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SUP Lessons

Learn to SUP with the Gorge Crew —

With over ten years teaching stand up paddling in Portland, we are your go to source for the best individualized instruction on the water. We teach Monday - Saturday (except holidays) from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The wind tends to pick up in the afternoons, so mornings are ideal. And weekdays will have far fewer boats on the river than on a Saturday. All lesson scheduling is done via email direct to

All of our lessons are private 1 on 1 lessons unless you book with a friend or group. We do not combine bookings to form groups. We have a maximum 4:1 student: teacher ratio. Please see our Lesson Options below for more info and rates.

You may also purchase a lesson gift certificate online and then you (or the receiver of that awesome gift!) will make arrangements later for the specific lesson date. Lesson gift certificates do not expire. The certificate can be mailed directly to the recipient. 

"Stand up paddling looks easy. Why take a lesson?"

While stand up paddling isn't especially difficult (a huge part of its appeal), if you've never been on a board before, it's going to be challenging, at least to start. And stand up paddling has more to it than meets the eye, and the proper technique might seem counter intuative. Learning the various paddling techniques and safety from day-one will save you from developing bad habits and/or making costly mistakes. Taking a lesson will ensure you're paddling on the river with confidence (and efficiency) in no time.  

Here's what a few of our students have shared post lesson:

"Kim, just wanted to thank you and your team for a awesome day! Sis and me are super excited with our new boards and the lesson was very relaxing, fun, and beneficial!!! — Carl

"I just needed to drop you a note and tell you what a wonderful person and instructor Wendy is. I am out of shape and lacking in coordination, but Wendy saw my enthusiasm and encouraged me every step of the way, making me feel good about myself and about SUP. She was informative and supportive and patient. I felt safe with her, and the time spent was worth every cent and then some. Thanks so much, I'll be recommending you guys to everyone I talk to! — Cindy


Lesson Options

1) Intro to SUP Lesson (taught mid May through September)

With this 90-minute introductory lesson first-time SUPers will learn the basic skills necessary for enjoying SUP safely and efficiently. During the dryland portion, you'll learn about the equipment and how to carry your board. Then to the water where you'll progress from paddling on your knees to standing up. You’ll by taught a proper and efficient forward stroke as well as how to turn your board. You’ll also learn some basic water safety skills and how to handle paddle in windy conditions and rough water. Most of all, you'll have FUN!

The rate for a 90-minute Intro to SUP lesson with all equipment provided (up to four people with one instructor)
$75 individual 
$130 two person 
$180 for three people
$230 for four

For a group lesson for 5-10 people (i.e. corporate outings) we can provide gear and two instructors for your group for up to 10 people at a rate of $50 per person. If you have more than 10 people in your group, you're welcome to add more people at a rate of $30 each, but we will still only provide equipment for 10 people to be on the water at one time. If you're just looking to rent equipment for a large group but do not want instruction, please see our Rentals page for more info.

2) 60-minute Intermediate Skills Lesson

This option is for those who already have the basics down and are looking to learn/improve various techniques to paddle stronger and more efficiently. We’ll cater the lesson to your specific interests including advanced stroke technique, racing skills and tactics (i.e. rounding buoys, fast starts, drafting), and training tips. We can pack a lot of teaching into a 60 minute lesson!

Rate: $60 for one person, or $100 for two people. This rate is BYOB (bring your own board), or add $30 ea. for demo board rentals.

 Learn to SUP

Cancellation Policy

Please notify us 48 hours prior to your reserved lesson time to cancel or reschedule. We cannot offer refunds for notice less than 48 hours.

Your safety is vitally important. If weather or water conditions are deemed to be unsafe by our instructors, we will contact you to reschedule your lesson.