Frequently Asked Questions

L1 & L2 Instructor Courses

General Questions

Yes, absolutely. However, you have to complete and pass the L1 practical assessment before you can take the L2 assessment. Where possible we will attempt to schedule the assessments for consecutive days, so that you can take L2 the day after completing L1, if you wish.

The online sessions all need to be completed before the practical session and assessment is taken.  If you wanted to put your head down and plough through all the online material as fast as possible, you could do it in a couple of days. However, we need several people to be ready for an assessment in order to run one, so we can’t guarantee that we will be able to get you an assessment immediately.  Realistically, one should probably allow at least a month from starting the course to taking the practical assessment.

The qualification is not NQZA recognised. We looked in to that and the costs and administrative hassle were way too high, and it didn’t make any difference overall anyway. There is no legal requirement to have a SUP Instructor qualification to operate as a SUP instructor in NZ – indeed, there isn’t a legal requirement anywhere in the world that we are aware of.  However, if you operate as an instructor and something goes wrong because you’re lacking the appropriate knowledge, then you’d be negligent, and prosecutions would surely follow.

Our instructor qualifications are designed to give people the knowledge they need, and a framework for delivering lessons based on what is considered best practice.  So it’s not structured or marked like an NZQA qualification, etc, it’s meant more to be a resource and foundation.


If you have already completed your SUP instructor training in NZ and it is still current (ie you completed the course less than 3 years ago) then your qualification is still valid, and you can continue as you are. If your qualification has expired then you simply need to complete the practical/assessment session. You may choose to participate in or view any of the teaching modules on a pay-per-view basis, if you are concerned that any aspects of your knowledge or skills need revision.

There are myriad different SUP instructor qualifications out there,  and unfortunately there is no standardisation or comparative system between them in the way that there is for snowboarding qualifications, and some other sports. 

From our own experience of other qualifications along with the feedback we’ve had from people who have done other courses first then taken this one, the NZSUP course is  extremely comprehensive, more so than most other qualifications, particularly on the procedural side of things.  Very few courses offer practical paddleboard skills training as part of the deal. Some courses include other skills such as powerboat driving, even jetski rescues, and of course some overseas courses have to operate in a different local legislative environment, which can change things slightly. However, in general we feel confident in saying that this course will set you up well to become a SUP instructor, and the skills you learn here will be transferrable to pretty much any other location. 

 What tends to happen when someone with the NZ SUP qualification (for example) goes overseas and applies to work at a SUP school, they usually just get asked what their qualification covered. An employer can tell very quickly whether someone is competent! They then may have to do some local training to get up to speed if there are specific laws/processes in that location.   

You will need to attend and pass the practical/assessment session. The information you receive upon registering for this course will detail what you need to know and do in order to pass the practical assessment. If after reading this you decide that you are missing some of the information or skills required and may have trouble completing the assessment session, then you can defer your assessment session date (at no charge) and sign up for the distance learning part of the course. You may choose to participate in or view any of the teaching modules on a pay-per-view basis, if you are concerned that aspects of your knowledge or skills need revision.

This can be arranged, contact us to discuss what you need.

This will depend on the circumstances. If pulling out of the practical assessment would mean having to cancel it for others because now there are not enough people to make it happen, then there will be no refund. If someone else can take your place, a refund may be possible.

Online Course Modules

The online sessions all need to be completed before the practical session and assessment is taken. As a number of the online sessions are ‘live’ rather than pre-recorded, these will be run according to demand. If enough people are in a hurry to get their qualification ASAP then we can increase the frequency of these modules. Realistically though, one should probably allow at least a month from starting the course to taking the practical assessment.

We won’t ever do more than one ‘live’ module per day, but the course material here can be done at whatever pace you fancy. 

Absolutely. Including the live ones, you can repeat them as many times as you like, no extra charge.

From WisdmLabsu2019 official Website.
You definitely need to attend all the live modules, as this is part of our process of getting to know you and understand your paddling knowledge. The pre-recorded modules are there for your benefit – if you reckon you know everything already then good for you, but it may mean you end up failing the written assessment if your knowledge isn’t quite as comprehensive as you thought it was! Plus which, an important element of the qualifications is about standardisation. The qualification is an indication that you have specific skills and understanding in terms of terminology, correct sequence of doing things, etc etc, and anyone employing you knows what they are getting. So we strongly advise viewing them all.

Great stuff, just make a note of it, this will make for some excellent discussion in the live sessions. We will very much appreciate your input, and if we’ve made a mistake then we’ll be quick to update our teachings. We are all learning all the time, and are always happy to discover new thinking and better ways of doing things

This can be arranged, contact us to discuss what you need.

Practical Session

Yes. Many of these online modules will include some ‘homework’ or preparation, for you to bring with you to the practical session. (Another very good reason why you do really need to view them all!).

Dates and locations will be based on demand. The aim will be to have assessors at different locations around the country, to reduce the amount of travelling required.

Ideally, we need 4 candidates to run a practical assessment session. You will be practicing on each other, and we need enough candidates in order to actually simulate a lesson!

This may be possible, although bear in mind that some students will also be required for you to demonstrate your instructing skills on, so it can never be just a 1:1 thing. However, if we can make it happen we certainly will.

Entirely up to you. Gear can be provided (usually a small rental fee will apply) or you can bring your own.

You will receive a comprehensive briefing upon registering for the practical/assessment session on exactly what will be happening. Tea/coffee and water is provided, you bring your own lunch, wetsuit if you choose (you WILL get wet!), paddle and board if you want, pen and paper.

This will depend on the circumstances. If pulling out of the practical assessment would mean having to cancel it for others because now there are not enough people to make it happen, then there will be no refund. If someone else can take your place, a refund may be possible.

The Zoom Sessions

This will depend entirely on demand. We aim to be as flexible as possible with the system. When you initially register for the course you will be asked for your preferences, and we will endeavour to match them.