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 participants 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. Participants are welcome to watch the online presentations as many times as they like.

Part Two: Practical Session

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

Candidates will be fully briefed on what is expected of them at this practical session, prior to attending. Candidates who do not show the required competency level at this session will  be debriefed on what they need to work on, and can re-attend a future practical session when they feel ready to have another go.

Part Three: Personal skills

Upon registering for the course, candidates will be required to submit a video demonstrating their 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 them to ensure that their skills are at the correct level when they attend the practical session and assessment.

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:  $250

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: Practical Session & Assessment

(candidates will receive written explanation of  what will be expected of them 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.


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.


Your qualification will begin as of the day after completing and passing the practical assessment. However, your license will initially be issued as a provisional qualification. You will be required to log your teaching sessions, and once you have 10 successful sessions logged you can apply to have your qualification upgraded to full status (no charge for this).

Your qualification will be valid for 2 years. Revalidation (for full licenses only) will cost around $100 per further two years, but will also require a certain amount of other professional development, either in the form of online learning, further courses and/or attending an annual conference.

Along with your license, you will receive a comprehensive manual of course notes and information.

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