NZSUP Level 1 SUP Instructor

Level 1 consists of 3 parts

This course is for the commercial operator looking to offer basic how-to SUP lessons or an entry-level SUP experience with standard format sessions, in benign weather and water conditions.

Part One: Online Learning

This part of the course consists of a series of online lessons. There is around 12 hours of online learning in this phase, and you will also be expected to practice aspects of the material in their own time and prepare some other ‘homework tasks’ prior to the practical session. You are welcome to watch the online presentations as many times as you like.

Part Two: Practical Session / video assessment

The practical session is around 6 hours duration, including classroom sessions and practice teaching sessions on the water, during which you will be required to demonstrate your teaching skills, safety awareness and a simulated emergency scenario. Individual paddling competency will also be reviewed at this stage.|

You will be fully briefed on what is expected of you at this practical session, prior to attending. If you do not show the required skill level at this session you will be debriefed on what you need to work on, and you are welcome to re-attend a future practical session if you want to have another go.

Alternatively, the all-online version of the course requires you sending us videos of you performing various aspects of instruction, which we will then critique for you, and send you our comments and recommendations. 

Part Three: Personal skills

Upon registering for the course, you will be required to submit a video demonstrating your current SUP paddling skills in required areas. (A specific brief will be provided as to what is required).  Feedback will then be provided on any areas that require further work, in order for you to ensure that your skills are at the correct level.

Other Requirements

Candidates will also be required to hold a current First Aid qualification, of NZQA 6401, 6402 level.  This certificate must be shown when taking the practical assessment.

Course Fee:  $150

Click here to book this course

In more detail – the course breaks down as follows:

Part One:  Online Lessons

  1. Introduction to teaching SUP
  2. Safety Knowledge
    • Legislation and H & S requirements for teaching SUP
    • Preventing emergencies
    • Dealing with emergencies
    • Group management
    • Working with young people|
    • Environment knowledge
  3. Try SUP
    • Teaching beginners
    • Setting up the lesson
    • On the land
    • On the water
    • Standard beginner faults
    • Equipment for beginners
    • Teaching youngsters
  4. Understanding SUP Equipment
    • Boards
    • Paddles
    • PFDs and Leashes
    • Fins
    • Other equipment  (wetsuits, clothing, waterproof bags, etc)
  5. Equipment for SUP instruction
    • Boards
    • Paddles
    • PFDs and leashes
    • Personal instructor equipment
  6. SUP rescue and recovery techniques

Part Two: 

Either: Practical Session & Assessment

(You will receive a written brief as to what will be expected in terms of abilities and knowledge)

  1. Classroom session and discussion summarising online module material and going through the various ‘homework’ tasks.
  2. Beginner lessons set-up and beach work assessment
  3. Rescue Practice & assessment
  4. Towing practice & assessment
  5. Paddling Skills assessment
  6. Final debrief and discussion.

OR: Online Assessment

In the all-online course you will be set a number of video assignments, in which you send us videos of you performing specific instructor tasks, which we will then critique and offer our feedback and comments on. 



The fee for the course breaks down as follows:

$150 initial registration fee.

This gets you access to all the online learning, and also the paddle skills review and feedback.

Click here to sign up for this course.

$100 practical session fee.

Book and pay for this when you decide you are ready to take the practical session and assessment.  Please note that the fee is not refundable if you do not pass the assessment. You may retake the practical assessment (at $100 per time) as often as is required in order to pass. You will still have access to all the online learning material throughout this time at no extra cost.


$150 assessment fee if doing the all-online course

This is slightly more expensive because there is considerably more time involved in assessing and providing feedback on your individual video submissions and 


Upon completing the course you will be awarded a certificate to show that you have successfully completed the training. 

Your certificate will be dated from the day after you have completed and passing the practical assessment. 

We strongly recommend renewing your skills every 2-3 years, and there is a renewal course available which can be done completely online. 

Please see the FAQ page for much more information about the various aspects of the course.