Paddle Canada River 1 SUP Instructor

River SUP Paddler on a wave on the river.



The River 1 Instructor course will increase your paddling and teaching skills – candidates typically remark about how much they learn about both paddling and teaching! It is ideal for those that want to teach courses in river environments.

This course demands your full attention and commitment. You will review your board handling skills and knowledge about river safety, moving water dynamics, and surfing. The focus of the course is the art of teaching paddling, both on-shore and on-water.

Expected Outcome:

Upon successful completion of this course, candidates will be able to instruct the Paddle Canada River 1 Paddleboard program, paddle gracefully in class 2 conditions, plan and execute lessons with clear objectives and learning outcomes, and demonstrate good judgment in group management, safety, instructional environments and weather.

Instructor Student Ratio:

1:6 (MAX) to ensure you of the best instructional experience possible!


Paddlers at this level usually own their own gear. If needed, SUP boards and related gear are available for rent during this course. Group rescue gear is provided.

Candidates need to register with Paddle Canada before the first day of the program – it will cost either $10 or $90, depending on your current Paddle Canada membership level.

After completing this course get out and practice! Practicing is the proven way to hardwire your new skills so you can enjoy a lifetime of safe paddling. Then start registering Paddle Canada courses to spread your love of paddling far and wide!

Pre-Course: We encourage instructors-candidates to take the 6-hour pre-course to help ensure their paddling skills are at the level required to pass the instructor course. The pre-course takes place on the Friday of the course weekend - starting at 9am. Register for the pre-course here.

Undercurrents has teamed-up with Paddle Canada Instructor-Trainer Neil Gilson of Bearfoot Performance Paddling to bring you this course.


At least 18 years of age.

Paddle Canada SUP River 2 certification, or equivalent (must be able to ferry, eddy turn and paddle with comfort in class 2 river environments).

Paddle Canada Advanced Flatwater SUP Instructor certification.

Current certification in Standard First Aid with CPR. (14-16 hours).

Current Paddle Canada membership.

Swift Water Rescue Training is recommended.



Dates, Times & Locations:

River SUP Instructor course runs: Saturday/Sundays on the Kananaskis River (Google map) starting at 9:00 am.

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Registration & Refunds

Full payment is due at registration to secure your spot in the course.

On the rare occasion when Undercurrents cancels a lesson, we will issue a full refund or make every reasonable effort to register you in an equivalent program; it is your choice. We need 3 participants to run a course.

If you cancel for any reason more than 7 days (14 days for multi-day courses) prior to the course commencement, you will receive a full refund less our $10 administrative fee.

There is no refund if you cancel for any reason within 7 days (14 days for multi-day courses) of the course.

Courses go rain or shine. Here in Alberta we can have rain, snow, blistering heat or high winds - sometimes on the same day. Don't believe weather forecasts; dress for varying weather conditions. If you need help, our store staff can give you great advice!

A “risk of thunderstorms” forecast does not mean we will cancel a course. During the warm season “risks” are issued too frequently; we only experience thunderstorms at our course locations 10-20% of the time that a “risk” is issued. We will meet at the course location and make an appropriate decision using the outdoor industry’s standard lightning protocol.

See our policies page for more details.