ASI SUP Instructor Courses FAQ's

Do you have any questions in relation to completing your ASI Stand Up Paddle training?  

See Course Requirements to see what is required to complete each course. 

Why Choose ASI ?

ASI is the market leader in SUP education.  We created the worldwide SUP Standards in 2008, long before any other organisation.

ASI offers the largest range of SUP training and instructor programs in the marketplace, with a choice of SUP disciplines and career progression.

ASI is a dedicated professional membership and training organisation and we are continually re-investing money into research and development of SUP education and operational standards.   

Only by education, will the industry continue to grow.  

ASI is proud to support the industry by providing structured skills training and programs to encourage participation, support for instructors and schools and opportunities to develop a sustainable career in the industry. 

Study Options 

ASI offers different delivery methods to complete your SUP instructor training.     Find courses....

  • Workshop:  Face to face delivery with Trainer and other participants.   Complete most of the course requirements at workshops and maybe visit a new town or country to do your training.  
  • Flexible Learning:  Online elearning course.  Complete theory in your own time, upload video assessments. Paperbased option also available.
  • Flexible Trainer:  Blended online course.  Using the ASI Elearning platform to complete theory and organise a time to complete practical session, video and feedback with your trainer.  
  • Transfer / Update:  Using the ASI Elearning platform.  If you hold a non ASI SUP instructor certificate, you can transfer to ASI.   Or  Update your ASI qualification if it has expired.  You don’t need to attend a workshop.  

ASI's e-learning platform, where you can access training manuals, videos, reference materials and assessments.  All information is submitted online, allowing you to keep track of what you have submitted and gain individualised trainer feedback. 

How Do I Enrol?

Workshop Courses
Go to the "Find Courses".  Workshop courses are listed in date order.  You can search by country location and/or course type.  
You can enrol in single courses or combined courses. 

Flexible Learning Courses
Go to the "Find Courses".   Flexible learning courses are listed at the top of the course dates list.   You can enrol any time. 

Where Do I Find the Course Requirements?

Course requirements are listed for each course on the course program.
Find course programs....

What is the Cost of the Courses?

The course costs can be found at  Find Courses

Find the course you are interested in, click and it will show course costs.  If it is a workshop, it will also show the information about the training venue location. 

What Courses Do I Enrol In ? 

ASI SUP Instructors are required to understand ASI procedures and be competent paddlers, hold rescue and first aid qualifications.

You can enrol in ASI combined courses for:

  • SUP Instructor (relevant level)
  • SUP Water Safety Rescue Award (5 hours)
  • SUP Wise for Instructors Foundation Skills  (3 hours)

Discounts are offered when you enrol in combined ASI courses. 
SUP Water Safety Rescue Award and SUP Wise for Instructors Foundation skills are usually delivering on the same day.

First Aid 
At some course locations, First Aid courses are offered at the same time as ASI Instructor courses, so you can complete all your SUP Instructor accreditation requirements at the same time. 

The first aid training is conducted by first aid training organisations associated with ASI.  If the First Aid training course is available, information is provided under the Training Overview section of the course enrolment page. 

Enrolling into Multiple SUP Instructor Courses

(1) Can I enrol in Level 1, followed by Level 2, Level 3, etc?

Yes.  You must ensure you have the required Paddling Skills at each level, before you enrol.  

Completing SUP Wise for Instructors Course

(1) Why do I need to complete the SUP Wise for Instructors course?

The SUP Wise for Instructor Foundation Skills course provides an overview of SUP skills, knowledge and ASI procedures required for the SUP Instructor courses.  

We have found that participants are better able to pass the Level 1 SUP Instructor course requirements if you have completed this SUP Wise course. 

Note: The ASI SUP Instructor courses focusses on instructional techniques and managing clients safely. Competencies associated with paddling correctly and paddling technique skills and knowledge is assumed, we do not teach it in the instructor courses.  

(2)  What if I don’t enrol in the SUP Wise for Instructors course ?
You can complete the SUP Wise for Students program with an ASI Accredited SUP School.

(3) Exemption
Exemption is provided if you are familiar with ASI SUP paddling procedures and techniques and are a competent paddler.  Or you have completed the ASI SUP Wise course with an ASI Accredited SUP School.   

(4)  Do I have to do SUP Wise each year.

Difference Between Level 1 SUP Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water) and Level 1 Technical Coach

(1) What is the difference between the paddling skill for these qualifications?
 Level 1 SUP Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water) must demonstrate basic paddling skill and paddle with confidence and safety.  They do not have to hinge from hips or paddle with power.

Basic paddling stroke is:

  • paddle with the board in trim
  • change hands correctly
  • basic posture with back straight and eyes looking ahead
  • correct reach
  • paddle vertical at entry
  • feathering paddle at exit
  • paddle in a straight line
  • turn and stop effectively

The Technical Coach must paddle correctly and also be able to hinge from hips and paddle with power.

Technical coach paddling stroke also includes:

  • vertical shaft and blade fully buried at paddle entry
  • correct posture with hinging at hips
  • paddling straight with board moving forward with power (20-30 strokes per minute)
  • correct tracking and no yawing

(2) Can the Level 1 SUP Instructor deliver lessons?

The Level 1 SUP Instructor can provide basic lessons and feedback on improving basic technique (as listed above)

The Technical Coach is able to identify why technique is not correct, and create a coaching plan that will improve technique.

(3) Other differences

If you are an ASI accredited SUP School, only Level 1 Technical coaches can deliver the ASI SUP Wise for students certificate programme

Trainee instructors can complete their practical hours with a Level 1 Instructor or a Technical Coach.   But only a Technical Coach can complete the final sign off for competency.

What is the Minimum Age to Enrol in the Instructor Courses?

16 years of age.   
However instructors under the age of 18 years old, cannot teach unsupervised unless they have an adult (18 years and over) accredited instructor supervising nearby.  
Accredited Instructors under 18 years of age, are still counted for student to instructor ratios.

What is Correct Paddling Technique?

ASI sets the world standard in correct paddling technique.
See video for:


(1) What are the pre-requisites?
At a minimum, you must have competent and correct technical ability at the level you are enrolling in. 

(2) Can I attend Level 2 without completing Level 1?
No.  You need to do the level 1 course first.   Level 1 is a pre-requisite for the the Level 2 (as it contains essential knowledge and skills).

(3) SUP Yoga Instructor. I have not yet completed my Yoga Teachers certificate 200 hours certificate.  Can I enrol?
No. You must have completed your Yoga Teacher training before enrolling in the ASI SUP Yoga Instructor workshop.

(4) SUP Fitness Instructor.  I have not yet completed my Personal Trainer or Fitness Certificate.  Can I enrol?
No. You must have completed your Personal Trainer or Fitness training before enrolling in the ASI SUP Fitness Instructor workshops.

Practical Hours

(1) Where can I undertake my practical hours?

  • You can organise to do your practical hours with the trainer.  You will need to contact the trainer and ask if they have availability. The trainer details are listed on the actual training event/workshop page on the ASI website. 
  • You can find an ASI accredited SUP school on the ASI website at:
  • You can do your practical hours with a non ASI SUP school you plan to work for.   Please send us the name of the school, location and website and we can check their suitability.  
  • RPL of your practical hours can apply. If you are deemed competent at the workshop, have prior extensive experience delivering outdoor water activities and hold another outdoor watersports qualification (eg canoeing, windsailing, surfing, kitesurfing, bodyboarding). 

(2) There is no ASI School near me to complete practical hours /  There is no SUP school near me that can offer me practical hours

At the workshop, the trainer will discuss how you can complete your practical hours based on your experience and ability. 

Where an ASI school is not near you, a variety of options is available  including completing hours at a non ASI school and / or if you are an experienced outdoors recreation instructor in another watersport, you may be able to complete your own hours and provide video assessment of delivery.   The Trainer will prepare a simple plan and be your mentor.

How Long Do I Have to Complete all the SUP Instructor Course Requirements?

You have 12 months from the date of the workshop to complete all the course requirements.   At that time, your enrolment will cancel. 
You should easily be able to complete the requirements after the workshop.   Remember to factor in time to complete your practical hours training. 

What Happens if I Do Not Pass the Practical Tests at the Workshop?   

You can submit video after the workshop for re-assessment. 
A re-assessment fee applies.   (see "Re-assessment Fees" for fee cost) 
You have 12 months to complete all course requirements. 

What Happens if the Video or Course Work Submitted is Assessed as Not Yet Competent 

You can submit new video and course work again for re-assessment. 
A re-assessment fee applies.  (see "Re-assessment Fees" for fee cost) 
You have 12 months to complete all course requirements. 

Re-assessment Fees 

In the currency that you originally paid for the course.  
US$50 per assessment.  GBP £30 per assessment.    Euro €40 per assessment.  Australian Dollars $50 per assessment.   

Rescue Certificates

(1) Do I need to hold a rescue certificate before enrolling in the ASI Instructor courses?
No.  You have 12 months after the workshop date to provide it to ASI.   Your instructor certificate will not be issued until we have received your rescue certificate.

(2) What is a “current’ rescue certificate?

It is a certificate that is not expired and is one of the following:

  • In Australia, the rescue certificate must not be older than 12 months from when it was completed/issued. 
  • In other countries, the rescue certificate must not be older than 24 months from when it was completed/issued.

 ASI does not accept rescue certificates older than 24 months (or 12 months in Australia) (even if the expiry date is longer). 

(3) My Rescue Certificate is valid for 5 years.  Will ASI accept this?
No.  ASI only accepts rescue certificates up to 24 months (or 12 months for Australia) from date of the course / issue date.  

(4) I completed my rescue course 7 years ago. Is it acceptable by ASI?

You must hold a “current”  rescue certificate. 
In Australia the rescue is only valid for 12 months. 
In UK and other countries it is valid 24 months.   
ASI does not accept rescue certificates older than 24 months. (even if the expiry date is longer). 

(5) What Rescue Certificates do you accept?

All new SUP instructors must complete the ASI SUP Rescue certificate.  (half day course).  It provides key SUP specific rescue techniques for instructors.   Feedback from participants is that this half day SUP specific course is very beneficial. 

(6) Will ASI accept a non ASI Rescue Certificate?

ASI Minimum requirements for rescue training courses. 
At a minimum, acceptable rescue courses must include:

  • rescues in an outdoor environment using a rescue board and bringing participants back to shore, and,
  • a fitness test, being the ability to continuously swim 100 metres (328 ft), run 200 metres (650 ft), prone paddle 200 metres (650ft) within 10 minutes.  

Surf Rescue Certificates:   ASI will accept "Surf Rescue or Lifeguard" certificates.
ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here

Pool Lifeguard Rescue Certificates.  These are usually for swimming pools in a controlled envrionment and as such are not acceptable.  They may be acceptable if the course content also covers the ASI minimum requirements for rescue training courses.

Other Flat Water Rescue Certificates.  May be acceptable. Course content must cover the ASI minimum requirements for rescue training courses.

Please email us, if you are unsure if your rescue course is acceptable at:

(7) I completed an outdoor recreation or another instructor qualification that included rescue training with it.  Is that acceptable for my rescue certificate?

We need a copy of your actual Rescue certificate that shows the date it was completed/issued.

We can accept a transcript that shows when you completed the rescue training module. 


(8) Do I need a Surf Rescue Certificate or a Flat Water Certificate?
Level 1 Enclosed Flat Water and Level 2 Exposed Waters:  minimum is Flat Water Rescue Certificate.  But you can also provide a Surf Rescue certificate.

L3 Surf,  L3 Downwind and above:  SURF Rescue Certificate

See ASI website for a list of some SURF rescue providers.  click here

(9) Do I need to update my Water Rescue certificates?

  • Level 1, Level 2 SUP Instructors.  It is not essential but it is recommended you update your water rescue certificate by attending a workshop. ASI SUP rescue certificates are valid for 2 years (or 1 year in Australia).  Some land managers (city, councils, trusts, etc) require instructors to hold current rescue certificates at all times.  If your SUP school owner holds a permit, they will be able to advise you. 
  • Level 3 Surf and Downwind ,and above SUP Instructors.  You must hold a current "surf" rescue certificate at all times. 

First Aid Certificates

(1) Do I need to hold a first aid certificate before enrolling in the ASI Instructor courses?

No.  You have 12 months after the workshop date to provide it to ASI.

(2)  What is a “current’ first aid certificate?

The certificate date must not be expired.  Certificates that are more than 3 years old are not accepted (even if the expiry date is longer).  Find Description and Approved Senior First Aid Training Providers​

(3) What First Aid Certificates do you accept?
Senior or secondary first aid certficates (a similar term).  It is not just basic CPR.

The course topics should cover the types of incidents that could occur to your students.  At a minimum, it should include:  basic emergency care for injuries and illnesses: CPR, cramp, hypothermia, heat stroke, strain/sprains, fractures, breaks and dislocations, breathing emergencies including choking and asthma, head injuries, eye injuries, bites and stings, bleeding, shock, epilepsy, allergies. 

ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here
These are usually 1 day to 2 days training.   Valid for 2 to 3 years.
At a minimum your first aid certificate must include FACE to FACE training

​(4) Do you accept online first aid certificates?
No.  The First aid training must have a face to face component.  ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here

(5) I completed first aid in my surf rescue course.  Is that acceptable to ASI.

In some countries, the Surf Lifesaving and Lifeguard qualifications includes senior first aid training.  These combined Surf Rescue and First Aid Certificates are acceptable .  
e.g UK, Spain, Portugal, Bali, USA 

In Australia, the Surf Lifesaving Bronze only includes basic first aid.  A separate senior first aid certificate must be completed.  

In other countries, senior first aid training is generally separate to the surf rescue training. 

ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here

(6) I am a paramedic or nurse. Do you I have to provide a first aid certificate?

No.  But you must provide evidence / certificate / letter from the hospital you work for that states you are current in first aid. 

(7) Do I need to update my First Aid certificates?
Yes.  You must keep these current at all times. 
Make sure the certificate has not expired or is no more than 3 years old from the date of workshop.



(1) Do I have to to renew my instructor certification?

Yes.   Your SUP Instructor accreditation certificate expires at least 12 months from the date of the training - to the nearest renewal date for the region.   

  • Australia, Asia - 31 December
  • UK, Europe, Middle East, USA, America's - 30 June  

In your first year, you may be given more than 12 months to renew (but you will receive at least a minimum of 12 months).

See: Renewal Requirements
See: FAQ's about Instructor Renewals

(2) Why do I have to renew each year? 

You are a professional and this demonstrates you are keeping your skills and knowledge updated. 

You don’t need to attend another course.  Complete the online renewal form and submit relevant evidence. 

I Already Hold a SUP Instructor Qualification with Another Training Organisation.  Can I Enrol in the ASI Level 2?

No.  ASI courses are designed to education department requirements and are modularised.  Each level follows on from the next.  The ASI Level 1 has specific procedures, safety and instruction techniques that form the basis of the Level 2 training program. 

I Already Hold Another SUP or Outdoor Instructor Qualification. Can I Transfer to ASI?

No.  The ASI SUP instructor training courses are stand up paddle specific and are based on modularised learning. 

ASI created the worldwide SUP Standards in 2008 and offers the largest range of training programs with career progression.

Due to the uniqueness of the ASI educational SUP instructor programs, it’s not possible to transfer from other instructor qualifications.  

Other instructors from all over the world, holding other instructor qualifications, highly recommend ASI training.  They attended the ASI Training courses and gained valuable SUP instructor specific guidelines and regulations, knowledge and skills.   They are proud to be ASI trained. 

Working in Other Countries

(1) Can I work in other countries with ASI qualifications?
Yes, ASI has been operating since 2003 and is the world leader in education and training accreditation in the surfing, stand up paddle and bodyboarding sections of the outdoor recreation industry.

(2) I did my ASI training in the UK and I want to work in Australia.  Do I have to pay any extra fees to be recognised?
No.  You do not pay any extra once you have your ASI qualifications.   There may be additional country certificate requirements e.g. your rescue certificate is only recognised for 12 months in Australia.   You may be required to apply for a state based working with children check.   The SUP school you are working for will advise you of requirements.