SUP Instructor Tips, Summer 2013

Even though I've been guiding and instructing paddlesports for years we all learn new things every time we go out - or you should be!  Here's a few tips I've learned in recent months..

- Always make sure you can paddle every board you bring on the water.  I'm 6-5, 230lbs.  If I have a student who is 5-1, 110lbs and decides they don't like the board I matched them with, I want to be able to paddle their board the rest of the lesson without sinking or falling in.

- Bring your medications.  I get migraines and had quite a few this year.  Three times early this summer I got a migraine during classes.  I finished one and cancelled another before we got on the water.  In the one I cancelled, I forgot my medicine at home. Taking it, the migraine goes away within 30min thus allowing me to continue, or at least have a better lesson if already on the water. I store my medicine in my car, a dry bag which goes on my board, at home and in my kayak.

- Take pictures of your lessons.  I recently moved up to a smart phone last Spring.  My iPhone goes in a LifeProof waterproof case then I slip it into a floating case which is attached by a string to my vest style PFD.  It's great for taking pics of my students and the sights while on water. I send them the photos after the class free or charge which has been a hit!

- Always bring a tow system.  Many think bringing any sort of safety gear on the water is ridiculous since 'it's so easy, nothing will ever happen.'  Guess what, sh.. happens and be ready for it.  I've had to two fatigued and sea sick students back to shore. And you may come across others on the water who are not SUPs who need assistance - capsized kayakers and fishermen (been there done that), swimmers who can't get back to shore, etc.  I recommend a system such as the Salamander Guide Bag has 70' of line to tow anything or anybody. Store it on your board if you don't want it around your waist.