Learn to SUP on our 2-hour beginner paddleboard lesson at SUPsect stand up paddle boarding school at Paper Mill Lock near Chelmsford, Essex. Starting from absolute basics we teach all of the essential paddle skills in our 2-hour Learn to SUP lesson. You’ll have a lot of fun, but most importantly you’ll learn all you need to know to stand-up paddleboard safely and competently by yourself. As an approved and affiliated BSUPA school our certificated lesson is based on BSUPA’s Ready to Ride syllabus. All of our Learn to SUP lessons take place at Paper Mill Lock on the sheltered waters of the River Chelmer: we consider it the ideal beginner venue in South Essex, as the water stays flat and safe in all but the worst of weather conditions.
Our 2021 beginner season is now closed – we will start again in springtime 2022: please email [email protected] to be added to our contact list and we will advise you as soon as we schedule 2022 courses.
Following a successful (if delayed and somewhat non-standard!) 2020 Learn to SUP season, we continued throughout 2021 fully Covid-19 Secure. Alongside our popular private sessions – 1:1 and 2:1 coaching with or without kit hire, plus private 3:1 and family/household beginner sessions – for 2021 we were happy to be able to reintroduce our ‘standard’ scheduled public beginner lessons (with suitably reduced group sizes, having carefully expanded our risk assessment to ensure the safest, highest quality operation possible.)
Our public group lessons cost £50pp including all kit and instruction, private 3:1s are also £50pp including kit hire (2:1 courses cost £50pp plus £20pp kit hire if necessary. 1:1 coaching is £80+).
All of our courses take place on the safe, sheltered waters of Paper Mill Lock where we are so confident in our venue and teaching techniques that we offer an unrivalled stand-up guarantee for beginners.
To ensure everyone’s safety and maximum progression, we generally stick to an upper limit of one instructor per three clients on the water (3:1). Although BSUPA guidelines allow a 6:1 client:instructor ratio, we firmly stick to quality over quantity, offering a much more successful teaching approach.
Our 2021 beginner teaching season is now closed – our 2022 season will start in springtime…
Please email [email protected] to enquire about future courses, ask any questions, or be added to our contact list…
Your lead instructors, Elisa and Duncan, are both BSUPA qualified advanced SUP instructors (Level 2 Race & Tour) with full RYA first aid and powerboat certification. SUPsect instructor Trevor is BSUPA Level 1 and St John first aid qualified, with a wealth of invaluable experience from a career of safety management. While our fourth BSUPA qualified instructor, Ian is SUPsect’s most naturally talented paddler known for his unrivalled SUP style… (Learn more about us here!) At SUPsect, a team of two instructors usually teach groups of up to 6 people – so a typical student:instructor ratio of 3:1, which means we can assure safety, quality of learning and devote plenty of personal attention to your progression. (Our absolute maximum is 4:1 by special arrangement, compared to the BSUPA 6:1 upper limit.) Also, we’re fully insured and take your safety seriously – our teaching venues are professionally risk assessed and our lessons are conducted safely and sensibly.
After many years of very successful SUP instruction we’re so confident in our methods and venue that we guarantee to get you stood up and paddling, or your money back!
So what does a typical Learn to SUP lesson consist of?
Starting on dry land, we’ll introduce you to the kit, concepts and initial techniques first – as well as safety, weather, tide and route planning basics – before heading to the water. At the riverbank we cover how to fall in without risking injury, how to get back onto your board and how to launch safely before getting the group on board one-by-one. Kneeling to begin with, we’ll get you used to the board and paddle for a few minutes before helping everyone to get safely standing up and paddling (with fewer people falling in than you might assume!) and able to stop and turn around.
Then it’s time for our first little cruise up the river to allow the initial techniques to bed in before we start to look at more advanced techniques. First the ‘paddle slap’ brace position to aid stability and promote some movement on the board, and then the ‘reverse sweep turn’ for smoother, quicker transitions. All the while we’ll be working on the basics to ensure an efficient, comfortable paddle stroke – and before you know it you’ll be paddling completely confidently.
Not every lesson will progress in exactly the same way, depending on weather conditions and the make-up of each group, but we will usually move on to advanced power strokes, surf-stance, step-back turns and more before the end of the lesson…
On completion of the required course elements, successful candidates will receive their BSUPA Ready to Ride certificate to recognise that they are competent beginner paddleboarders with the practical and technical knowledge to SUP independently.
SUPsect’s Learn to SUP lesson costs £50 per person, including instruction and all kit – top quality board, paddle, leash, shortie wetsuit, neoprene footwear and CE approved 50N buoyancy aid. Our teaching season generally runs from April to September, weather allowing. Our scheduled course dates are published about a month in advance and you can book via the links above. To enquire about future courses or ask for further information, email [email protected]
Alternatively, we are able to arrange family sessions to include younger children (we accept accompanied kids of 13+ years old on our scheduled courses, by arrangement) and/or bespoke dates to suit any groups of four people or more: just email [email protected]