SUP Safer Safety Course

The British Canoeing SUP Safer course is intended for all SUP Paddlers wanting to cover a broad introductory safety course with current rescue skills, background info and techniques for stand up paddle boarding (SUP's)

Suitable for ages 14+  Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult 21 years and over.
TBC Email us to request a date (4 hours)
Start 08.45 - 12. 45
4 hours
  • Craft
  • Equipment
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • Dry Bag (if needed)
  • Instructor
  • Waterproofs
What you will need to bring

Bring comfortable clothing such as gym wear, shorts, a t-shirt or wetsuit, along with a pair of water shoes, or old trainers. Bring a towel and a change of clothes. No special equipment or clothing is required.  We have waterproof's available and you can hire a dry suit by arrangement on a first come first served basis.

Canoe Trail offers training on SUP (stand up Paddle Board) key rescue skills needed to operate safely and deal with common emergencies in a sheltered water environment. These skills form the syllabus of the British Canoeing SUP Safer course.

Canoe Trail is an approved provider of the qualification and has practical experience of rescues from years of experience. Our courses provide access to our professional coaching team and tutors, the very best kit on the market with SilverBirch canoes, Red Paddle Co boards, as well as Jobe Paddlesports. More than that it is Canoe Trail’s award-winning style making padding accessible with a friendly and welcoming approach keeping it safe, fun, and sharing learning. The SUP safer course offers broad intro to SUP rescue skills, top tips and a 'prevention is better than cure' ethos.   More than that the SUP safer course is a great intro to all things safety for paddlers taking to the water providing confidence and skills to deal with a range of scenarios and incidents. You can download and read the Syllabus here: SUP Safer Course

SUP Safer  Course Contents

The objective of the SUP Safer course is to introduce simple and safe skills that can provide the tools to problem solve simple common paddling scenarios in flat/sheltered water by SUP. Participants will learn:

  • Skills which will enable them to ensure the safety of themselves and others
  • Appropriate rescue skills which can be used to help themselves and/or others in difficulty

Why take the SUP Safer course?

Are you relevatively new to paddleboarding? Do you want to raise your awareness of paddling your SUP safely? Do you want to learn practical solutions if you get into difficulty? Then the SUP Safer course is for you! Your course will support you to consider safe practices, explore and learn to appreciate the potential hazards…

If you needed any more convincing, the course is completely based around training and raising awareness for SUP rescue skills, with no assessment. Structured to support you, our experienced tutors will ensure you have plenty of time practising, as well as understanding how you can develop skills and experience after the course.

The course takes around 4 hours and will cover 4 modules:

  • SUP Equipment
  • Environment and Weather
  • Planning
  • Safety on the Water

There will be opportunities to develop and progress your rescue skills and meet like-minded people during the course. Many of our course candidates develop long lasting friendships, connections and contacts.

SUP Safer Course Training Overview

Minimum age: There is no age restriction for the course. Under 18’s can complete coaching and instructor qualifications however they can not run their own sessions until over 18 and must be accompanied by an adult.

Duration: 4 hours of training time with structured practice allowing time for working on skills, providing support and admin time.

Venue: Sheltered water, calm conditions.


  • Able to swim in normal paddling clothing suitable for the prevailing conditions
  • Boat-based candidates must also:
    • Have paddling skills at the current Paddle Explore Award,
    • Discover / 2 Star Award, or be of equivalent ability due to the paddling environment
    • the boat control required to complete the course

A First Aid certificate is not a prerequisite. However, holding a First Aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers.

Good knowledge of practical issues that paddlers may face.

Course Documents
To view the associated documents with this course, click here.

Canoe Trail can provide access to all equipment required for the course.


The following is a list of recommended equipment required for the participant in this course to have:
-  Towline OR tow system;
-  Throwline;
-  Webbing (sewn or unsewn sling) and large karabiner;
-  Whistle;
-  Knife.

The course aims to allow the participants to experience a range of equipment, and to teach/coach the participant in ways to use the equipment as well as improvised systems.

Syllabus and Course content

The course will cover 4 key modules -

SUP Equipment - different boards, paddling equipment and safety equipment

  • Craft overview, safety considerations and features
  • Clothing and equipment worn
  • Additional safety equipment

Environment and weather - dynamnic risk assessments, the environment and changes to weather and conditions

  • The sheltered water environment
  • Other environments
  • Weather considerations
  • Tide and flow
  • Water features

Planning - Planning to avoid issues, hazards and risks to avoid

  • Knowledge, experience and ability
  • What to expect and what to look out for
  • Where and how to find help

Safety on the water - practical tiips to stay safe and support others on the water

  • Getting started safely
  • Supporting others
  • Rescue techniques
  • Calling for help, sustaining yourself whilst waiting for assistance

The Paddling environment

  • Sheltered water
  • calm conditions
  • Not more than 50m from the bank (very sheltered water) and 200m from shore/bank (sheltered water)

*Dates may need to change at Canoe Trail's discretion; this will be notified in advance.


Very satisfied with the coaching expertise on offer at Canoe Trail. Learned a lot in one session. Great location, too, well worth driving 40mins to get to for kit & competence.

-- Andrea


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