Instructor Training

Instructor Apprenticeships

  • Course Price

    From $350

  • Duration


  • Course Dates

    As scheduled with Instructor Trainer
  • Location

Instructor Apprenticeships

"Skills. Experience. Guiding. That’s what it takes to get people out on the water, help them learn and improve their skills, ensure that they find success...”.
One of the best ways to become an instructor beyond the Basic level is to apprentice under the supervision and tutelage of a Paddle Canada instructor trainer. For those who already hold at least their Basic instructor certification, apprenticing is an alternative to taking an instructor course and moving up a level. Apprenticing is a great way to get real instructional experience, with real clients on real courses! A successful apprenticeship may take more time than just taking an instructor course but if you want to be the best instructor possible this is the way to go!
Note: we only take a small number of apprentices each year via a pre-season application process. So if this is an option that interests you start thinking about it early and contact us for details!

Is this the course for you?

If you can’t make it to an instructor course then apprenticing may be an option for you. If you are committed to becoming the best instructor possible, want to get some real on-water teaching experience, and work under the tutelage of an Instructor Trainer then this is definitely the track for you!

If you have completed one of our  Core SUP skills   programs, or have equivalent training and are at home on your board.

More Detail...

  • Prerequisites:You must be at least 16 years of age to take the Basic certification and 18 to take all Advanced courses (incl. River 1 & 2).
    • Must hold a current Paddle Canada membership
    • Have Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater SUP skills certification, or equivalent knowledge and experience
    • Hold current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR.
  • Includes:
    • Initial paddling skills assessment
    • Participation in teaching/leading at least 2 full skills courses as run by Bearfoot Performance Paddling - and as many as 4
    • Personal feedback, instruction and assessment of teaching and leadership skills
    • A Paddle Canada Instructor Certification
    • Written assessment & reference letter

Please note that the course does not include any personal clothing or gear, food, or travel – please see our Gear and Clothing tab.

Course Cancellation: It is rare that we cancel a session due to weather considerations however we will do so if, in our judgement, the conditions are dangerous or are likely to present a poor learning environment.

Apprenticeship Agenda and Curriculum

After application and acceptance:

  • Initial skills evaluation
  • Assistance and leadership with promotion, organization and client communication for courses selected for apprentice participation
  • Assisting on one or two skills courses
  • Leading one or two skills courses
  • Final debrief and evaluation session

Candidates must prepare in advance both written and oral presentations, deliver on-water teaching sessions, complete a written skills course outline and complete a written test.

Detailed course outlines and teaching assignments will be distributed prior to the beginning of the course to allow candidates appropriate preparation time.

Attention: Although we do our best to work through all course content, please note that logistics, location, timing, itinerary or anything else, may be adjusted by your instructor to ensure group safety, comfort and success, over the duration of the course.

  • Location & Logistics

    Course Locations and Logistics TBA depending on location - See Map.

    Course start time: TBA. Please arrive about 15 minutes early, so that you are unloaded, changed, and ready to begin at the start time. Arriving late will cut into your instructional time, and that of others on the course.

    We suggest that you bring high energy snacks and drink with you, and a lunch. On cool days we especially recommend bringing a thermos with a hot drink.

  • Gear & Clothing

    You will need to bring your own board and paddling gear, and all personal gear and clothing for the course:

    • Paddle, leash, lifejacket, signal whistle, throwbag
    • Cold water immersion clothing is a must: as a minimum we recommend a shorty style neoprene wetsuit or one-piece neoprene paddle top combined with neoprene shorts or leggings. And thats for warm weather conditions. See our Gear and Clothing Primer for more information!
    • For warmer conditions: quick-dry or warm-when-wet outdoor athletic gear. Think paddle tops, rashguards, breathable hiking layers, merino wool, boardshorts ,athletic swimwear.
    • Insulating layers, weatherproof shell layers
    • Towel and warm, dry change of clothes (just in case!)
    • Secure protective footwear such as water shoes, paddle shoes, neoprene paddle/surf booties or sport sandals.
    • Headwear: sun hat, toque (warm hat), sunglasses with straps
    • Any personal first aid, medications, sunscreen etc
    • Waterproof and floatable camera
    • High energy snacks, drinking water.
    • Secure protective footwear such as water shoes, paddle shoes, neoprene paddle/surf booties or sport sandals.

    Note: Candidates also need to bring gear that you would carry as an instructor for a paddling session that takes you more than a few minutes away from your vehicles or other assistance. This should include as a minimum group first aid, emergency kit, repair kit, means of communication and waterproof storage.

Course Locations

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