If you want to learn how to stand up paddle, the very first step should be to get a lesson. An instructor can help you be safe and have fun. Otherwise, you’re lost and stepping on the gas and you could get hurt or worse.

Think about it, when you first start to paddle, your entire focus is how to stand on the board, how to hold the paddle. An instructor can help with these basic hard skills, but can also teach you about how to prepare for your excursion by teaching you things like: checking the radar, proper use of a pfd and a leash, how to get on and off your board, how to turn and steer your board, how to signal for help, how to plot a safe course, how to pre-plan for safety, how to paddle in windy conditions, how to paddle in current, rule regarding boat traffic, what to bring, what to wear, how to get a board on and off your car. While that’s a heck of a lesson, it’s also a glimpse into the things a lesson can make you aware of before you step on a board.

There is a lot to consider. And believe me, learning the hard way is not fun at all.

How to find a certified standup paddle instructor:

Check out the Mullet SUP Instructor’s list.

These are paddle people who are certified to teach. care enough to reach out and be listed on a SUP site, to be invested in the SUP community. If you know an instructor who isn’t on the list, let them know it’s free.

Look for instructors certified by the American Canoe and Kayak Association

Check out the ACA Instructor Map

Find a certified instructor on the World Paddle Association Website


Check out PaddleFit

These coaches not only teach, but take a fitness route to making SUP fun and part of a workout.

Check out the Mullet SUP Shops list.

These are paddle shops who care enough to reach out and be listed on a SUP site, to be invested in the SUP community. They might have an instructor who isn’t listed yet.

You instructor should also be CPR certified and insured. Ask around. Find someone you like. And join a great sport with the knowledge you need to have a blast on the water.

Before you step on a board, get a lesson from a certified instructor