Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wsupa SUP instructor certification

Over the Weekend I flew down to Tampa, Fl. to stay with a friend of 16 years.  It was great to catch up with him,  but I flew to Tampa for a very specific purpose, to get my SUP Instructor certification from the WSUPA (World Stand Up  Paddling Association).

Why is this important?
     I've been doing stand up for 4 years now and been racing for 2.  You'd think a guy like me knows what there is to know about SUP.  Wrong! That's the beauty of the sport, you never stop learning.
     Master instructors Dan Gavere and Harmony Dawn headed up the lesson.  The day started at the The Salty Rim restaurant.  Not open for business, but the back deck was open for eager SUP people. After sign in and basic knowledge such as SUP history, stroke, loading a board etc. (given by us the students), Dan began teaching dry land basics including stroke technique via an inflatable SUP on bosu balls.

Dan Teaching  stroke work

After 2 hours of land knowledge we broke for lunch. Mmmmm fish tacos!  A quick half hour later it was time to slather the sunscreen and suit up for the water portion of the class.  We started with stroke work on the water and had to demonstrate we we know and have learned.  I learned little tips in my technique that helped quite a bit.  Small tweaks make a difference in teaching a client and demonstrating properly.  "paddle to reflect your instruction". In other words, at all times you're with clients, demonstrate proper technique as your clients will watch you and copy what you do.  If you use bad form while paddling, they'll see it.

ASI class in Treasure Island, FL 11/11/12
From Left to Right
Harmony, Bailey,  Maddison, Marc, Glen, Me, Cubi, Prestcott, and Dan

Towards the back end of the class we had a little race. Now it looks like i've jumped out ahead of everyone, but the truth is, there was some sabotage.  Marc popped Bailey off her board with a paddle to the rails which caused a cluster of un-balance.  I managed to finish way ahead of everyone and when I cam in I told Dan, That's my new race strategy, let everyone crash in the beginning and then I can win!

   The purpose of the race was to explain to us that it's one thing to have good form while teaching. But it's a whole other to keep good form while going 100%.  While teaching clients, make sure you slow down and explain and demonstrate at a speed that's easy to follow.

A nice shot on the water. We learned rescues to distressed paddlers using our boards to tow and push others.

Post class Pic.  We are all certified ASI instructors.

Now, home in St. Louis, Mo. I am able to bring my new knowledge to my business Supstlouis. I am more confident in my abilities to instruct clients properly and feel thie certification offers alot.  I am currently the only ASI certified instructors in the state of Missouri and proud to say that.  Next I'm looking for further certifications from the ACA and once I've logged enough hours, I will get certified by the Wsupa with a level 2 cert. 

If you're ever in St. louis and want to get out on a board, just get a hold of me. I'd be happy to take you out whether on a lake for your first time, or the big river as pictured!

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