Become a Certified SUP Coach

PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 Certification Course


Gain the skills you need to teach classes confidently and safely. Our weekend long 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


New in 2022!

We restructured the PSUPA Flatwater Level 1 Certification Course into a hybrid model of self-paced online coursework and one-day in person water training. 

Become a SUP Coach for the 2022 season! Register by April 23rd to begin your coursework. Our practical water training day is scheduled for 5/14/22 in Severna Park, 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 will need to be a member of the PSUPA prior to attending the cert. Annual fee $85

  • Participants need to have a current hands-on (ie., not Internet-based) First Aid/CPR certification or Wilderness First Aid or Lifeguard Training prior to taking the cert. A First Aid course will be offered by by root SUP & Fitness before training.

  • There will be some in-the-water safety training. The water will be warming by mid May but you might want to consider getting access to a wetsuit or neoprene pants & top. 

  • If you do not have your own stand up paddle board you will be able to rent one from HOWL Health. Email Carleen at to arrange. 

Cancellation Policy:


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

  • Cancellations made after receiving the manual: 50% refund of course fee. 

  • No refunds within 72 hours of certification course start date

Questions about training?