Friday, June 29, 2007

Fun Waves in Baja

Good Times in Baja- full story soon!

Stand Up Paddle Surf Baja

I just got back from a two week trip to Baja, stand up paddle surfing over 2,500 miles (round trip) of beautiful Baja. Will write more after I get some rest.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Paddle Surfing Lessons San Diego

Private Stand Up Paddle Lessons in Sunny Beautiful San Diego! We offer the highest quality, most comprehensive paddle surfing instruction on the entire west coast. Email: or 619.508.6382

Lessons Update August, 2011: Wow! Can't believe that I started teaching people how to stand up paddle almost four years ago!  Since then, I've refined the whole lesson, perfected my teaching techniques, had tons of fun and laughed with hundreds of happy paddle students. 

This summer has continued to see the crazy growth in the sport that began last year- more than ever there are people of all ages coming out to the beach fired up to stand up paddle for the first time. If you're still standing on the sidelines, dreaming of getting out and paddling but apprehensive to take the first steps to being a stand up paddler... give me a call or drop me an email and I'll do my best to ease your fears. 

I've also added a free rental with drop off and pick up to my lesson package- I want you to come back after the lesson and practice what I've taught you! So definitely take advantage of the free stand up rental and don't be surprised if you find yourself dreaming about your next paddle adventure. See you out on the water! 

John Ashley

Scroll down for student testimonials.

You'll learn all the basics
of stand up paddling in the calm, protected waters of beautiful Coronado, California. We've worked hard to develop a highly effective series of stand up paddle surfing lessons designed to help you reach your stand up paddling goals.

Meet your instructor: John Ashley

Let's get out and paddle! I feel like I've been a teacher my whole life. I've lived and worked on Catalina Island teaching students how to sail and windsurf and have progressed to teaching Advanced Placement Chemistry, Marine Science and Biology in my high school classroom. Although the subjects may have changed, one thing has remained constant- I'm dedicated to showing others how to have fun and learn at the same time. I truly believe that anybody can learn how to stand up paddle- the sport has enriched my life, changed my physique and made me a happier person. I look forward to sharing this all with you- let's get out and paddle!

For the last few years I've been putting eager students onto stand up paddle boards. It's been really satisfying watching students learn all of the basics necessary to paddle safely and successfully. Dissecting paddling techniques and adapting them for instruction has been challenging, rewarding and fun. I hope you'll give me a chance to introduce you to stand up paddle surfing- I'm hopelessly hooked and I know you will be too.

Learn to stand up paddle surf with us here in beautiful San Diego!

We offer private lessons for students of all ages. We can also arrange lessons for larger groups and families.

Stop dreaming about it and do it!
We're ready to get you on the water and paddling today.

Stand Up Paddle Surf Lesson 1 Flat Water Paddling:
This is lesson is an introduction to stand up paddling. Our goal is to provide you with the basic techniques needed to safely paddle a stand up board. You will leave the lesson with all the skills necessary to paddle with confidence and safety.

In Lesson 1
you will learn correct stroke technique, how to turn the board using four different paddle strokes, foot placement and stance, and, importantly, how to self rescue. In addition we'll discuss board selection and paddle sizing. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have about stand up paddling- come curious, leave satisfied!

The entire lesson is conducted in calm, flat waters. It is important for new paddlers to begin in relatively tranquil conditions. These conditions allow us to focus on the important elements of board, paddle and stroke. As a beginner, you can never get enough flat water paddle time. The more you paddle the better you get!

A word of advice: if you choose to paddle with other paddle surf schools, ask where your lesson will take place. You will get the most out of your lesson if it is NOT an open water (in the sea) paddling lesson. Spend your time learning the basic skills necessary to build a solid paddling foundation- don't waste your time and money just learning to balance on the board... insist on a flatwater lesson!

The fee for Lesson 1 is $100/person. The lesson lasts an hour and a half with the majority of this time spent on the water. All equipment except a wetsuit (only needed in the winter) is provided.

Email: or 619.508.6382

Paddle Surf Gear Rentals Available: With Pick Up and Drop Off!!! If you've got basic paddling skills and would like to rent a board and paddle I will deliver the equipment to either Glorietta Bay or Grand Caribe Beach in Coronado (flatwater) or Silver Strand State Beach (surf paddling) and pick it up at the end of the rental period. These boards are big and difficult to handle. Let us take the hassle out of paddling. Rental with Delivery and Pickup is $60/3 hours, board and paddle. If you'd like for me to deliver the equipment to a different beach in San Diego there will be an additional charge.

NEW OFFERING: Paddle Surf Touring in San Diego. If you've completed Stand Up Paddle Surf Lesson 1 or have basic paddling experience (including surf entry and exit) let me guide you on a scenic tour of San Diego's best paddle spots. Contact me for more information: or 619.508.6382

Are you ready to paddle?

If you're ready to reserve a date and time for your private stand up paddle lesson, let us know and we will send you a PayPal invoice for the lesson fee. Once you've paid the fee your lesson date will be locked down on the Lesson Calender. We book on a first come first served basis and offer 100% refunds for lessons cancelled two weeks before the lesson date.

Official PayPal Seal

For more information check out our brochure below.

Read this doc on Scribd: SUP Boch indd

A few client testimonials:

Ralph and Kim, Florida

"No Worries here.

My wife and I are both avid kiteboarders, snowboarders, and wakeboarders. All too often lessons are little more than cashectomies from some punk who spews a bunch of dude talk like "it's all good" or "no worries dude". Our 2 Standup Paddle Surf lessons from John Ashley were an absolute pleasure and there were "no worries".

John is a high school chemistry teacher and truly has a gift for teaching. He conveys the important messages with great preciseness. His disposition is best described as FRIENDLY. Within 5 minutes we felt like we knew him for years.

My wife and I had a small amount of SUP experience before traveling to San Diego for our lesson with John (we flew in from Florida). Within 30 minutes John was able to get rid of some bad habits we had already developed.

Day two was all waves. Within a couple of hours John had me identifying "right and lefts" and turning down the line. He was also able to get my wife, who had some trepidation, to ride her first wave.

Our experience with John was a 10+. The ten goes to John and the + is for the sea lions that surfed with us (crazy cool). We are looking forward to our next trip to San John can take us to the next level.

Ralph and Kim

P.S. His gear was top shelf."

Hey John,

Thanks for the lesson, that was a fantastic workout and great fun! I thought I'd be sore the next day but I held up pretty well. I am super impressed with the workout I got in the light lesson.

Now I'm really looking forward to my Hawaii trip to get some more practice in. After everything you've taught me I have no doubt I'll be able to grab a board and cruise the beaches!

There aren't too many choices for SUP lessons in San Diego and I am confident that I made the right choice by taking my first lesson with you. Being able to dive right in (quite literally!) after a quick beach lesson was exactly what I wanted. The location made it much easier to get up to speed and learn the basics without dealing with waves or wind.

I'll ring you up after I get back, hopefully with some much improved skills, to move up to the next level.

Thanks again,

Hi John. I wanted to thank you for Saturday's lesson on the SUP. I have been debating over the past 6 months whether or not to buy a board and the time we spent out on the water was the perfect intro! It's clear that you are a natural teacher and that you are in love with the SUP life. Thanks again!

Scott Bell, Palo Alto

My sister and I took a flatwater lesson from John. It was great. He's a highschool chem teacher and lays things out clear and in progression. Very upbeat and chatty waterman. It's a good intro.

TJ, Carlsbad, Ca

The SUP lesson that my brother and I took with John Ashley was a huge success. The two of us had never before been on an SUP board and John met us totally prepared with quality equipment and a very professional attitude. He was excellent at conveying the "need to know" information quickly and before we knew it we were off for an hour of fun.

Laura, Carlsbad, Ca

Thank you again for the paddle surfing experience - it was incredible! I have been talking about it non-stop to friends and family, encouraging every one to try it. John was a fantastic teacher. He offered detailed explanations prior to getting on the water, easy instruction during the session (so I didn't develop bad habits), and a great review at the end. I highly recommend that anyone who is considering paddle surfing, take a lesson from John, and try it!

Kendra, Italy

"Ever since I first saw a guy off in the horizon on a paddle board,
I was intrigued to give it a shot. John made it easy for me to get
out in the water and experience paddle boarding. He provided
great equipment, a great spot, and most importantly great instruction!
Thanks to John's dynamic instruction, I gained the confidence to
take up paddle surfing as my new hobby.

This wasn't just a great lesson, but a great experience."

Zach, La Jolla

John gives you the ultimate Stand Up Paddling

experience. The lesson was high quality. John made learning to SUP, EASY, FUN AND SAFE. My husband is in the military and this is a wonderful form of fitness that you can do where ever you live. After just one lesson with John I already feel hooked and all I can think about is when I can go out again.

Michelle, San Diego

John Ashley is a great choice for paddleboard lessons
He has a warm and engaging personality and wants to include you as part of the SUP community from your first contact.
He is very knowledgeable about the practical requirements of a beginning Stand Up Paddleboard participant.
He earnestly wants you to continue your participation in the sport after your lesson.
I really have enjoyed my experience with John.

Mark Williams, Agua Dulce California

We would walk down the boardwalk on Sunday mornings to brunch and would watch the paddleboarders along the with excitement and Heidi with a little bit of doubt and fear. I finally decided to take the initiative and contact John Ashley for a lesson. He is a great teacher! Informative and patient, while encouraging and pushing you to master the skills needed to feel safe and have fun. I was so excited about paddleboarding after my first lesson that Heidi asked to get up early the next Sunday and get her own lesson! Now we are hooked and have our own boards!

Chris and Heidi
Mission Beach, California

You are AWESOME! My daughter and I were “SUP Virgins”. We had planned a weekend trip to San Diego and wanted to learn to stand up paddle. We contacted John through his email and he was very responsive and professional. He made it so easy. All we had to do was show up. John was there at the beach with his top of the line equipment and a huge smile. It took about a minute to really get to like him. After a quick beach lesson reviewing basic techniques and safety we were on our way paddling through the warm waters of the picturesque Coronado Cays. John is a patient and encouraging teacher; and for me, success paddling equals fun! It was a great experience that I highly recommend. If you are looking for SUP instruction, John’s the best! Looking forward to paddling at home and hopefully again soon in San Diego.

Gwen & Katie
Thousand Oaks, California

I wanted to try paddling but thought that I would be too uncoordinated to do it. I found John on the internet and contacted him with lots of questions. John immediately put my mind at ease and my lesson was a blast! John is very professional and supportive. He clearly loves paddling and he is a great teacher. He even let me borrow a board at no additional charge so that I could practice again the next week. Now I am hooked and I am going to buy a board of my own. If you have wanted to try paddling don’t hesitate to call John. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Barb Atkins

Here I am in my favorite classroom- playing hookey in the curl!