Whether you’re new to the sport or you’ve been doing it for years, however good you think you are, you can ALWAYS benefit from working on improving your paddle stroke.

Whatever your ambitions, improving your paddling will raise your game. Don’t worry about learning pivot turns, stuff like that – sure, it’s fun, but it won’t improve your paddling

Better paddling technique means:

  • Paddling with less risk of injuring yourself.
  • Straighter paddling (less changing sides)
  • Faster paddling, if that’s a goal
  • Paddling with less effort, so you can go further.

What we’re talking about is getting the best out of your paddling stroke.

Apply that question to another activity like golf or tennis, and the answer would be that you can always benefit from more coaching, which is why people regularly go for weekly coaching sessions or more. And for sure it’s exactly the same with SUP, you can always continue to improve.

However, for SUP you can get a huge amount out of just one session, in that you will come away with a clear understanding of how you are currently paddling and some work ons to improve and raise your game.   Each subsequent session will for sure improve you further, but that first session is the big game-changer because that is where you will learn what bad habits or mistakes you are making, and how to get rid of them. 

Your local instructor may well be extremely experienced at video coaching and have a brilliant understanding of the intricacies of coaching the SUP stroke, in which case you’re very fortunate and you should absolutely make use of that tremendous resource you have available to you. 

However, the reality is that most instructors are not trained to coach.  The standard SUP instructor qualification is a 2 day course that teaches safety and basic beginner instruction. Formal training in SUP coaching is incredibly hard to come by, particularly in how to use video tools to take it to the next level.  We’ve learned the art over 15 years of full time study.  
Why not put it to the test? A session with us will cost no more than a session with your local instructor, give us a try and see where you get the most insights and useful information from?

Most top paddlers have a very clear idea as to what good paddling looks like, and tend to push every paddler towards that. The majority of clients they work with have aspirations of becoming good racers and thus will inevitably make some gains from paddling in that pro’s style, even if it actually isn’t the most ideal technique for them.  So the pro continues with their one-way approach. 

 Our knowledge and experience has very much come from the other end of the spectrum – working with normal people, who have no aspirations to be speedy racers, but just want to paddle more efficiently and better.  Some of the techniques we end up teaching would never win a race ever and would not even be on the pro’s radar, but are still the rigtht choice for that client because it suits their build or helps them work around an injury or whatever. 

Good job! But unless you’ve had a good look at it on video – and know what to look for – there might still be room for improvement. Indeed we often find that it’s people who think that they’re already paddling well that we can make some really significant steps forward with.  One of the most common scenarios is that people who think they are paddling well are actually primarily paddling hard. They’re putting a lot of effort into it so it feels like they’re really powering along. But with a couple of tweaks we adjust their paddling so they’re going just as fast but for half the effort. Which is a major win…

It generally takes us 60-80 minutes to fully analyse your videos, work out our appropriate responses, record our response and send it back to you. It takes about the same time as a practical lesson, basically. With subsequent lessons there is often the requirement to refer back to previous videos to assess changes, which can add significantly to the time requirements. So there really isn’t any ‘economy of scale’ in doing multiple sessions, unfortunately.

OK, if you book five sessions up front then we’ll include a 6th one for free, because we appreciate your support, and also, over 6 sessions we can normally make some really good progress which is satisfying for us too!

No, because the first session is always a time consuming one, so it’s not really something we can afford to discount on. However, we do do something similar in that if you’re already an existing client and you get five referrals then we’ll offer you a free coaching session as a thank you. 

So if you’re pleased with your results, then please tell your friends! It might get you a free sesh.

Yes, as long as it’s at the same time. While we’d love to operate a free advice service permanently, it can be incredibly time consuming so it just isn’t viable. However, if you have a bunch of questions then you can submit them when you book a session and we can deal with them all at once.

A mate with a mobile phone is fine, you don’t need Steven Spielberg and a full film crew.

The file sizes will probably be too big to just email, but sharing a google drive folder is fine, or dropbox, or any file transfer service like wetransfer.  

Yes, sure. However, just be aware that the costs will be slightly different. Essentially it ends up being lesson rates, and will be subject to usual caveats of weather, water conditions etc. You can come to us, or (in NZ) we can come to you by arrangement – likely to be rather more expensive for a single session but if there’s a group wanting coaching it becomes more realistic cost-wise. Contact us for more details.

Yes most certainly. Contact us with your requirements and we’ll see what we can do.

If you’re confident enough on your board that you can think about your paddling, then paddle stroke coaching is well worthwhile. If you’re still at the wobbly stage where your main focus is simply on not falling in, then you’re probably not ready for coaching just yet. Get a few more hours on the water, and once you’re relaxed enough to not be thinking about staying upright, and you can look around, enjoy the scenery, change direction comfortably, etc, then you’re ready.

Everyone’s journey is different. We do often see the same mistakes or aspects of technique that need working on, but everybody approaches it differently. So it’s never ‘formulaic’.

It may well be that something we recommend doesn’t work for you. That’s absolutely fine and how things should be. Your relationship with your coach in any activity or sport should never simply be “coach says, you do.” We start off from the basis of determining exactly what you are currently doing with your stroke, and explaining it fully to you so that you can see it, understand it, and hopefully agree with it. From this basis of mutual understanding, we’ll suggest where to go next. But because we’re not actually inside your body, we can never know exactly what’s going on. There will often be a bit of trial and error. As long as it’s constructive it’s an important part of the process. We will always do our best to explain and justify everything we suggest. If you have cause to disagree with our actual reasoning – again, no worries. If we’ve got something wrong then we’ll learn from it and be grateful!

We fully recognise that we’re on a voyage of discovery with this, as nobody is near to having all the answers in this new and fast-evolving sport. We are constantly challenging our own beliefs to ensure we’re not becoming blinkered.

It would be pretty damn hard without the internet and smart phones, that’s for sure! But now that it is so easy for you to get some paddling footage and send it to us, distance is really no object. The vast majority of our clients nowadays are doing ‘remote coaching’, and it’s really not a problem. Rather than distance, the only requirement now is bandwidth, and of course that you speak English so you can understand our responses.