Meet the Trainer – Dr. Jose H. Gonzalez

Jose grew up surfing and paddling in Puerto Rico. He worked for Outward Bound for 12 years, teaching sea kayaking and sailing expeditions. Jose has been teaching for over 25 years in the outdoor classroom.  In addition, he has taught at various colleges in the USA. He has a USCG 50 Tons Captain’s license and is not only certified as a Wilderness First Responder, but also teaches wilderness medicine courses for NOLS Wilderness Medicine.

He has competed in multiple SUP races including the HanoHano, Battle of the Paddle, Malibu Downwinder, Carolina Cup and Pacific Paddle Games. He considers himself a recreational athlete, but above all he is an educator.

Jose is a brand Ambassador for Croakies, SIC Maui and for Hornet Paddles.  He uses exclusively Future Fins for his own use and teaching.


SUP Instructor Trainer Qualifications


“Jose is an outstanding instructor trainer. He provides training for our paddle staff at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, and year after year, we are continually impressed with his effectiveness. Jose’s enthusiastic & deliberate demeanor fosters an environment in which he earns the respect of our staff, sets standards, and inspires them to progress as instructors.  He manages to develop our instructors’ practical teaching skills while promoting a philosophy of positivism, continued development, and teamwork.  This mindset extends beyond the time that he spends with us and continues to affect the quality of our staffs’ instruction and attitudes throughout the year. Our staff is safely and successfully working with individuals of all ages, physical capabilities, and varying levels of comfort in the water.  They are also safely and successfully managing groups of up to 50 people.  Over the course of this summer alone, they have helped thousands of customers achieve their unique goals. That is a direct result of Jose’s guidance when it comes to instructional approaches, group management, and risk management. Jose’s work with our team at the beginning of each summer is critical to the success of our paddle programs.

-Jamie Eubanks
Instructional Supervisor
Mission Bay Aquatic Center

“As an outdoor educator and facilitator myself for over 15 years, I found Jose’s facilitation style and talent beyond amazing!  He has a keen listening ear for his candidates’ abilities and our learning styles and how best to impart his knowledge to us.  He proficiently demonstrated the exact instructor qualities he’s teaching. I got so many great ideas and content for my own personal SUP instruction from Jose, I’m forever grateful.  Even more than what he said during our workshop, it was how he was during difficult weather circumstances that most impressed me! I couldn’t have asked for a more personable and professional SUP  instructor.”

-West Shirley
Owner, Colorado SUP Sports
ACA Level 1 & 2, WPA Certified SUP Instructor

“My experience with Jose was fantastic! The course was organized, clear, Jose was very personable and knowledgeable about SUP skills.  I learned so much over the 3 days course, I feel confident translating the skills to others.

– Sarah Dymond
San Diego Paddle Yoga