Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) Lessons

ASI (Academy of Surfing Instructors) certified SUP instructor school

Learn the basics of Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) or advance your skills with one of our lessons.  Lessons are a minimum of 1 person, so they can be private.  Santa Barbara is home to ideal paddling conditions, for newbies we launch out of the protected Santa Barbara harbor.  For more advanced paddlers, we typically launch off Leadbetter Beach, Goleta Beach, or Hendry's Beach depending on the type of lesson and skill level of the paddler.  All of our instructors are CPR/First-Aid certified, passionate about paddling, and excited to share their wealth of knowledge with you.  Paddle Sports Center co-founder, Fraser Kersey is an ASI Instructor Trainer, teaching instructors and students alike.  

Pricing: $95/person  |  2+ppl  $85  |  4+ppl  $75   (5pack of lessons: $300)

Duration: 1.5-2hrs

Start Time: 10am (call for other times)

Min age: 12 yrs old

ASI SUP Level I Flat Water

Intro to Stand-up paddle boarding. 

'Get up, Stand-Up'

Min Age: 12 yrs old



Environment & Safety

  • Understand the enclosed flat water environment

  • Identify SUP personal hazards

  • Identify SUP location hazards

  • Choose a safe SUP location

  • Identify self rescue techniques and when to apply them

  • Apply correct SUP flat water etiquette

  • Identify how to care for the enclosed flat water SUP environment

Equipment & Clothing

  • Choose suitable flat water board, leash and equipment

Paddle Skills

  • Enter and exit the water correctly

  • Paddle in standing and kneeling position with balance and confidence

  • Identify correct paddling technique – 3 P’s - Position, Posture, Paddle

  • Identify the 5 phases of the paddling stroke

  • Demonstrate correct method to change direction

  • Demonstrate turning - back paddling left and right

  • Demonstrate how to stop, safe wipe-out and dismount

  • Understand how to perform a pivot turn

ASI SUP Level II Open Water

Intro to surf zones and open ocean paddling


Min Age: 16 yrs old



Environment & Safety

  • Identify surface water movement and current direction

  • Identify wind direction and strength

  • Identify SUP hazards

  • Choose a safe SUP exposed waters location

  • Identify self rescue techniques and when to apply them

  • Apply SUP etiquette at exposed waters locations

Equipment & Clothing

  • Choose suitable exposed waters board, leash and equipment

Paddle Skills

  • Identify safe entry and exit points

  • Identify techniques to negotiate shore-breaks up to 1½ ft

  • Identify paddling technique and stance used in choppy waters

  • Fall and retrieve techniques in uneven waters and wind

  • Identify techniques to negotiate swell

Demonstrate turns in exposed waters:

  • Back paddling (right & left side)

  • Sweep stroke

 Identify how to perform in exposed waters:

  • Step back pivot turn (heel side & toe side)

  • Kahi stroke & Reverse kahi stroke

ASI SUP Level III - Advanced

SUP Surfing, Distance + Downwinders

Call for more details

Min Age: 18 yrs old



Environment & Safety

  • Understand the surf environment

  • Identify SUP surf hazards

  • Choose a safe SUP location

  • Demonstrate correct wipe-out and mount/dismount

  • Demonstrate correct SUP etiquette

Equipment & Clothing

  • Choose suitable SUP surfing board and equipment

Paddle Skills

  • Identify safe places to enter and exit the surf

  • egotiate waves

  • Correct paddling technique and stance

  • Catch and ride waves

Perform SUP surf maneuvers:

  • Trim (backhand & forehand)

For the more advanced:

Perform intermediate SUP surf maneuvers:

  • Fade

  • Stall

  • Bottom turn

  • Top turn

  • Cutback

  • Link and perform maneuvres on backhand and forehand, with correct use of paddle

History Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Back in the 1960's, the roots of paddle boarding was first introduced by some of the the Waikiki Beach Boys: Duke Kahanamoku, Rabbit Kekai, & a few others. They would use long boards and paddles to get out to the surf, quickly. This evolved into instructors taking photo's of their clients out on the water. Who doesn't like seeing their own personal evolution? These instructors found the easiest way to teach through photography was on a stable large long board using a long outrigger canoe paddle. The evolution of surfboard technology through the 70's pushed away the first paddle boarders from this culture.

Modern SUP was born in the late 90's. Laird Hamilton is known as reintroducing the sport back into the mainstream when he began to actively turn the old teaching methods into training when the surf was low. A certain idea appeared. Why can't we as watermen enjoy the ocean through other means? Why don't we catch more waves on the stoke that our surfing ancestor created? We all have a duty to bring positive energy into the ocean. The sport of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding has grown into a community of likeminded individuals, focused on fun times, health, and ocean stewardship.