4 things you didn’t know about your Stand Up Padleboarding Instructor Trainer, Jose H Gonzalez

1.  Have you been a trainer before? What qualifies you as a trainer?

I have experience developing instructors with Outward Bound’s Sailing program in Boston.  In addition, I have worked in academia in the Teacher Preparation program for over a decade training the next generation of secondary school teachers as well as PE teachers in Puerto Rico and New Hampshire.  With my doctorate in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction, I train SUP Instructor candidates in experiential education methodologies that will enhance their own trainings.

2.  Do you have a teaching philosophy?

My background in curriculum design and instruction has allowed me to selectively choose teaching and training models that best fit SUP and outdoor education.  That blend is based on the constructivist and pragmatic theories with a humanistic approach to it. This approach allows for student-centered instruction in a dynamic outdoor classroom, where students become teachers and teachers are always learning. Alongside the skill development, I hope new instructors take away teaching strategies and models.

3.  How many SUP Instructor trainings have you done?

 During the past 2 years I have taught 15 Instructor Certification courses in different parts of United States including Southern California, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Puerto Rico.  Below a list of the SUP Instructor Trainings I have conducted in the past two (2) years:

3/15/13 SUP L1 San Diego, CA


5/29/13 SUP L2 Boulder, CO

6/12/13 SUP L2 Los Angeles, CA

 8/16/13 SUP L2 Los Angeles, CA

 9/28/13 SUP Update Bend, OR

 12/5/13 SUP L1 San Juan, PR

 1/15/14 SUP L1 San Diego, CA

 4/8/14 SUP L2 San Juan, PR

 4/29/14 SUP L2 Sacramento, CA

 5/23/14 SUP L1 San Diego, CA

 6/10/14 SUP L2 Greenbrier Park, MD

SUP Fins 101

 6/17/14 SUP L2 Albuquerque, NM

 6/23/14 SUP L1 San Diego, CA

 1/21/15 SUP L2 San Diego, CA

 3/28/15 SUP L1 Aguadilla, PR

 6/15/15 SUP L2 San Diego, CA

 9/2/15 SUP L1 Los Angeles, CA

1/25/16 SUP L1 San Marcos, TX

4.  How do you stay up-to-date?

 Since the time I became an Instructor Trainer in SUP L2, I have developed my skills and knowledge of the sport. I have produced articles for REI’s blog, my personal blog and assisted other publications with my paddle sport expertise. In addition, as part of my self-guided professional development I bought the book from Steve West, Stand Up Paddler. A Paddler’s Guide and have incorporated his rich content in my teaching. Quickblade FlumeIn 2015, I scheduled a session with Jimmy Terrell from Quickblade in the flume and had a forward stroke analysis done on site. In my quest for acquiring more knowledge on the sport I visited the Future Fins factory, Brian Szymanski’s shaping room, SIC warehouse as well as Boardworks and SurfTech distribution centers. I have had several boards including the SIC 14′ Bullet, 9’3 Special Boardwork and the 8’11 Bic Wave. Last fall I attended the Outdoor Retailer show and was able to meet industry leaders and try the latest equipment. As a personal endeavor, I have raced in more than a dozen competitions including Battle of the Paddle, Pacific Paddle Games, HanoHano, Malibu Downwinder and San Clemente Ocean Festival. Lastly, I wanted to expand local coastal awareness and access and be the voice for all paddlers in San Diego so I helped a group of paddlers form the San Diego Water Trails Association.


SUP Paddle options

If you look in my garage right now, you’ll see several paddles, but essentially it comes down to two main paddles, one for surfing and one for ocean/flat water paddling.  Paddle choice is just as personal as board choice, and you should feel just as particular about it.

The basic criteria I use when selecting a paddle is the paddle blade size and the flex/stiffness of the paddle. My SUP surfing paddle blade area is wide, to displace more volume per stroke.  While my ocean/flat water paddle blade has a tall narrow blade. This is to increase my stroke rate, something you’ll care more about as you get better and faster.   For surfing my paddle length (measurement top to bottom) is only 4 inches taller than me.  I spend a lot of time in my surfing stance, that keeps me low towards the water and therefore I do not need a tall paddle.  For flat water/ocean paddling, since my board keeps me only 2 inches above the waterline, my primary paddle is 8 inches taller than me.

Don’t underestimate the important details when you choose your paddle, a lot of people get obsessive about their board and then choose a paddle that doesn’t serve them equally well.

Read about the rest of my quiver at this REI blog post

See you on the water!

Stand Up Paddleboarding for fitness

I was glad to contribute to an article that focuses on the fitness benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding. The Active Times published an article titled: “Why Stand-Up Paddleboarding is Actually a Killer Workout”. In this article they explain why paddling, specifically SUP, can improve your overall fitness. Let me know what you think after you read the article.

Benefits of fitness through active lifestyle and outdoor pursuits

We can break it down into two main benefits: 1. Physical benefits and 2. Psychological benefits

SUP lagoonPhysical activities include trail running, hiking, swimming, cycling, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding, to name just a few. The biggest advantage of these activities is that they provide a lot of variation and address the whole body. This ensures that all aspects of physical fitness such as cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, agility, power, flexibility, coordination etc. are addressed in each workout.  Each and every single one of these components is crucial for optimal physical fitness and therefore should be targeted.

In my next blog post, I’ll address several of the physical benefits in detail.


Stand Up Paddleboarding Skills course – Aug 13-14 Squam Lake, NH

Stand Up Paddleboarding Skills course (Level 1 and 2) Aug 13-14 Squam Lake, NH

Course Overview: The Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) L1 is designed to introduce and expose the participant to sufficient skills and knowledge, so that they can enjoy the sport or Stand Up Paddleboarding in a calm flat water setting. SUP L2 is designed to refine equipment knowledge and develop the skills needed to paddle effectively in conditions where wind, waves and current are present.

Cost: $300.00 with SUP board/paddle or $210.00 without.

Instructors: Jose Gonzalez is the Coordinator for Recreation Programs at Plymouth State University and senior consultant and trainer for Endurance Staffing.  He is a certified Lifeguard, Water Safety Instructor and teaches first aid and CPR for the American Red Cross.  Jose is also a certified ACA Stand Up Paddler instructor.