ASI Surfing Courses FAQ's

Do you have any questions in relation to completing your ASI Surfing Instructor training?  
See Courses to view course requirements.

Why Choose ASI ?

ASI is the market leader in Surfing education.  ASI created and defined surfing standards such as identifying beginner, intermediate and advanced level surfing criteria, the 10 levels of surfing progression skills, and redefined the surf school operating standards.  

ASI offers the largest range of career progression surfing instructor training, in the marketplace today.

ASI is a dedicated professional membership and training organisation and we are continually re-investing money into research and development of surfing 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 surfing 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 ONLINE LEARNING:    Using 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.   (There is no face to face training, as this is an online course)

APPRENTICESHIP:    Work under the direction of an ASI Trainer at ASI Instructor Training Centres.  Complete your training within 6 weeks.  The trainer will organise your practical hours and sign off on your theory assessments.   Using ASI's e-learning platform, to complete and submit assessments. 

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 Online learning & Apprenticeship Courses 
Go to the "Find Courses".   These 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 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 Courses Do I Enrol In ? 

ASI Surfing Instructors are required to complete the ASI surfing instructor training and hold current surf rescue and first aid qualifications.

First Aid & Surf Rescue courses 
At some course locations, first aid and surf rescue courses are offered at the same time as ASI Instructor courses, so you can complete all your Surfing Instructor accreditation requirements at the same time. 

The first aid training is conducted by first aid training organisations associated with ASI.  The surf rescue is conducted by either ASI or a surf rescue training organisation.    If the first aid or surf rescue training courses are available, information is provided under the Training Overview section of the course enrolment page. 

Enrolling into Multiple Surfing Instructor Courses

(1) Can I enrol in Level 1, followed by Level 2,  Level 3, at the same time.

No.  You must have 12 months as an ASI instructor before enrolling into Level 2 and then another 12 months as an instructor to enrol in Level 3. 

Exemption. You can enrol in all levels at the same time, only if you have previously been instructing for a minimum of 24 months and you have advanced surfing ability.

Pre-requisites - Level 1 

(1) Do I need to be able to surf to enrol in the ASI Level 1 Surfing Instructor course?

Yes.   you need to have the skills and knowledge at ASI Intermediate Level 6.  Perform and link manoeuvres (bottom turn, top turn, cut-back on forehand) in 3 ft surf and be experienced surfing at beach breaks.    See ASI Intermediate Level Surfer
You should have approximately 500 hours surfing experience. 

(2)  I am not an Intermediate Surfer.  What should do?

You cannot enrol in the ASI Level 1 Surfing Instructor course.

To improve your surfing skill:  
(i) contact an ASI Trainer or ASI Surf school and ask for a private assessment of your ability and have coaching sessions.
(ii) purchase the ASI Learn to Surf Intermediate Level manual which explains how to perform manoeuvres and a range of safety and background information required at the intermediate level.  Purchase on the ASI Shop

Pre-requisites - Level 2 & Level 3 

(1) Is there different surfing skill ability required for Level 2 and Level 3?

Level 2 requires ASI Advanced level 7 ability.  
Level 3 requires ASI Advanced level 9 ability 

More information is on the relevant course information page.

Surfing Ability 

(1) Why do I have to know how to surf at the intermediate level to be a surfing instructor?
You will be teaching others how to surf, so you need to have one level of ability higher than those you are teaching.
Secondly, surfing is also about spending time in the water.  If you can surf competently at the intermediate level (which is the requirement for level 1 surfing instructor), you should have be able to understand surf safety, surf conditions and surfing hazards.

(2) How do I know if I am an intermediate level surfer and eligible to enrol?
To be a Level 1 Surfing instructor, you already know what it means to be an intermediate level surfer.   So, if you don’t know, then you cannot enrol.   
You can contact an ASI Level 2 Surfing Instructor and obtain some private coaching and an assessment of your surfing skill level.  Refer to the ASI website under Surf Wise to see the requirements for each surfing skill level. 

(3) How long does it take to develop intermediate surfing skill?
Depending on your ability and ocean and surf knowledge and experience, it takes approx. 500 – 1500 hours to be able to surf at the intermediate level.  (ie. surfing  a minimum of 1.3 hours to 4 hours each day for 1 year). 
To surf at the intermediate level requires ability to ride waves, perform manouevres in the correct section with correct balance. Most importantly, it requires an ability to read the waves and how they perform, knowledge of the ocean and surf, hazards, and conditions at different types surf breaks.   No wave is the same.  No surf break is the same.  Conditions can change constantly.  This knowledge and skill can only be acquired by time in the surf and practice. 

Practical Hours

(1) Where can I do 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 surf school on the ASI website at:
  • You can do your practical hours with a non ASI surf 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, SUP, kitesurfing, bodyboarding). 

(2) There is no ASI School near me to complete practical hours /  There is no surf 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 Surfing 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.   

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.

Surf Rescue Certificates

(1) Do I need to hold a surf rescue 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’ surf rescue certificate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

(5) What Rescue Certificates do you accept?

A Surf Rescue Certificate is required.   

At a minimum, acceptable surf rescue courses must include:

  • rescues in an ocean in surf at least 1 ½ ft surf, using a rescue board and bringing participants back to shore, through the surf break and,
  • a fitness test, being the ability to continuously swim 200 metres (650 ft), run 200 metres (650 ft), paddle 200 metres (650ft) within 10 minutes.  

ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here

(6) Do I have to hold Bronze Surf Lifesaving Certificate?
No. You can hold a Community Surf rescue certificate or equivalent. 
ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here

(7) Can I provide a Swimming Pool Lifeguard rescue or flat water rescue certificate?
No. You must have a Surf Rescue certificate. 
It demonstrates experience completing rescues in the surf.
ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.   click here

Working with Children Checks

Do I need to hold a Working with Children Check?
Yes, if you are working with children.  Only applies to the country you are working in.  See info.... 


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

Yes.   Your Surfing 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, Americas - 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. 

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 (or another country) 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 surf school you are working for will advise you of requirements.