L1 Instructor Course

Finishing Up – L1 Online (NZ)

Congratulations, you’ve made it right through the Level 1 Instructor course!  It’s a lot of information, but you’ll continue to have access to it all for the duration of your instructor qualification, and you’re welcome to return and review any of the lessons any time.  If you would like to discuss or query any of the material covered in the course please contact us.

If you feel confident in the material, then please go ahead and complete the two online tests below. The first is multi-choice, and you can view the answers after you have completed it. This is to help you ensure that you have absorbed all the knowledge you need. The second is a written test, which we will grade after you have submitted it.

You MUST complete these two tests in order to finish your qualification process.

You must also ensure all your assignments are completed. Here is a quick recap of the tasks that you have been set during the various lessons.

Lesson 1:  Proof of paddling ability

Have you submitted the videos of your paddling and turning abilities, as detailed in lesson 1? 

Lesson 2: The legislative framework

Have you completed the assignment set in this lesson, to research your local bylaws?

Lesson 5: The safety briefing

Have you submitted the video of you delivering a safety briefing, as detailed in lesson 5? 

Lesson 7: Dealing with problems

Have you completed the assignment set in this lesson, giving your ‘GAGA’ solution to a typical problem?

Lesson 22: Teaching Beginners

Have you submitted the videos of you delivering a lesson part B (the onshore section of the session), and of the first part of the on-water session, as detailed in this lesson?

Lesson 27: Your First Aid Qualification

Have you uploaded a copy of your first aid certificate?

Once all these tasks have been completed, we will be in touch to either discuss any issues that need attention, or to confirm the completion of your qualification. Once all the assignments have been completed to our satisfaction, you will be notified that the process is complete and you can then download your certificate.

Note: There will also be a later requirement to work through our RESCUE TECHNIQUES course which will be online shortly. You will be notified when this is ready to view. There will be no extra charge for this online course, and it will be an excellent useful piece of professional development for you, with a huge array of essential skills for the SUP instructor. In the meantime, just so that you have a basic idea as to how to do a board rescue, please have a look at this video.

Again – well done! We hope you have enjoyed the course and found it worthwhile.

First Aid Qualification – L1 Online (NZ)

It is a requirement of your qualification that you have a current First Aid certificate – at very least the Essentials/Workplace qualification, NZQA unit standards 6401 & 6402. (Usually a one day course) We recommend taking it to the next level and also covering NZQA unit standard 6400, the Comprehensive first aid qualification. (Usually a 2 day course, to do all three unit standards).

First aid courses are available from many agencies in New Zealand, including:

St John
Red Cross

and many others.

Please upload a copy of your first aid certificate here, either in PDF or JPG format.

The role of the instructor – L1 Online (NZ)

Importance: Medium. This lesson is a quick summary of what will be required of you, in general terms. You’re going to find all this out for yourself anyway, but you’ll definitely find it worthwhile to have a heads-up as to what you’re getting into, before you start!

This lesson is about you!  A summary of what will be required of you, if you’re going to succeed as an instructor. Being a good instructor involves a number of skill-sets, and it’s important to appreciate this right from the start.  It’s certainly not about being the best paddler – indeed quite often the best athletes make very poor instructors, because they have no empathy or understanding for the challenges that the ‘ordinary person’ faces.

If you are an instructor of other outdoor activities and/or work in the education sector, you will already be well aware that there is far more to instructing than simply telling people how to do stuff.  You’ll be familiar with much of the information in this lesson, but it’s only a short one so there’s probably no harm in viewing it anyway. 

The lesson will take around 20 minutes to complete.

The training video discusses: 

  • The requirements of the instructor
  • The obligations of the instructor. 

There will not be any questions in the final test about this material – it is more for your general understanding of the world of SUP instruction. 


Check Understanding!

  • Do you understand that there are many different aspects to being a good instructor
  • Do you understand what the essential obligations are?

If you’re unsure on any of these, go back and review the lesson again. Otherwise, congratulations!! You’ve completed the learning phase of the L1 SUP Instructor course. 

The SUP SAFE Code and Courses – L1 Online (NZ)

Important! Free stuff for you to help make our sport safer, and safety course presenter opportunities….

In order to try and deliver a clear and consistent safety message, NZ SUP developed the SUP SAFE CODE in 2019. A simple five point plan (aligned closely with the Maritime NZ Safer Boating Code) that covers all the essentials of SUP safety. The SUP SAFE code is shown below, and there’s also a video from the SUP SAFE course you can watch for more background and information.

If everyone followed the SUP safe code, the number of rescues and callouts around New Zealand would be dramatically reduced. And the code is very simple to follow. You’re probably already doing all of it yourself already.

So this is a hugely important safety message to get across. Virtually every safety-related incident that occurs is due to lack of education. You can (and should!) play your part in combating this. You don’t have time in a beginner lesson to cover all the important safety issues – but you do have the time to give out a leaflet. Every one of your clients should be made aware of the SUP safe code – which is really easy to do, simply by giving out an information leaflet. The leaflets are completely free – just use the form below to let us know how many you need and we’ll send them you.


SUP SAFE Presenters Wanted!

As a qualified NZ SUP instructor, you can also play another huge part in improving SUP safety knowledge and making our sport safer. The SUP SAFE course is around 2.5 hours of classroom material, covering all aspects of SUP safety and knowledge, including practical/team exercises in interpreting forecasts, planning paddleboarding sessions, etc. The course can be presented in one go, or over several sessions.

Would you like to become a SUP SAFE course presenter? How you use the material is entirely up to you:

  • Some instructors get a grant from their district council to run free safety courses.
  • Some instructors run the course for a small fee from the participants
  • Some instructors run the course as a free session for their regular paddlers / local paddling community
  • Some instructors run sections of the course as wet-weather alternatives to on-water activities
  • Some instructors include sections of the course as part of paid activities.

As long as you’re getting the safety messages out there, we really don’t mind how you do it. If you can use it as a tool to build your business further, then that’s fine by us. Whatever works.

To become a sup safe presenter simply means one of our team getting together with you at some point for a few hours, to walk you through the course material and ensure you understand it all and how best to use it. This is completely free – there is no charge for any aspect of this process.

Please indicate on the form below if you would be interested in becoming a SUP SAFE presenter.


    Here’s the SUP SAFE leaflet, it’s A4 and folds to A5, so is small, neat and easily distributed. The funding for the printing and distribution of these leaflets is paid for by Maritime NZ Safer Boating Forum, for which we are extremely grateful.

    To view or download the full leaflet in PDF format, click here.

    Please note that the leaflet is about to be updated for the 2021/2022 season, and any leaflets requested will be of the new improved version.

    For more on how the SUP SAFE CODE is presented to the public, check out the video below, which is from the SUP SAFE courses.

    Beginner Mistakes – L1 Online (NZ)

    Importance: Very High Understanding and knowing how to rectify the typical mistakes your clients will make is a vital and fundamental skill for the SUP instructor.

    Learning to recognise the standard mistakes that beginners make is an essential aspect of Level 1 SUP Instruction. In this lesson we’ll look at the various faults and mistakes that you will see time and time again, and analyse why they matter, and what to do about them.

    We’ll start by looking at the more serious mistakes, which need to be rectified straight away. This section of the lesson will take about 15 minutes to view.


    Now we need to consider the less significant errors that you’ll encounter, and what to do about them. This video will take about 25 minutes to complete.

    Hopefully you now have a good overall feel for the sort of beginner errors you’re going to be dealing with, and what you need to do about them.

    The important take-aways from this are:

    • Beginners makes LOTS of mistakes!
    • Not all are of equal significance or importance.

    Some mistakes need correcting immediately, because

    • They are likely to cause the client to fall
    • They are likely to cause injury to the client
    • They will cause that client to be very slow in comparison to everyone else

    Others are less serious but, depending on how badly they are being displayed, may

    • prevent the client ever improving or developing
    • cause early fatigue

    To give another view on the most common mistakes, here’s a quick vid from Supboarder mag showing their ‘top 9 paddling’ mistakes, which aligns pretty much with our own descriptions above. (However, note the awful duck/asymmetric stance of the person in the vid! Let’s not be doing any of that.)


    Understanding the Clients – L1 Online (NZ)

    Importance: Medium. This lesson is about understanding how the motivations of your clients, along with their physical and personality differences, will play a large part in the success of your lesson – and may have an impact on safety aspects too. 

    This lesson is about your clients. As you will very quickly find, they come in an incredibly wide variety!

    If you are an instructor of other outdoor activities and/or work in the education sector, you will already be well aware that clients/students vary greatly in terms of ability, character and motivation.  You’ll be familiar with much of the information in this lesson, but it’s only a short one so there’s probably no harm in viewing it anyway. 

    The lesson will take around 20 minutes to complete.

    The training video discusses: 

    • Who are your clients?
    • Why are they learning?
    • The factors affecting skill development
    • Understanding group dynamics

    There will not be any questions in the test about this material – it is more for your general understanding of the world of SUP instruction. 


    Check Understanding!

    • Do you understand who your clients may be?
    • Do you understand why they differ?
    • Do you understand why group dynamics can have an influence on a paddleboard lesson? 

    If you’re unsure on any of these, go back and review the lesson again. Otherwise, you can move on to the next lesson

    Teaching Beginners – L1 Online (NZ)

    Importance: Critical! This lesson is very much the ‘meat’ of what this course is all about. There are video assignments at the end of this lesson.

    This is quite a long lesson, but it is broken down into five distinct parts, as explained below, each with their own video. It’s probably wise to treat it as five individual lessons, rather than trying to take it all on board in one go!

    The beginner lesson can and should follow a fairly formal structure, to ensure that everything is covered properly and to ensure the greatest possible chances of a successful session.

    It should be considered as five distinct phases: 

    Pre Lesson Preparation
    This is the stuff that happens before the actual lesson itself, ie getting all the kit and paperwork ready

    Part A: Safety Briefing  & maybe a warm-up
    The absolutely vital safety briefing, as covered in detail in a previous lesson, and then perhaps some sort of warm up session, if appropriate. 

    Part B: On the Beach Instruction
    This is another absolutely vital part of the session, introducing the clients to their equipment and showing them how to use it.  The first part of your assignment is to demonstrate this part of the teaching process, as explained at the bottom of this page.

    Part C:  On the water Session
    The session itself, which has its own phases and flow.  The second part of your assignment will be to demonstrate teaching in this phase.

    Part D: Warming down & Following up
    The session does not finish when the clients step off their board at the end of their paddling, especially if you have any desire to see the clients again for further instruction. The lesson should be finished with a debrief and warm down. 

    The ABCD format shown here is a powerful and effective teaching method, and this format used by most NZ paddleboarding schools – because it works! Once you being operating as an instructor after completing this qualification you may choose to use a different format if you wish, but we strongly recommend following this format – it is considered best practice, and if you choose to do it differently you should have a good reason(s) why. 

    Let’s now look at each of these phases in more detail. Please excuse the poor sound quality on some of the film footage in these modules. Despite numerous attempts we have not yet managed to find a location that has perfect conditions and perfect silence! We will continue trying.

    If you wish to add further explanation, information and teaching above and beyond what is covered here when you are doing your own lessons, then this will not count against you in the assessment, although we recommend not over-doing the onshore stuff – your clients have come to paddleboard, not talk about it, so ensure that they do get a decent on-water experience!


    Lesson Preparation & Set-Up

    This module will take about 10 minutes to watch and covers:

    • Checks, equipment and paperwork considerations before the lesson 
    • Preparing the lesson site
    • Delivering the safety brief  
    • Doing a warm-up  

    We strongly recommend that you download and use the template prompt card that was provided in the Safety Briefing lesson, while practicing your own safety briefs.

    Now the lesson can start properly…


    On the beach – part 1

    In this module, which will take about 20 minutes to watch, we’ll look at:

    • Introduction to the board & paddle.
    • How to paddle
    • How to change sides with the paddle
    • How to turn
    • How to stop!

    We strongly recommend that you download and use the Part B prompt card while following and practicing delivering this part of the lesson. 

    If you’re comfortable with this part of the onshore briefing, you can now move on to the next part.


    On the beach – part 2

    Now that we have shown them the basics of paddling, we have to show them a few other  really important things. In this module, which will take about 20 minutes to watch, we’ll look at the Part B beach teaching and practice for :

    • How to get on and off the board
    • Paddling in safe position
    • Doing the first stand up
    • Falling in and getting back onto the board
    • Carrying the board

    Again, we strongly recommend that you download and use the Part B prompt card while following and practicing delivering this part of the lesson, until the flow comes naturally.

    Despite the fact that it has taken rather longer to discuss and dissect the Part B material, it actually only takes 10 minutes or so in ‘real life’ with real clients. Yet it is 10 minutes incredibly well spent that will make all the difference in ensuring your lesson goes smoothly and successfully.

    Hopefully you now have a feel for how it flows. Once you have delivered it a few times it feels extremely natural and becomes easy to deliver. This format is used by virtually every successful SUP school in New Zealand – not because they are forced to, but simply because it works so well.


    Onto the water!

    Now we’re ready to hit the water. In this module, which will take about 20 minutes to watch, we will look at:

    • The launch
    • The safe position work-through
    • The stand-up
    • Getting going
    • Foot faults
    • The session end

    This module is a bit more discussion-based rather than based on ‘live footage’ as there is a lot to talk about.

    And there you have it. After all the other learning and preparation you have completed in this course, you’ve now done the real thing, and introduced some newcomers to our great sport. Well done!

    One thing not covered in the video – how long should this phase of the lesson last? 45 minutes is a perfectly acceptable amount of time on the water for a first lesson, indeed you will often find that this as much as clients can cope with.

    But it’s not quite over yet. Just a few more things to consider…


    Warm Down & Follow Up

    Finally, once ashore, a couple of really important aspects to finishing the session and ensuring everyone got the most out of it.  In this module, which will take about 8 minutes to watch, we will look at:

    • The wrap-up
    • Onshore debrief
    • Warm Down

    These last few minutes will make a good impression with your clients and also leave you in the best possible position for either then packing up to go home, or preparing for the next lesson.


    In Summary

    So to summarise this very important lesson, we have looked at:

    • Pre lesson preparation
    • Setting up the lesson
    • The safety briefing & warm-up
    • The onshore work
    • Getting everyone onto the water
    • Safe Position Work
    • The stand Up
    • The paddling session
    • The end of the session
    • Post session

    This is undoubtedly one of the most important lessons in this course, so feel free to revisit it as often as you need.

    On which topic – time to think about your final two assignments…


    Assignments

    You have two video assignments to complete.

    Assignment A

    We want to see you teach the Part B (on the beach) of the beginner lesson. You are going to need at least one other person to act as your student (with paddleboarding gear), plus someone to film the process.

    It is acceptable to use a prompt card. As with any part B briefing, remember to clearly explain and demonstrate what you are doing, and to be carefully watching your client(s) to ensure that they are doing and feeling exactly what you are telling them.

    Assignment B

    We want to see you take your client(s) safely on to the water, in Safe Position, and take them through basic safe position drills – all of which can be done close to the shore. Show them how to paddle properly, and turn in both directions, using a basic forward and reverse turn. Following successful completion of this initial part of the lesson, demonstrate how to stand up to your clients, and then get them standing up.

    Video requirements

    • The Part B video should clearly show yourself in full, plus your student.
    • The Part B audio must be of sufficient quality so as to be able to hear what you are saying.
    • For the second assignment, the video should clearly show everyone on the water. There is no need to zoom in close or to be able to hear perfectly what is being said, as long as the action can all be clearly seen.
    • Video from mobile phone is absolutely fine, this does not need to be a professional studio project!
    • The Part B video does not necessarily need to be shot at a paddleboarding venue (ie it could be in your garden!), but it will add authenticity. Ideally it would be best to have the same venue for both videos.

    Submitting your videos

    Once you’ve made your videos please submit them to us by any of the following methods:

    • Email (if the file is of a sensible size to send this way) to supinstructorsnz@gmail.com
    • Dropbox
    • Wetransfer or any similar file sharing system
    • Post it on youtube (or similar)
    • Share it from Google Drive (not iCloud)

    Whichever method you use, send us an email to supinstructorsnz@gmail.com with the details as to what you have posted and the link, and your username on this website.

    This doesn’t have to be done right now, but must be completed in order to gain your qualification.


    Assignment Small Print

    The assignment process goes like this.

    • Once we have received your assignment, we will review it.
    • We will respond by email with a debrief of the assignment.
    • If the assignment is satisfactory, it will be marked as completed.
    • If it is not satisfactory, the reasons will be given in the debrief, and you will be invited to have another go at it.
    • Once we have received your second attempt at the assignment, we will review it and debrief it.
    • If the assignment is satisfactory, it will be marked as completed.

    If the assignment is still not satisfactory, the process will repeat. You can take as many attempts as you need to complete the assignment, and each time we will give you feedback, and if it is still not satisfactory, a full debrief on what needs to be done to reach the standard required. However, there will be an additional $50 charge for each review, after the first two, to cover the reviewer’s time. This fee will need to be paid before any further assignments can be marked. Realistically though, multiple failing is an unlikely scenario. You may not get the assignment right first time, but with the feedback you then receive there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to nail it second go.

    Leashes for SUP – L1 Online (NZ)

    Importance: Critical! This is essential safety knowledge and there will be questions on it in the final test.

    This lesson looks at leashes for SUP.  It will take around 20 minutes to complete.

    Understanding leashes is a vital aspect of SUP safety. The leash is 99% of SUP safety, and the SUP instructor must have an excellent understanding of leashes, not just for their own work, but also when advising clients on sup safety in general. 

    The training video discusses: 

    • Why do we wear a leash?
    • The potential pitfalls in wearing a leash
    • Attaching the leash to the board
    • The different styles of leash
    • Which is best for which conditions

    The test at the completion of this online course may ask you about why we wear a leash, the different types of leash, and which is the right or wrong choice for specific conditions. 


    Check Understanding!

    • Do you understand why a leash is so vital to SUP safety?
    • Do you understand why the wrong type of leash can be a grave threat to safety?
    • Do you understand the different types of leash and the pros and cons of each
    • Do you understand which type of leash is best for which conditions?

    If you’re unsure on any of these, go back and review the lesson again. Otherwise, you can move on to the next lesson

    Equipment for teaching SUP – L1 Online (NZ)

    Importance: Critical! While you may not be involved in the choices as to what equipment your SUP teaching establishment chooses for clients, much of the information in this lesson is about the equipment that you personally will need as an instructor. This is about your own comfort, efficiency and welfare, as much as that of the clients!

    This lesson looks at the equipment choices for teaching beginner SUP, and also the equipment that you the instructor should be using. It will take about 40 minutes to complete. 

    A SUP teaching operation must be able to supply each client with the correct equipment for their needs, in order to fulfil one of the fundamental duties of care.  Having the clients on the right kit also ensures that they will get the maximum benefit from their session, and hopefully be inspired to come back for more!

    It is also vitally important that the instructor too is using the right equipment, and carrying the right extras in order to be able to cope with any situations that may arise. 

    The training video discusses: 

    • What boards to use for clients, and the instructor
    • What paddles to use for clients, and the instructor
    • What leashes to use for clients, and the instructor
    • What PFD to use for clients, and the instructor
    • Other equipment for schools, such as wetsuits, footwear, clothing etc. 
    • What else the instructor should be carrying and wearing

    The test at the completion of this online course may ask you about equipment choice for beginner lessons, and for the instructor. 

    Check Understanding!

    • Do you understand what sort of boards should be used for beginner lessons?
    • Do you understand what sort of equipment you should be using and carrying, in order to be properly prepared as the instructor?

    If you’re unsure on any of these, go back and review the lesson again. Otherwise, congratulations, you’ve finished the equipment section of the course, and you can now move on to the final section. If you would like to discuss or query any of the material in this section please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    PFDs for SUP – L1 Online (NZ)

    Importance: Critical! This is essential safety knowledge and there will be questions on it in the final test.

    This lesson looks at PFDs for stand up paddleboarding. It will take about 20 minutes to complete.

    Using a PFD while on a paddleboard is a legal requirement in most areas of NZ, and indeed the rest of the world. However, some PFDs are well suited to SUP, others are most definitely not. Understanding the pros and cons of the various styles, and their relevance and suitability to SUP is vital knowledge for the SUP instructor. Not just for their own work, but also when advising clients on sup safety in general. 

    The training video discusses: 

    • Why do we wear a PFD?
    • The different types of PFD
    • The pros and cons of the different types
    • Which is best for different types of paddler

    The test at the completion of this online course may ask you about why we wear a PFD, the different types of PFD, and which is the right or wrong choice for specific conditions.  Please be sure you understand all these aspects of PFDs.


    Check Understanding!

    • Do you understand why a PFD is so vital to SUP safety?
    • Do you understand why we wear a PFD?
    • Do you understand the different types of PFD?
    • Do you understand the pros and cons of the different types?
    • Do you understand which is best for different types of paddler?

    If you’re unsure on any of these, go back and review the lesson again. Otherwise, you can move on to the next lesson.