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Become a Certified SUP Coach

PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 Certification Course


Gain the skills you need to teach classes confidently and safely. Our hybrid online/in person course emphasizes water safety, leadership, stroke technique, and rescue procedures, along with basics of running a SUP business.

Led by your CHESUPEAKE coaching team: Nicole Stimpson & Carleen Birnes

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FALL 2023

Our PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 Certification Course isa hybrid model the blends self-paced online coursework and a one-day in-person water training practicum.

FALL 2023 Certification Dates:
• Online course access provided upon sign up
• Water practicum 10/22/23

Ferry Point Marina

700 Mill Creek Rd

Arnold, MD

Your certification is awarded upon completing the course. This includes passing all tests and achieving a satisfactory evaluation of your teaching, leadership skills and attention to safety. You will receive a PSUPA Certified Instructors Manual that covers everything covered in the course and more. 


  • Water safety - emergency preparedness and rescue techniques

  • Interpretation of weather and water conditions

  • On-water group management and communication

  • Leadership skills

  • Teaching concepts and techniques

  • How to teach the basic elements of stand up paddling

  • Approaches to teaching students of varying ages, abilities, skill levels, and limitations

  • Lesson formats and preparation

  • Methods of teaching basic paddling techniques

  • SUP gear and equipment overview

  • SUP Business - business models and procedures, including how to start a business, insurance requirements, marketing, pricing and hiring instructors. A SUP Business Manual is included with this add-on.

Certification Requirements: 

  • Participants join PSUPA membership prior to attending the cert. Annual fee $85

  • Participants must have a current hands-on (ie., not online-based) First Aid/CPR certification or Wilderness First Aid or Lifeguard Training prior to water training. 

  • Participants must take online exam after certification course. Test fee $40. 

  • Participants must wear USCG approved buoyant PFD for water training. 

  • Paddleboards are not included in the course fee. If you need to rent a board/paddle/leash contact Carleen at to arrange. Paddleboard package is $75 and will be delivered to certification site.

Cancellation Policy:


  • Cancellations made prior to receiving the manual: Course refund minus $40 cancelation fee. 

  • Cancellations made after course access is granted: 50% refund of course fee. 

  • No refunds within 7 days of certification water training start date.

Questions about training? 
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Need highly qualified coaches?

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Contact us to host a PSUPA Coach Certification at your location. 

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