FAQ's - SUP Instructor

Do you have any questions in relation to completing your Stand Up Paddle Instructor qualification?  

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 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 give 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) Who can deliver the SUP Wise (Enclosed flat Water) program

Only Level 1 Technical coaches can deliver the ASI SUP Wise programme.

(4) Who can Trainee Instructors complete their practical hours with?

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

What is Correct Paddling Technique?

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

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.  


(1) Can I attend Level 2 without completing Level 1?
You must complete the Level 1 first.  It is a pre-requisite for the the Level 2 (containing essential knowledge and skills).

(2)  I 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.  Each level follows on from the next.  The ASI Level 1 has specific procedures, safety and instruction techniques applicable to ASI curriculum.

(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) There is no ASI School near me to complete my 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 completing your own hours and providing some video assessment of delivery.   The Trainer will prepare a simple training plan and be your mentor.

Completing SUP Wise for Instructors

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

The SUP Wise course for Instructors focusses on essential paddling technique and ASI skills and knowledge to paddle competently in enclosed flat water locations.

The Level 1 SUP Instructor (Enclosed Flat Water) does not cover personal paddling ability. The Level 1 focuses exclusively on instruction - including instruction techniques, lesson structure, planning, managing clients safely, SUP School operations and suitable equipment, technical analysis of SUP paddling technique to identify areas of incorrect technique and how to coach to improve paddling ability.   It is assumed you are already a competent paddler.  

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

You dont need to complete the SUP Wise for Instructors Foundation skills  if you are an experienced paddler / competition paddler.

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

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.

(2) 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.  

Exemption:  ASI will accept "Surf Rescue or Lifeguard" certificates.

When you renew, you can provide a different rescue certificate.  ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable.  click here

(3) 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

(4) Do I need to update my Water Rescue certificates?
Yes.  You must keep it current at all times. 
It must not be expired or more than 2 years old (or 1 year old in Australia).

(5) My Rescue Certificate is valid for 5 years.  Will ASI accept this?
No.  ASI only accepts rescue certificates up to 2 years (or 1 year for Australia) from date of the workshop.  

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 First Aid Certificates do you accept?
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 be FACE to FACE training and include the following topics:
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

(4) 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.

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

No.  But you must provide evidence / certificate / letter that states you are current in first aid. 


(1) Do I have to pay membership fees, when I renew my instructor certification?
No, the ASI instructor renewal fee is inclusive of membership.  Which means the ASI renewal fee is the best value in the marketplace.  As a member benefit to you, we keep our renewal fees low.

About ASI

(1) Where does ASI operate?
ASI operates worldwide.   ASI has its head office in Bondi Beach, Australia with registered corporate offices in the UK, USA, Portugal and Philippines.

(2) Is  ASI  a “Not for Profit”” organisation?
No.  ASI is a professional membership education and  training organisation and recognised by Education Departments around the world.   This means we must be a commercial operation.  ASI systems and processes and training programs are audited regularly by the Education Department.   
It also means ASI invests in new education programs, safety requirements, continuous improvement and liaise with government departments around the world to make sure we offer the highest quality training and safety standards.   
“Not for Profit organisations” do not have any Education Department quality auditing requirements.

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.