The PSUPA Fundamentals Level 1 Certification

The PSUPA Fundamentals Level 1 Certification is designed for Resorts, Rental Shops, Tour Guides, Camps and other businesses that do not teach full SUP courses. Learn the skills you need to provide the basic level of instruction to assist first time paddlers with the knowledge to confidently and safely paddle. This course emphasizes water safety along with the paddle basics.

Certification is awarded upon completing the course. This includes passing an online test and demonstrating your ability to provide a quick lesson (monitored in person by a PSUPA instructor or remotely by submitting a video to PSUPA for review). This certification is a prerequisite for all other PSUPA Certifications.

Course Duration: Typically about 4 hours.   (Ok for most Cruise Ship Passengers)

Minimum Age of Participants: 16 years old.


Learn how to provide the basic instruction and coaching for new paddlers with an emphasis on learning water safety.

Certification Requirements

Certification Valid for 4 Years:PSUPA certified instructors are required to take a one-day refresher course in their certification every four years to keep their certification valid.

Keeping Certifications Active:Active Annual PSUPA Membership and Current hands-on First Aid / CPR certification is required to keep certification active.


    • Have First Aid/CPR training or Wilderness First Aid or Lifeguard Training certification or the equivalent for your location.
    • Be in good overall physical shape, be able to swim and be able to lift and carry all equipment.
    • Be able to launch and land a board safely, as well as safely fall from and remount a board.
    • Be comfortable walking on a SUP board and comfortable balancing in various water conditions.
    • Know basic SUP paddling techniques and be able to maintain directional control of a board, including various strokes for turning and paddling straight.
    • Have at least basic knowledge of paddling equipment, SUP terms and history of the sport.
    • Have positive interpersonal skills.
    • Hold current PSUPA membership.

This is not a course for beginners.

Note: Instructorss have the right not to pass students who do not adequately demonstrate the skills and have a poor overall evaluation. If a student who does not pass wants to continue to work toward certification,

If you are not an experienced paddler or don’t yet meet the requirements for this certification, please consider taking some basic and advanced SUP classes from our Instructor Trainers or Certified Instructors before pursuing this certification.



  • Water safety – which covers (among other things): emergency preparedness and rescue techniques
  • Interpretation of weather and water conditions
  • How to teach the basic elements of stand up paddling
  • SUP gear and equipment overview

Requirements for Course Completion and Certification

Tests are Pass/Fail with Passing grade at 80% or better.

  • Demonstrate ability to provide “first timer” briefing (in-person or remotely by video)
  • Pass online written test