What’s in a Lesson?

 A few lessons from a certified instructor can prepare you for a lifetime of successful stand up paddleboarding. 

A few lessons from a certified instructor can prepare you for a lifetime of successful stand up paddleboarding. 

With just one paddle and a board to maneuver, a stand up paddleboarding lesson can seem unnecessary at first. However, after a few years of teaching, we have found that most students enjoy and benefit from the opportunity to master the basics or take their skills to the next level. Most instructors are also avid paddlers themselves, and are often able to share helpful tips and tricks that are relevant to your local area.

Before you schedule a lesson, look for a SUP instructor certified by the American Canoe Association, or ACA. These individuals have participated in an intensive, multi-day training session and are well versed in effective teaching and student safety. It is usually possible to find an instructor online, or you can call your local paddle shop and ask for a recommendation.

A beginner lesson will usually take place in a calm area, protected from wind and waves. You will learn about your equipment, how to adjust the paddle properly, and how to position your body on the board for optimal balance. Next, your instructor will demonstrate basic skills like how to use your paddle efficiently, how to turn, and how to stay safe during your time on the water. You should leave a beginner lesson with enough knowledge and confidence to start enjoying the sport independently.

More experienced paddlers can request lessons tailored to their existing skills and specific paddling interests. A good instructor can help you learn to improve the efficiency of your paddle strokes, prepare for a race, find your way around a new area, or even master SUP surfing. We would highly recommend investing in a lesson or two if you are serious about exploring our local waters by paddleboard. Happy paddling!

Ocean Tribe Paddlers is a club hosted by Sanibel Sea School that helps the SWFL paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit oceantribepaddlers.org or follow us on Facebook to learn more.