10 Reasons to train as a SUP instructor

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the fastest growing water sport. Why? It’s extremely versatile and one which offers many options. From downwinding, surfing, racing, SUP touring, SUP fitness and SUP yoga to name but a few.

The basics of SUP are also fairly easy to learn for everyone and so it appeals to all ages and abilities. It’s a great job, here are 10 reasons to train as a SUP instructor.

1) Travel It allows you to travel. Follow the summer sun from one hemisphere to the other. Delivering SUP lessons is often seasonal and so you can go anywhere in the world to work with the correct qualifications.

2) Outdoor Office Not keen on being stuck in an office for 8 hours a day? A SUP instructor gets to be outdoors in nature every day. What could be better?

3) Health and fitness Working as a SUP instructor means you are using your body daily to workout, stay healthy and get paid!

4) Wellbeing Working in nature gives you a greater work/life balance and wellbeing. You get to see amazing wildlife, seals, dolphins, bird life, beautiful sunsets and amazing water-based locations.

5) On the water Research has shown that being near or on the water increases our feel-good factor through the negative ions. Negative ions are most prevalent in natural places and around moving water. Negative ions increase your sense of well-being and mental clarity. They are often described as a natural anti-depressant.

6) Work with people We are social animals. Working with people, teaching them new skills, allowing them to discover the benefits of SUP and have fun is a wonderful way to work.

7) Meet interesting people One of the joys of being a SUP instructor is you get to meet people from all walks of life. You will meet and make great friends along the way that perhaps you wouldn’t otherwise meet in an ordinary desk job.

8) Different locations You can be a paddleboard instructor virtually anywhere there is water. So, whether it’s on a lake, lagoon, river, estuary, reservoir, canal or on the sea, there’s a good chance that wherever you live you will be able to teach paddle boarding somewhere nearby.

9) Different disciplines SUP Yoga, SUP tours, SUP fitness, SUP Surfing, Downwinding, flatwater paddling, open water paddling, SUP racing you name it. SUP is so versatile – you will never get bored having this career.

10) Take SUP tours You don’t need to stay in one location. Once trained up you can take people on SUP tours, a great way to see the landscape change along the coast or follow a river from source to sea. A fabulous way to travel and stop off for lunch to explore new places.

Paul Byrne is an Academy of Surfing SUP Trainer and Instructor. He says: “Becoming a Stand Up Paddle Board Instructor has been the best job move I ever made. I saw the health and fitness benefits that could be gained from SUP - offering a great way to train, being outside, on the water getting fit and getting paid at the same time. It’s allowed me to travel the world, working and doing what I love, being outdoors, meeting great people along the way. It’s just the perfect job!”

So, there are 10 reasons to train to teach SUP. What other reason do you need? Get yourself on a course and follow your dreams!


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ASI (Academy of Surfing Instructors), is the worldwide peak body for Instructors and Coaches in the outdoor recreation and sport industry for surfing, stand up paddle and bodyboarding.

We set the standards for education, accreditation, professional development and ongoing support for our members, offering pathways from entry level to elite level. 

International Instructor and Coach Accreditation.  You can travel the world with ASI.
ASI Accredited Schools abide by the high international standards for operations, training and safety.