First High School SUP PE Class Being Offered In California

With donated boards from Riviera and kids who just want to SUP, Rick Stinson has started the first high school SUP PE class in California. | Photo: Zoe Young With donated boards from Riviera and kids who just want to SUP, Rick Stinson has started the first high school SUP PE class in California. | Photo: Zoe Young

All photos taken by SUP PE student Zoe Young

DANA POINT, California - In recent years many schools across the United States have been adding specialized physical education courses (PE) that directly involve water sports. One of the more popular courses being offered along the coasts have been surf PE and in Dana Point, California, high school teacher Rick Stinson has started the first SUP High School PE class.

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Rick (on yellow board) paddles with his students at Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor. | Photos: Zoe Young

Rick is a regular high school science teacher teaching geology, astronomy, and earth science at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California up the hill from Salt Creek where the famous Battle of the Paddle SUP racing competition is held.

Rick first started the SUP PE course at Dana Hills High School in the fall of 2013 with 30 kids signed up and enrolled in the class. With the county permit allowing a maximum of 35 kids enrolled and a wait list of 10, a total of 45 kids have the chance to participate in this special SUP PE class taught by Rick. Last fall in only it's second year, there were 70 kids that had signed up to participate proving that this class is quickly growing in popularity. To get a better picture of how and why Rick got this SUP PE class going we had a chat with Rick to see how this all came together:

high school sup pe steven jonesSUP students Steven Jones (front), with Trevor Bashor and Chase Howard. | Photo: Zoe Young

Supconnect: Why did you want to start this?

Rick Stinson: To expose more kids to the sport. I knew what a great sport it is and that once kids learned it (kids from Mexico, Taiwan who then introduced their families to the sport), so I wanted to see kids enjoying it and bring their families into it. I wanted to paddle more, but also introduce this sport that I love to more and more people.

What have you seen in the kids that have participated?

I’m seeing a growing demand of kids wanting to be involved, bringing their friends and family. They’re getting their own boards, participating in SUP events, and getting stoked.

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Pictured: (left) Class is over, several students taking the boards back to the storage. (right): Jake Trujillo and John Uhler heading out. | Photo: Zoe Young

Where do you want to see this go?

I want to see other high schools adopt this and start an interscholastic championship. And I would love to see CIF (California Inter-Scholastic Federation) recognize the program. If CIF recognizes it, it would open more doors in visibility and help transitions into college and perhaps later the Olympics.

With the help of Riviera Paddle Surf and Dana Point Outrigger Canoe donating boards and space for the kids to use and making this PE class possible, it is awesome to see the sport being introduced to kids and their families. In the fall of 2013 for the first SUP PE class, only 4 kids brought their own boards. This past fall 15 kids brought their own boards making for less sharing between the kids and allowing for more time on the water. Next year, there are already 25 more kids bringing their own boards and it will be exciting to see how other schools can adopt this program.

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Pictured: (left) Jacob Dalton and Amanda Reider rinsing the boards after class. (right) Tyler Wick returning a board to the storage shed provided by Dana Point Outrigger Canoe. | Photo: Zoe Young

To connect with Rick and to learn more about his program feel free to follow him on Twitter: @supteacher or check out his group in the Supconnect Community here.

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Last modified onThursday, 21 May 2015 10:16
Rick Stinson

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