Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Surf SUP!

Written by T.J. Turner, ACA Education & Outreach Coordinator. T.J. holds several ACA instructor certifications in SUP, kayaking, and canoeing. One of his favorite places to paddle is the 13th Block East in Folly Beach, South Carolina. 

If you live by the ocean and would like a thorough, fun, and challenging course, I recommend you take a Level 3: Surf SUP Skills Course, Assessment Course, or Instructor Certification Workshop. I had the opportunity to take part in a Level 3: Surf SUP course with Instructor Trainer Educator Josh Hall and Instructor Trainer Matt Hite in the middle of April. The course was well executed, from on-land presentations to in-water, real world applications. Matt’s background, coming from a family of ocean lifeguards, really hammered home the safety aspects of the sport and how to choose the ideal location for your surf class.

All participants in the course were Level 2 Instructors from all over the country, however most were located on the Eastern Seaboard. The sharing of hard and soft skills, and understanding the various challenges each instructor candidate faced with their students and their areas, made for a great learning experience. 
Folly Beach--with its smaller waves, a predominant SSW swell, and little to no wind--provided the perfect location to run this instructor course. 

As most Instructor Trainers will mention, the instructor process is just that, a process and a journey. As hard skills and teaching abilities improve, the ACA instructor cadre improves and remains the gold standard in all paddlesports disciplines. 

In the surf environment everything is constantly changing, and there are a lot of moving parts. This environment is so dynamic that it may take a while to understand the full force of what you are leading your students in to. When the aspects of the ocean and the adjoining bottom composition form that perfect wave and you get your student down the face and down the line, this is a triumph of monumental proportions. You are creating a solid link between that individual and the ocean, promoting a lifelong passion for SUP surfing, and furthering the ACA’s mission.

Please help keep the stoke alive as we continue to progress in all disciplines of SUP. As an instructor, being able to emulate the ‘aloha’ mantra to help build a stronger community is fantastic. We all share and use the water differently; to respect your friends in this environment is of the utmost importance.

For more information about becoming an ACA Level 3: Surf SUP Instructor please click here.

All photos are of the East side (North) of Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

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