What is CSA Surf Canada?
Formerly known as the Canadian Surfing Association, CSA Surf Canada (Surf Canada) is the official recognized National Sport Federation for Surfing, Stand Up and Prone Paddleboard (SUP) in Canada, by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC). Surf Canada is responsible for holding the Nationals Championships for Surf and SUP each year and for selecting the official Canadian Surf and SUP Team to compete internationally. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the International Federation (IF) and World Governing Authority for Surfing, SUP and Paddleboard.
What is the International Surfing Association (ISA)? The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Para-Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012, and World Para Surfing Champions in 2015. ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).
What is Paddle Canada?
Paddle Canada is a community of trusted leaders that inspires connections to Canadians and nature through paddling. Its mission is to promote, educate and support the recreational paddling community, paddling instructors, and partners. Each year, over 10,000 students across Canada take canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding courses with certified Paddle Canada instructors.
What is the International Surfing Association (ISA)?
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Para-Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment
ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).
I’ve never done stand up paddleboarding before, how do I know this is for me?
If you enjoy being in the water, if you love the feeling of a breath of fresh air, without the hassle, Freshwater Surf Goods has what you’re looking for.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is for everyone. For young and old, new and experienced, SUP is a great low impact sport that builds up your stamina.
Derik Hyatt, founder of our own Stoke Academy started SUP when he injured his knee. He highly recommends it as a great way to stay fit without straining your legs too much.
It’s my first time trying surfing, how should I prepare?
Before your lesson, do the basics! It’s important to have a good routine of drinking water, eating a balanced meal, and getting a good night's sleep!
No pressure before a lesson! Bring your A game and our talented team of instructors will guide you through every step of the way.
What should I bring in case of emergencies?
Rest assured, you do not need to bring anything. Freshwater Surf Goods and Stoke Academy is prepared with all the emergency equipment that we may need in a given situation.
All of our staff are certified through Paddle Canada and have at least First Aid and CPR Level C training. Our head instructor and founder, Derik Hyatt, is also certified through the International Surf Association Coach Training program and maintains Bronze Cross Water Safety certification.
Do I need to be good at swimming?
We recommend at least a benchmark swimming level where you can swim about 25 meters without stopping and can trend water unassisted for 3-5 minutes.
This is because you will not be wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) while surfing.
That being said, we rarely take our students into overhead water and most surfing is done in shallower water so we have low risk compared to ocean surfing.
For Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP):
During our classes, you will be wearing a PFD at all times so you do not need to worry about your swimming level as much. However, you will most likely enjoy the experience more if you feel comfortable with water.
Am I too old to start surfing?
You are never too old to start surfing! As long as you have good physical health and confidence in yourself you can do it!
The same goes for Stand Up Paddleboarding. Body type does not play a role in how successful you will be at it! This is why we use SUP as an introduction to surfing because it is so accessible to anyone.
It is great for young and old alike though we recommend that children 12 years of age and below have a parent or guardian with them. Due to the size of the board, it may be difficult for them to paddle on their own at the beginning of their SUP journey.
Should I start on a longboard or skateboard?
You do not have to be good at longboarding or skateboarding to be great at surfing or SUP.
The experience you gain from longboarding or skateboarding can translate to a strong foundation for balance when you start surfing and it is a great way to practice when you are away from the waves.
Should I get a wetsuit?
You do not need a wetsuit for surfing and SUP at Freshwater Surf Goods and Surf Academy. We plan our lessons for warmer days so you can focus on having fun and not the cold!
We do not recommend wetsuits for SUP especially as you will mostly likely stay dry and could possibly overheat.
Should I wear a lifejacket?
We provide life jackets to all of our students. For SUP we recommend it for safety but it is optional.
For surfing, we do not recommend anyone wear the life jacket. With it on, one would be unable to completely submerge and this may hinder free flowing movement.
Is surfing similar to snowboarding?
Surfing is similar to snowboarding in many ways. Like skateboarding, it offers similar movements and can help you build up basic skills like balance when you are away from the waves. However, it is not necessary to be good at one to master the other.
Where is the best place to learn how to surf?
The Great Lakes offer a unique surfing experience. Freshwater waves are great for learning how to surf!
There are lower tides and no sharks or jellyfish. They are a great stepping stone in your surfing journey and a great way to prepare for that vacation to Hawaii or Tofino you are planning.
Can I stand up paddle board without waves?
Stand Up Paddle Boarding is perfect for flat and calm waters with no waves.
Where should I buy my SUP or Surf boards from?
Every board is different depending on the purposes you need it for (racing, yoga, surfing, etc). Each one has its place and it is easy to get confused by the different shapes, materials, and paddles.
Contact us and we will give you our professional recommendations tailored to your specific needs!
We recommend Surf Up Eco Shop in Kincardine, Surf Ontario in Toronto, Surf Dreams Canada, Keanaila Surf Boards for the best customer experience in purchasing boards for surfing and SUP.
There are so many paddle board and surf shops across Canada. Check your local city listings!
For information about Returns, Refunds, and Exchanges for merchandise, refer to our Return Policy.
For questions about class cancellations and refunds for lessons, refer to Cancellation Policy.
Follow SUP Canada and Surf Canada to the latest updates on the best surf locations and advanced lessons coming your way!