The Professional Stand Up Paddle Association’s goal is to support an international community of stand up paddleboard (SUP) instructors and business professionals; to promote high standards for safe, innovative, and quality instruction; and to inspire professional and personal growth through a shared passion for paddling.
How We Are Different
- Our internationally recognized certification programs are developed by our Advisers— a diverse group of leading SUP professionals whose knowledge and experience bring a comprehensive approach to SUP education.
- With an emphasis on water safety and SUP business, our certification programs are designed to give you the skills you need to become a safe and confident instructor, as well as the business expertise you need to succeed in today’s crowded marketplace.
- Our programs are reviewed and updated regularly to remain relevant and competitive in the industry.
- Although our certification curricula and criteria are standardized, our courses are adaptable to individual student needs and the unique conditions of their paddling region.
- Our Instructor Trainers excel in teaching and are leaders deeply rooted in their SUP communities. They approach their work with compassion and creativity, and emphasize safety, while also having fun sharing their stoke for paddling.
- Through membership - an international virtual community - we are committed to staying involved and connected with PSUPA certified instructors to help them reach their personal and professional goals, as well as to stay relevant in the industry.
Rob Casey – Co-Founder & Director / Adviser: Flatwater, Exposed Water, Rivers, Downwind, Surf, Water Safety, SUP Business
Rob is based in Seattle, WA, where he teaches SUP through his business Salmon Bay Paddle. He holds a number of SUP teaching certifications and is the author of the first book on stand up paddle instruction, Stand Up Paddling: Flatwater to Surf and Rivers. His skills and knowledge are honed from over a decade of stand up paddling and kayaking year-round in the Pacific Northwest in all water conditions. Rob is sponsored by Accent Paddles, is a MTI Safety Ambassador, a former board member of the Washington Water Trails Association and is on the Washington State Parks Paddlesports Advisory Committee.
Christy Cox – Co-Founder & Business Manager / Avid Paddler
Christy has helped organize and manage creative businesses for over a decade. She currently helps manage Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, WA. A frequent volunteer in the paddling community, she has built websites for paddling clubs and coordinated surf and race events.
Ryan Burch – Flatwater, Surf, Kids Programs, Water Safety
Ryan is based in Brewster, MA where he & his wife own & operate SUPfari Adventures Cape Cod. As a veteran harbormaster, USCG Captain & water sports enthusiast, Ryan specializes in providing a fun, safe & educational SUP experience for people of all ages & skill levels. Ryan's business also provides PSUPA endorsed OnBoardSUP yoga instructor certification courses.
Leigh Claxton – Flatwater, Yoga, Fitness, Water Safety
Leigh is based in Sausalito, CA, where she teaches floating yoga classes as OnBoard SUP Yoga. She holds a number of yoga, fitness and SUP certifications, and has 20+ years of experience in fitness and yoga training, and nearly two decades of outdoor leadership and recreation training.
Larry Froley - Flatwater, Fitness, Water Safety
Based out of Roseville, CA, Larry has been involved in both stand up and prone paddling since 1999, including racing, instruction, retail, and a kit board design partnership with Chesapeake Light Craft. He offers kit boards through Gray Whale Paddle. In addition to SUP instruction, he is also a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist with a passion for health, fitness and nutrition education and coaching through Froley Fitness Works. Larry is a retired CA State Park Ranger with experience managing boating safety, enforcement and lifeguard programs, which gives him a unique perspective on water safety issues and programs.
Wade Lawson – Flatwater, Surf, Water Safety
Wade is based in Los Angeles, CA, where he teaches SUP and SUP surfing through his business SUP with Wade. He is a big wave surfer who SUPs Mavericks on a regular basis and is highly respected in the SUP community. He also paddles outrigger canoes for the Marina del Rey Club in CA. He enjoys teaching and is always stoked to pass on what he's learned over the years.
Bodie Shandro - Flatwater, Surf, Fitness
A lifetime outdoor enthusiast, Bodie Shandro first embraced the sport of stand up paddling in 2008, immediately recognizing the fitness benefits of a sport that combined all of his passions. The skills and experience he has accumulated from competing in events such as the Battle of the Paddle and Molokai 2 Oahu, and through the camaraderie of the some of SUP’s elite athletes, surfers and adventurers has resulted in his development of Paddle Surfit. He is a professionally certified SUP, Mt. Bike and Heli Ski Guide who shares his passion for the outdoors with aspiring enthusiasts and elite athletes worldwide.
Robert Stehlik - Flatwater, Downwind, Surf
Robert moved to Maui in the late 1980s to windsurf and relocated to Honolulu soon thereafter. He started his retail shop Blue Planet Surf as a college project and continues to run it today. He teaches all levels of SUP through Get Up Stand Up Hawaii and also runs the popular SUP informational blog Zen Waterman.