Core SUP Skills

SUP Primer

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Primer

One of the great things about stand up paddling is that pretty much anyone, within a few minutes, can be standing up on a board and “make it go”.
If you are brand new to stand up paddling, or have never taken any formal instruction, our SUP Primer is for you! Our 2-hour session gets you started off right with essential info on gear and clothing, safety knowledge, and equipment care. You will leave with the basic paddling skills and knowledge to safely stand up paddle on sheltered and enclosed waters, and ready to paddle your way into one of our Core SUP Skills programs!

Is this the course for you?

The SUP Primer is intended for those folks who want to try stand up paddling for the first time, for those who have been self taught, or for those who have perhaps been introduced to SUP by friends or family, but have not had any formal paddling instruction.

Many first timers are nervous anticipating that maintaining balance will be difficult, or are afraid of falling in. But the truth is most people don’t fall in and few have issues with balance after the first few minutes. If you can ride a bike or ski, you can paddle a board!

More Detail...

  • Prerequisites: You should be in reasonable physical condition, and able to readily stand up from a kneeling or sitting position from the floor. Comfort being in and on the water is a bonus, but if not don’t let that hold you back!
  • Includes: a 2 hours of dryland and on-water SUP instruction from certified and experienced Paddle Canada instructors
  • 6: 1 Student to Instructor ratio: giving you the best in personalized instruction and feedback
  • All technical paddling gear: – please see our Gear and Clothing tab.

Please note that the course does not include 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.

Course Agenda and Curriculum

  • Arrive, unload, meet and greet
  • Boards, paddles and gear – basic gear handling and care
  • Safety first – safety gear requirements, laws, safety talk
  • Launching and Landing, paddling from prone and sitting positions, standing up
  • Forward stroke basics, turning and redirecting your board, go for a paddle!
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

    We will meet at the Rundle Forebay in Canmore at the gravel pullout directly across from the entrance to the Nordic Center. See Map.

    Course start time: 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.

    Please note that there are no washrooms, or change facilities at the site. The nearest washrooms are across the road at the Nordic center.

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

  • Gear & Clothing

    We provide the technical paddling gear that you will need appropriate to the course as part of your course costs:

    • Brand name paddleboards by Badfish, Boardworks, Red Paddle
    • Adjustable paddle, leash, lifejacket, signal whistle, throwbag.
    • You are welcome to bring and learn on your own paddling gear if you have it. (Please note course fees remain the same.)

    You will need to bring your own personal gear and clothing for the session:

    • Cold water immersion clothing for early season and cool conditions: as a minimum we recommend a shorty style neoprene wetsuit or one-piece neoprene paddle top. See our Gear and Clothing Primer for more information!
    • For warmer season/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.

Course Location

Request More Info...