SUP 101: Core Skills

Get Started on the Right Foot. Or is That Feet?

This  half-day  introductory class is designed to get you started paddleboarding the right way.

This course is taught according to the standards outlined in the American Canoe Association’s Level 1 SUP curriculum.  Click here for a detailed outline.


3.5 hours

Instructor to Participant Ratio


Skills Taught

Strokes and maneuvers

  • Forward and reverse paddling
  • Draws
  • Bracing (high brace;  low brace)
  • Sweep strokes (forward and reverse)
  • Pivot turns
  • Prone paddling
  • Stances (kneeling,  neutral, and surf)

Rescue and safety

  • Safe launching and landing techniques
  • Correct body and hand positioning
  • Falling (with style!)
  • Leash use
  • Unassisted and assisted remounting of board in deep water
  • Techniques for assisting exhausted or injured paddlers

Meeting Location

This course meets at the Boathouse located at Headwaters Park, a beautiful and quiet reservoir located approximately 45 minutes east of Cleveland.   Detailed driving instructions can be found using this link, or by clicking the map below.

Upcoming Class Dates


Prior Courses

None, just a willingness to challenge yourself and get wet!

Age Limits

14 and over only, please.    Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.   Participants over 16 but under 18 must have a waiver signed by a legal guardian. 

Height and Weight Limits

In order to ensure your comfort and safety, participants should be between 5′ and 6’4″ tall and 95 lbs to 235 lbs.

Non-Discriminatory Essential Eligibility Criteria

In order to participate in this program, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria: 

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position.
  • Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water. 
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other program participants. 
  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion.