BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding

Swimsuit / swim trunks emblem

Any youth or adult who is registered with a troop, crew, or ship and completes the requirements is eligible for a patch and recognition card. The completed award application should be handled as directed by the council Training, Aquatics, or other committee. Instruction for the BSA SUP award is to be conducted under safe conditions on calm water. One to three hours in one or more sessions should suffice for instruction and practice.

Information and skills are discussed in Aquatics Supervision: A Leader’s Guide to Youth Swimming and Boating Activities, No. 34346, and the BSA SUP brochure at All counselors must be trained in Safety Afloat and have council approval. Any person with current training as a BSA Aquatics Instructor or as a SUP instructor by the American Canoe Association, or a person with similar experience in SUP skills, safety, and instruction may serve as a counselor.

Swimsuit / swim trunks emblem – The BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding patch is NOT worn on the uniform or the sash; it is worn on the left side of the swimsuit / swim trunks

BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding Award

Upon successful completion, participants earn the BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding patch along with their achievement card.  Completion indicates the individual has experienced a valuable introduction to stand up paddleboarding.

BSA Stand Up PaddleboardingRequirements

Review the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Explain to your instructor how this applies to stand up paddleboarding.
Before fulfilling other requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test: Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. Swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.
Explain safety considerations for stand up paddleboarding in the following environments: lake, moving water, white water, open ocean, ocean surf.
Review the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for stand up paddleboarding and understand why one must always be worn while paddling. Then demonstrate how to select and fit a lifejacket for stand up paddleboarding.
Describe the correct type of leash to wear in the appropriate water venues.
Name and point out:
The major parts of a stand up paddleboard
The parts of a paddle for stand up paddleboarding
The different types of stand up paddleboards
How to correctly size and hold a paddle for stand up paddleboarding
Using a properly outfitted stand up paddleboard, demonstrate the following:
How to safely carry a stand up paddleboard
How to safely paddle away from a dock or shoreline (on knees)
How to stand and balance on a board in the neutral position
How to appropriately fall off a board
How to remount the board
Forward stroke
Back stroke
Forward sweep
Reverse sweep
Draw stroke
One self-rescue technique—lay on your stomach and paddle with your hands
With supervision from your instructor, paddle a course that involves:
A straight line for 25 yards and stop within one board length
A figure 8
Moving abeam to the right 10 feet and to the left 10 feet

BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding – Forms, Links, and Resources

Aquatics Supervision – Leader's Guide – the BSA Stand Up Paddleboarding award application is contained in the appendix.