How to Become an ASI Stand Up Paddle Instructor

Why do an ASI SUP Instructor Qualification?

  • Pioneers in SUP instruction and the first to introduce levels and pathways now adopted by much of the industry.
  • ASI offers the most comprehensive qualifications framework and career pathways for SUP Instructors. allowing you to obtain higher and other SUP qualifications. 
  • Widely acknowledged as the most robust and complete SUP instructor training in the world.
  • ASI holds Education Department approvals, which means we abide by high educational standards for awarding bodies. 
  • It is the only truly international SUP training and accreditation organisation recognised globally, which means you can work in countries around the world including the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, Bali Taiwan, China and many more
  • The ASI qualification levels are structured around the water environment type and the type of activity. Different environments and activities have different safety and teaching techniques. 
        - is the environment enclosed flat waters or in the ocean?                 
         - is it SUP lessons and tours or something more specialised like SUP Yoga, downwinding, etc.
  • You could develop your SUP coaching skills and progress to higher levels like SUP Technical Coach or to become a SUP yoga teacher, a SUP surfing coach or perhaps a SUP fitness instructor  - You could even start your own ASI accredited SUP school.

You can travel the world, work with like-minded people, escape the office and make your life an adventure. 

At last count 6,000 instructors have been gained their instructor qualification through ASI, so join the strength.

Getting Started 

The ASI Level 1 SUP Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water) course is the entry level course for SUP Instructors.  
It's for teaching at inland waterways, like rivers and lakes that are no wider than 1km (0.6miles). 
It will prepare you to deliver basic SUP lessons and guide SUP sessions. You will learn all about safety and how to manage groups and techniques to deliver basic SUP lessons. 

Background Skills 

1. The pre-requisite is having: 
• at least 100 hours on water paddling 
• able to paddle with confidence and correct techniques at the ASI Level 1 SUP Wise Enclosed Flat Water Foundation skill level. 
2. To keep your clients safe on the water, you also need a: 
• senior first aid certificate
• SUP or surf rescue certificate 
First Aid and Rescue certificates can also be provided after you have enrolled.
ASI also offers workshop and online SUP Rescue courses.

What are the Training Delivery Options ?

ASI offers a range of training delivery options

Workshop :  An intensive course that focuses on the major components, with the ability to interact with the trainer and the group. 

Online :  Study in your own time with ASI's e-learning platform.  Upload video to demonstrate skills. 

Flexible Trainer : Complete theory online, then organise a private session with a trainer to complete the practical assessments, at a time that suits you. 

Transfer-Update:  Is for people who hold a non ASI SUP instructor qualification and want to be an ASI SUP instructor.   OR for ASI instructors whose qualification has expired.

You are set up on the ASI e-learning platform with access to e-learning manuals, assessments and resources. 

You have up to 12 months to complete the course requirements.  All your information is logged on the ASI e-learning platform, so you can keep track of where you are at. 

Modularised Learning 

The ASI SUP Instructor qualifications are comprehensive and made up of different course modules.  

This provides for flexibility in learning.   Choose one course module. Or you can enrol in all course modules at the same time to fast-track your learning.

What do I Enrol in ?  to gain a  Level 1 SUP Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water) Qualification? 

ASI SUP L1 Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water) qualification contains three courses (modules):

About these courses (modules):

SUP Water Safety Rescue Award:  SUP specific rescue skills. what to do if your SUP clients need rescuing whilst in a lesson.

SUP Wise for Instructors:  Essential foundation paddling skills and knowledge covering ASI guidelines, terminology and techniques.  

ASI Level 1 SUP Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water):  focusses on instruction and guiding clients, safety, risks, logistics, planning, managing groups, sessions plans and instruction techniques, rentals.  (This course assumes you have knowledge of ASI SUP paddling guidelines and terminology as covered in SUP Wise for Instructors course)

How do I Enrol ?

Find the enrolment form link at:  Find enrolment

Choose a workshop location, flexible trainer or online.
Then, look for:   Combined SUP L1, Rescue, SUP Wise  - to enrol in all 3 course modules. 

Are you Teaching in Exposed Waters? 

The ASI Level 2 SUP Instructor (Exposed Waters) qualification is for teaching in ocean locations with conditions that may have swell and bumpy water but no breaking waves.   It is also large inland bodies of water greater than 1km (0.6miles) wide.
If you are an experienced paddler in exposed waters, you can enrol in the Level 2 course at the same time as the Level 1 course.  It means you can complete your practical assessments at the same time. 
Choose Combined SUP L1, L2, Rescue, SUP Wise - to enrol in all 4 course modules.


Do you have more questions?  See the ASI FAQ’s page for a range of SUP Instructor questions and answers