instructors and recreational business owners who offer SUP as well as individuals seeking comprehensive SUP instruction.

As the founder of the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association (PSUPA), I handed the program over to Julie and Curt Devoir in 2018.  I am still available for providing the below certifications in the Seattle area and beyond.  Courses are available throughout the year as a private course and as scheduled courses.  Contact me for any questions.

I have two PSUPA programs available to teach – Flat Water 1 and the SUP Surfing Certification

Flat Water 1 is required to take and pass prior to taking any other PSUPA certifications.

PSUPA Certified Instructor Benefits

  • Access to the PSUPA Facebook member page to network and discuss industry questions with other instructors
  • Access to the PSUPA extensive online teaching resources and guides
  • Pro-Deals from Astral, MTI, ProMotion, NorthWater, SurfCo, Mile22 Straps, Mountaineers Books, GearAid, Seattle Sports, etc
  • Online business listing with your logo and contact info
  • Promotion of your business and/or paddling endeavors
  • Access to PSUPA logos to promote your business.
  • Certification will allow you to apply for business insurance in some regions.

Learn more on the PSUPA website

Who Can Benefit from Instructor Training and Certification?

  • Retail shop staff
  • Rental staff
  • Hotel and resort staff offering SUP
  • Municipal Parks and Recreation staff
  • Fitness professionals
  • Those wanting to start a paddling business
  • Those seeking a comprehensive 2 day intermediate to advanced SUP course


PSUPA Flat Water Level 1 SUP Instructor Certification

The curriculum focuses on the foundation and basics of teaching 1 to 3 hour beginning paddle board classes. You’ll also learn how to work with students, risk management, leadership training and how to start a SUP business. 

The course can be adaptable to each student’s specialized interests.  Certification is awarded upon completing the course, passing all tests and achieving a satisfactory evaluation.

Each student will receive our 80 page FW1 Teaching Manual.  

What You’ll Learn:

  • SUP business (optional) – How to start a business, choosing the right SUP business model, marketing, customer service, community building
  • Covid-19 Era Business Tips – How to teach with social distancing and run a retail business in the new era.
  • Risk management, group management, making smart decisions, legal issues, waivers, communication, marine weather, basic navigation
  • How to teach a 1.5 to 3hr basic class or tour
  • Teaching concepts, learning personalities and how to work with each, student phobias, modeling,
  • Learn about paddling equipment, equipment manufacturing, board and paddle design, hydrodynamics
  • On-water teaching techniques such as standing methods, falling, getting back on, turns, forward stroke, balance techniques, paddling straight, stroke analysis.
  • Rough water paddling in wind, light current and boat wakes.
  • Teaching kids, games, skill building drills, team building
  • Rescues – flip, dip-pull, towing, board push, rough water rescues, flip rescue for CPR, prone paddling, sitting/kneeling, stirrup rescue


PSUPA SUP Surfing Certification

This two day course will give you the skills, knowledge and tools to teach beginning SUP surfing students.

Receive our PSUPA SUP Surfing Certification Manual

You must successfully pass Flat Water 1 prior to taking this course.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Safety in the surf zone, risks of surfing, rescues.
  • Surf etiquette
  • Setting up surf classes, permits, insurance, risk management
  • SUP surfing equipment and clothing
  • Discussion of wave types, parts of a wave, surf breaks, wind, surf forecasts
  • Choosing beaches and breaks for the beginner
  • Paddling out, catching waves, directional control, falling safely and more
  • Sup surf business, designing programs and more


About Your Coach Rob Casey

Rob has been paddling SUP since 2006 and kayaking for a few years prior in all conditions.  In 2010 he started Seattle based Salmon Bay Paddle providing small group SUP and kayaking lessons and tours. He is the author of paddling guides Stand Up Paddling Flat Water to Surf and Rivers and Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juan Island, 60 Trips.

In 2013, he founded the Professional Stand Up Paddle Association building it to an international organization to promote water safety and instructor training. In 2018, Julie and Curt Devoir took over the reins of PSUPA allowing Rob to focus on his Seattle paddling business. Rob has also developed online SUP courses. When not teaching, Rob enjoys freighter surfing in Seattle and exploring Washington’s shorelines. Rob also kayaks and loves surfing his surf ski.  More about Rob

Businesses Rob has Certified (partial list):

City of Umatilla (Oregon), Blackfish SUP, ROW Adventures, Downwind Gladiators, the US Navy (NAS, Everett, Bangor), Gorge Performance, Let’s Go Tubing. Union Paddle & Row Center, Kayak Academy, WWU Outdoor Center, and Urban Surf, Hydrology H2o, Godfather Testing Center.

SUPfari Paddle Adventures and Given to Glide Paddle Sport, 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), Maliko Shuttle, More Water Time (Maui), Board Locals (CA). Good Story Paddle & Surf, Good Paddle, Anchor SUP (Michigan), Underfoot SUP (Mexico), Club Sake (Seattle).


Group Class (3 or more people): 1,100 per person

2 People: 1,399 per person

1 Person (1-1): 1,599

Rental Fees: 

$15 board, leash, paddle, vest PFD.  $15 4/3mm wetsuit, booties, gloves, hood.  

Contact me to Sign Up 


Requirements to Attend:

  • Current PSUPA membership. $75 annually – Get your membership here.
  • Are you Re-Certifying (every 4yrs) and/or taking the course as a Non-Cert Option? $399 for 2 days / 199 for one day plus rentals.
  • Get Online First Aid/CPR certification – or – current Wilderness First Aid (with CPR) or current Lifeguard Training certification with CPR.
  • Be Advanced Intermediate or Advanced level paddler. You must have a strong grasp of SUP paddling techniques.
  • Must know how to swim (the basics).
  • This is not a course for beginners. Not sure of your skill level?  Call me to set up a skills assessment clinic prior to the course.
  • Be in good physical shape and able to swim and to lift and carry all equipment.
  • Not sure of your skill level? Take my SUP 101 online course or SUP Basics 1 and 2 classes.
  • Special Rates for those taking the course but not wanting to receive a certification.
  • Covid-19 – Masks worn on land/shore and we’ll be using distancing on land and water. Covid-19 – Do not attend if you have a temperature and/or feel sick
Paddling Gear Required:
  • Stable surf style or displacement hard or inflatable board
  • Paddle
  • Coiled leash
  • PFD (ideally vest style – no C02 waist packs)
  • Tow system (I can supply these)
  • Full surfing 4/3mm or 5/4mm wetsuits or dry suits required Fall-Spring or for cooler summer days
  • Booties recommended for walking on rough beaches and for additional warmth.
  • Gloves are a good option as well for staying warm during rescues or colder days.
  • Hooded wetsuit, hooded vest or separate neoprene hood / skull cap to stay warm on colder days.

Contact me to Sign Up

“I appreciated the feasibility of a 2-day course, and believe we thoroughly covered all the basics while getting to enjoy a fantastic location. It was a rich and packed course. I look forward to gaining experience and diving into the PSUPA community resources as need arises.”


Chris D - Port Townsend, WA (2020)

What an awesome class my husband and I had with Rob for our SUP certification.  His course curriculum covered all that we need to feel confident to teach a class to our clients at Union Paddle and Row.  Our time in the water was invaluable as we perfected our strokes in both calm and choppy water. The rescue portion of our class was presented in such a way we all left prepared and ready if need be.  I would recommend this class to all.  The entire day was incredible!

Anne S

I’ve had many SUP, surfing (and beyond) lessons world-wide but I haven’t found an expert in the area that compares to Rob’s level of quality experience, competency and teaching skills.
Myself and a colleague recently got our PSUPA Level I instructor certifications from Rob. We spent two full days working with him and also observing his lesson teaching and a SUP race put on by Salmon Bay Paddle.
Rob emphasizes safety first and caters to each individuals personal learning style in delivering quality instruction to paddlers of all levels. He truly went above and beyond and has set the bar extremely high for a business model that I hope to mirror. I will definitely return to him for further training. Thanks a million Rob!
Jenn T

Love all the the tips from Salmon Bay for paddling, performance, pain/injury prevention and relief. Not only do I personally use these, I keep them in my arsenal of advise for our customers to help improve their performance.

Julie Devoir, Undertoe Mexico

“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. We would highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to instruct paddleboarding or start a SUP business!”

Jennah Jones + Amber Walker, Alaska Wilderness SUP

Rob Casey is the best. I learned so much from my PSUPA Flat Water Level 1 class. If you’re looking to improve your skills in SUP Rob and his instructors are the best in the business. They are safety conscience and truly care about the sport. So glad I choose Salmon Bay Paddle

Mariann Kirch, Michigan

“Rob and Harry are outstanding SUP instructors. They know the paddle board industry and are willing to share their knowledge to make you better. Rob excels in the technical areas and his teaching provides insight in helping you increase your skills. I have taken the instructor training and the Deception Pass’s tidal rapids class and both experiences were outstanding. The classes were held in epic places in the PNW. Salmon Bay Paddle will make you a better paddler and you will have a good time doing it!”

- John G

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