Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)

Intro Classes level1 - Level 3

In tourist areas around the world, the story is always the same:  You’re at a resort and you want to go paddling, so you rent from a shop where no instruction is given and equipment is poor.  No one teaches you the proper paddle stroke, so you find it difficult to control your direction or paddle against the wind.  No one teaches you a proper self-rescue so you fall off and spend tons of time (and energy) just getting back on the board.  You come back to the beach frustrated, exhausted, and knowing nothing more about the sport than you did before…

At Mike’s Paddle, we pride ourselves in providing the best, most thorough and comprehensive SUP instruction in the world.  Not only do we give beginners the skills needed to master both calm and rough water, but we offer an entire suite of intermediate, advanced, and specialty classes that will open up new worlds of paddling activities for you – from touring to surfing to racing to even becoming an instructor yourself!

At Mike’s Paddle:

  • We use the best, most stable and most durable boards in the industry

  • We use light paddles so wrists and arms do not fatigue

  • We provide instruction both on land and on water

  • Our instructor to student ratio is 1:5

  • Our instruction method is based on 20 years of experience from a combination of several certifications through PaddleFit, American Canoe Association (ACA), Stand Up Paddle Industry Association and International Surf Association

Check out our Yelp Reviews: here.

2019 Summer Season (Apr to Oct)

Class Level 2019 Dates April - December Class Times Prerequisite Price
Intro to SUP Level 1 April Saturdays, May to September Saturday & Sunday, October Saturday 9:30am to 12:30pm None $85
Speed and Turns Level 2 4/7, 5/4, 6/2, 6/29, 7/20, 8/24, 9/22, 10/19, 11/17 11:00am to 2:00pm Level 1 $85
Intro to Touring Level 3 4/20, 5/19, 6/15, 7/14, 8/4, 9/8, 10/5, 11/3, 12/7 11:00am to 2:00pm Level 2 $85

Don't have a weekend free or looking for a lesson in the winter (Nov-Apr)? No worries, take a private lesson instead! 

SUP Intro Pass:

Save $30 and take all three class for just $225!

Intro to SUP (Level 1)

Your very first stand up paddle board class! All beginners are welcome to learn the essentials of SUP. In this intro class, we take it slow: We begin with half an hour of equipment, paddling and safety orientation on land, followed by paddling basics and self-rescue instruction in the beautiful and protected Ballena Bay lagoon.  Skills are then put to use with an exciting guided tour out into the open bay (if conditions allow)!  No experience necessary.

  • Ideal Conditions: Less than 10 knots of wind, less than 1 knots of current, no waves

  • Paddling distance: 1-2 miles

  • Paddle Strokes: Forward, stop, reverse turns, forward and reverse sweeps. Introduce draw strokes, focus on side draw

  • Footwork: Changing footwork with turns

  • Rescue skills: Self rescues with or without PFD, mounting the board from the middle or tail

  • Environment knowledge: Basic tide high/low changes and weather patterns

SUP Speed and Turns (Level 2)

Our Level 2 class can be taken right after Level 1. This class starts later in the day to prepare students for paddling in challenging conditions.  You will learn to increase speed by focusing on forward stroke technique.  We'll also teach you advanced turning strokes that will allow you to turn on the go while maintaining stability. Finally, we'll introduce a little bit of fun by teaching you some footwork on the board (More advanced maneuvers require you to move on the board - which will ultimately prepare you for surfing).

  • Ideal Conditions: Less than 10 knots of wind, less than 2 knots of current, no waves above 1 foot

  • Paddling distance: 1-3 miles

  • Paddle Strokes: Refining forward strokes with increased speed and power under windy conditions. Cross-nose draw, nose draw and side slip. Introduction to bracing and pivot turns

  • Footwork: Trimming the board from mid to tail, tail to mid. Introduction to surf stance and modified surf stance for more forward power

  • Rescue skills: Partner/parent/kid rescues and paddling under windy conditions

  • Environment knowledge: Tide currents and wind scale

Intro to Touring  (Level 3)

Our Level 3 class is designed to prepare you for longer paddles (up to 4 miles) under tougher conditions. Being in the open bay on a longer trip can be intimidating to a lot of people, but now that you have the speed and the turns down (from Level 2), we'll teach you trip planning skills (reading a map, calculating distance, finding put-in and take-out locations), how to understand conditions (weather and tide forecast), more advanced turning skills/footwork, and partner rescue skills.  This class is perfect for those who wish to eventually purchase a board and go exploring on their own!

  • Trip planning skills: Planning a trip around Mike's Paddle (less than 4 miles) - either toward the Rock Wall or Oakland Airport

  • Ideal Conditions: Less than 15 knots of wind, less than 2 knots of current, no waves above 1 foot

  • Paddling distance: 1-4 miles

  • Paddle Strokes: Refining forward strokes with increase speed and power under windy conditions, Video analysis of forward stroke if time and technology allows. Combination strokes: Backward/cross nose, cross nose/forward sweep, reverse sweep/nose draw

  • Footwork: Shuffle, cross step, pivot stance, board kicking

  • Rescue skills: Partner/parent/kid rescues and paddling under windy conditions

  • Environment knowledge: Refine tide currents and wind scale

Winter Season (Nov to Mar)

During the winter season (Nov to Mar), unless previously scheduled, we only offer private lessons. Starting November, the weather in the Bay Area becomes unpredictable in terms of winter storms and typically lasts until April/May. Private lessons allow us to schedule in advance with the flexibility of rescheduling in case of inclement weather. Private lessons provide individual attention and are usually 1.5 to 2 hours.  Cost: $120/person or 3 lessons can be purchased at a package price of $299.  Please visit our private lesson page for more information.