Canada’s Stand Up Paddle Clinics, Events, and Instructors

photo: Jackie Zelt

River Stand-up Paddleboarding is becoming more popular in Canada. The hardy Canadian paddlers are suiting up and braving the cold lakes and rivers, we’ve never been afraid of a little cold. Many are transitioning from from flat to flow, paddling rivers which provide a more dynamic environment ranging from gentle and straight forward to raging and complex.

Across Canada, there are thousands of waterways with different classes that beginner to advanced paddlers can go paddling on.  To stay safe, all potential river paddlers should take a course with a certified Paddle Canada River Instructor OR (ACA if you’re in the USA)  so that they can safely identify which rivers to admire from afar and which ones are natural playgrounds where they can progress and practice their skills. 

A certified instructor can get you flowing in the right direction when it comes to starting your entry into the River world. Courses all over Canada with certified Paddle Canada River Instructors can be found through websites such as:

Paddle Canada

Alberta/ British Columbia

Aquabatics (Edmonton/Calgary/Smithers)
Born To Board (Prince George, AB)
Reta SUPS (Edmonton/Calgary AB)
SUP Bearfoot (Canmore AB)
Norm Hann Expeditions (Squamish, BC)
Bow Valley SUP (Canmore, AB)
University of Calgary (Calgary, AB)

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Brad Frieson

Ontario/Quebec
Paddle Fit

Don’t be shy to connect with any of these instructors with any questions you might have on getting started.

Festivals 

Another great way to practice, take clinics, or get introduced to the sport and the community is to head to one of the whitewater paddling festivals. Take a clinic, compete in a downriver race, or even enter your first surf comp! Whitewater festivals are a great way to participate at your own pace or fully exhaust yourself if you choose!   This season there is a dedicated group of paddlers hoping to grow the community and connect with you at the listed events below: 

Three Rivers Rendezvous
May 15-18
Pincher Creek, Alberta
Event Details:
– Flat-water, Beginner / Intermediate River Clinic  led by Reta Boychuk
– SUP River Runs all weekend led by Kim Kenyon, Badfish Team Athlete, and Adlai Majer  from Kootenay Paddles.
This is your chance to connect with other paddlers and become more involved in the SUP Community.

TOBY CREEK 
July 17-19
Panorama Mountain Resort near Invermere, BC,
Event Details:
– Intermediate  SUP SLALOM
– Advanced SUP SLALOM
– DOWNRIVER SUP GROUP PADDLE above Panorama.
– CLINIC- SUP with Gates Group coaching on Friday to teach the fundamentals of running a course and practicing for the race!

SLAVE RIVER FEST
July 31 – August 3
Fort Smith AB
Event Details:
– Flat-water, Beginner / Intermediate River Clinics led by Brittany Parker

KAN FEST
Aug 7-9
Kananaskis River, Alberta
Event Details:
– DOWNRIVER SUP: Race Below Widow Maker to Canoe Meadows
– SUP CROSS: Above the racecourse finals finish in the top portion of the race course.
-SUP SURF Comp Santas lil helper.
– Beginner River & SURF  / Intermediate River & SURF Clinic

Safe paddling and I hope to see you on the water this season!

– Reta Boychuk

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