Surfing Instructor Courses FAQs
Do you have any questions in relation to completing your ASI Surfing Instructor training? See below.
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.
ASI offers the following delivery options for ASI Surfing instructors. A course will offer all, or some, of these options only
Gain your ASI instructor qualifications by attending ASI workshops.
These intensive learning workshops combine theory learning in the classroom with practical skills at/on the water.
Water time is maximised to ensure you gain practice with delivery and technical skills.
ASI workshops are delivered by the world’s best Trainers. They have been hand picked based on their current experience instructing, technical ability and experience operating schools. They have a wealth of information and tips.
ASI workshops are held in great locations throughout the world. Why not combine your ASI workshop training with a holiday? It’s a great way to see new locations and have fun.
Work at your own pace. Utilising the ASI's e-learning platform with access to training manuals, videos, reference materials and assessments.
Ideal for students who require flexibility in completing their qualification.
You should be working with an ASI school or other approved school under the guidance of a qualified instructor or trainer. They will be your mentor and can answer any questions in relation to the training.
You have 12 months to complete course requirements.
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.
Obtain your ASI qualification based on recognition of your non ASI instructor qualification.
This is an online course option.
For ASI instructors whose qualification has expired and need to regain the ASI qualification.
This is an online course option.
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 workshops 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 courses at the same time, only if you have previously been instructing for the minimum period for each level and you have advanced surfing ability.
Pre-requisites - For 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 Surf Wise Level 6 Intermediate Surfer
You should have approximately 500 hours surfing experience.
(2) I am not an Intermediate Surfer. What should do?
It’s best to improve your surfing skill prior to enrolling. Otherwise you may not be able to participate in surfing water activities at workshops, as you could be a safety risk.
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. Email ASI for information.
Pre-requisites - Level 2 & Level 3
(1) Is there different surfing skill ability required for Level 2 and Level 3?
Level 2 requires ASI Surf Wise Level 7 Advanced level ability.
Level 3 requires ASI Surf Wise Level 9 Advanced level ability.
More information is on the relevant “course” page.
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.
(1) Where can I do my practical hours?
Complete your practical hours at an ASI surf school.
You can also 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 - Find Schools
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, or the enrolment date for flexible online courses, to complete all the course requirements. At that time, your enrolment will cancel.
You should easily be able to complete the requirements within this time. 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 fees.
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 fees
You have 12 months to complete all course requirements.
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. Your instructor certificate will not be issued until we receive your first aid certificate.
(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).
(3) What First Aid Certificates does ASI accept?
ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable. click here
Is a Senior or secondary first aid certificate (or 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.
Face to Face Training:
These are usually 1 day to 2 days training, with or without a compoent of online learning. Valid for 2 to 3 years.
At a minimum your first aid certificate must include FACE to FACE training.
First Aid at Work:
Certificates are generally not acceptable. Unless they cover all the topics required by ASI. A transcript of the topics is to be provided to ASI.
(4) Do you accept online first aid certificates?
No. The First aid training must have a face to face component.
(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.
(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 training.
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. Your instructor certificate will not be issued until we receive your surf rescue certificate.
(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.
(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 does ASI accept?
ASI has listed some certificates that are acceptable. click here
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.
(6) Do I have to hold Bronze Surf Lifesaving Certificate?
No. You can hold a Community Surf rescue certificate or equivalent.
(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.
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. Not every country has working with child check requirements. 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
(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.
Transfer a Non ASI Surfing Instructor certificate to ASI
Obtain your ASI Level 1 Surfing Instructor certificate based on recognition of your non ASI instructor certificate.
Hold a current (not expired) non-ASI surfing instructor certificate.
Complete the ASI online course, read ASI procedure and guidelines, submit surfing video at the ASI Surf Wise Intermediate Level 6 and submit written assessment.
List where you have been working as an instructor, delivering session in the past 12 months. (you do not need to do practical hours again)
Choose Level 1 Surfing Instructor,
Special fees apply if you are have an agreement to work for an ASI accredited surf school.