Your SUP board is actually an excellent rescue tool. With the skills you will learn in this 2.5 hour course, you will be equipped to save someone from drowning. It’s a vital skill that every stand up paddleboarder should have. Unfortunately, preventable drowning incidents are all too common around the New Zealand waters, and you never know when you might come across someone in trouble. Click here to find your nearest course.

The course starts in the classroom, and then progresses to the water, where you will be shown the techniques required, and you’ll then carry out a number of different rescues, until you are completely comfortable with the techniques.

You will learn about:

  • The drowning sequence
  • Recognising who might be at risk
  • Rescue theory
  • Unassisted and assisted rescue scenarios
  • How to minimise the risks during a rescue
  • Rescuing conscious and unconscious casualties
  • How to get the casualty to shore
  • Calling for help
  • Alternative rescue methods

You will find this course extremely empowering and enjoyable – you’ll be astonished at how easy and effective the techniques are.

The course fee will depend on the local presenter (as some have support from local councils etc in order to run them FOC, while others have to recoup costs for renting rooms etc), but should not be more than $40 per person. A small outlay in return for knowledge that may save someone’s life!

Check out also the SUP SAFE course. This 2.5 hour classroom course covers how to choose and use your safety equipment, understanding the conditions, and what to do when things go wrong. It’s a fun and easy way to really improve your general water knowledge – we guarantee you’ll learn something new!

Find a course

There will be courses run all over New Zealand throughout the summer.  Courses will be scheduled, and/or on demand – if there are enough takers then the local course presenter will put one on. Contact your local presenter to put your name on their list!

Where the course presenter is shown as TBA, this is because the training is still under way. If you would be interested in a course in this area please let us know, and you will be contacted as soon as the presenters are ready to begin running the course.

Northland Paddleboarding, Far North

Contact: 027 777 1035 –

SUP Bros, Whangarei

Contact: 022 644 9613 –

TBA, Orewa

Contact: TBA – contact NZSUP

SUP Well, Auckland

Contact: 021 289 0221 –

TBA, Cambridge

Contact: TBA – contact NZSUP

TBA, Raglan

Contact: TBA – contact NZSUP

East Coast Paddlers, Bay of Plenty

Contact: 0274 510 579 –

Moana Paddle Nelson, Nelson/Marlborough

Contact: 027 272 7259 –

Golden Bay Kayaks, Golden Bay

Contact: 03 525 9095 –

TBA, Christchurch

Contact: TBA – contact NZSUP

Paddle Wanaka, Wanaka/Queenstown

Contact: 0800 926 925 –

Water Cooled Sports, Dunedin

Contact: 03 479 2206 –

More presenters will be added to this list very soon.  If there is not a presenter in your area please contact us to request a course and we’ll see what we can do.


We are hugely grateful to the Safer Boating Forum for their funding contribution towards the SUP SAFE program and education in New Zealand.