IRELAND. ASI’s Master Trainer and Manager of Training, Paul Byrne is based in Dublin, Ireland. He is a highly experienced Stand up Paddleboarder and a life-long ocean enthusiast. He has a background in Surfing, Scuba Diving, Boating and Fishing.
Having travelled extensively, Pauls philosophy is about living your life! We caught up with him to find out more about why he became an instructor and what drives him.
Paul has been passionate about sport and adventure sports all his life. This passion quickly transferred to education and so he trained as a Physical Education Teacher. This was just the beginning of his journey however as he since qualified as an instructor of several sports and outdoor activities.
He says: “I guess my passion for each sport and activity involved sharing it with all those around me. I have several jobs that I juggle. I am the P.E Teacher in a boy’s private primary school in Dublin. I own and run Irelands first Stand Up Paddleboarding School, IRISHSUP. Plus, I am a Master Trainer and the appointed Manager of Training with the Academy of Surfing Instructors. (ASI).”
He became an ASI trainer to share his passion for SUP but also to guide and help direct SUP Education in Ireland. He says: “I was fortunate to be involved in the sport from the very start here in Ireland. I have invested a lot of my time and energy in the development of SUP and becoming a trainer was a logical next step for me.”
The SUP industry is very small even though it’s worldwide. Paul has met so many friends around the world who share the same passion as he does. He says: “Almost all these people do what they do because they love the water, the surf and SUP. These are the people I like to share my time and my energy with.
He has had so many funny moments during his career but one, in particular, stands out for him. He says: “Last summer I went to visit Finland to run some ASI instructor workshops. An amazing country and super people. Our host Sanna was so good, she took care of us all so well right down to booking the sauna each evening for our days debrief.
“While my students were expressing concern about timed swims and paddle assessments I couldn’t help but get concerned myself about what was accepted etiquette and practice in the sauna. Covered up or all exposed! My Catholic Irish upbringing was causing conflict within my head. It was all fine and I survived. The ladies guided me every step of the way.
He has many inspiring moments in his career. Firstly, by meeting, competing against, and surfing with some of the world’s top watermen at the first SUP World Championships in Lima, Peru. Namely guys like Jamie Mitchell, Justin Holland, Colin McPhillips, Sean Poynter, Casper Steinfaith. He says: “These guys showed me that even my heroes are normal guys. Guys who chase their passion around the world but also love a cold beer and an opportunity to party. They were inspirational to me.”
Secondly, when he ran an ASI SUP Instructor Workshops in Slovenia many years ago and worked with some very passionate paddlers. He says: “One of these guys presented me a very special leather-bound book as a memento afterwards which had the following note written inside the cover “To the first true waterman in my life, thank you.”
“While it’s far from a waterman I am, it was the first time that I realised that I was making a difference in some people’s lives through sharing my passion and excitement for SUP. This person still welcomes me back to his country each year with a bottle of local Brinjevec as a token of his appreciation.”
The future for Paul involves getting his two girls more involved with his SUP business. He wants to continue travelling the world and running workshops for ASI as a Master Trainer and Training Manager. He says: “I can’t thank the ASI enough for giving me the opportunity to share my passion and meet so many wonderful people from around the globe!”
ASI (Academy of Surfing Instructors), is the worldwide peak body for Instructors and Coaches in the outdoor recreation and sports 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.