L1 Singapore version

First Aid Qualification

If you wish to apply for the NZ SUP RESCUE course certificate, you need to hold a current First Aid certificate. Ideally a standard First Aid Essentials / First Aid in the Workplace qualification, which should cover, at very least, the basics of CPR.

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. (Note, this is only necessary if you want to be certified as completing the course.)

Where Next? (SG Course)

Congratulations, you’ve completed the online section of the L1 Instructor Course!  It’s a lot of information, but you’ll continue to have access to it 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 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.

Next up, time to be thinking about your final assessment. Here is a quick recap of the ‘homework’ that you have been set during the various lessons.

Lesson 5:  Delivering a safety briefing. 

Have you downloaded and printed out the prompt card and practiced delivering the safety briefing? This will be a requirement at the assessment. 

Lesson 7: Dealing with problems

Have you produced (ie written out) your own GAGA solution to the 3 problem scenarios (4,5 & 6) listed in this lesson? 

Lesson 22: Teaching Beginners

Have you downloaded and printed out the prompt card and practiced delivering the Part B (the onshore section of the session), as detailed in this lesson? This will be a requirement at the assessment. 

So, once you’ve done your homework, you feel confident enough in delivering a safety briefing and the part B section of the lessons, and your paddling is up to scratch, then please go ahead and  contact the Singapore assessors to organise your assessment. 

The role of the instructor (SG Course)

Importance: Medium. If you are an instructor of other outdoor activities and/or work in the education sector, you will be well aware that there is far more to instructing than simply telling people how to do stuff.  You’ll already 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. 

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.

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! 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 (SG Course)

Important! How to make our sport safer…

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 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. As a SUP instructor you can (and should!) play your part in combating this. Talk to your clients about the SUP SAFE code.



Here’s the NZSUP SUP SAFE leaflet which you are welcome to use, it’s A4 and folds to A5, so is small, neat and easily distributed.

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

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.

Understanding the Clients (SG Course)

Importance: Medium. If you are an instructor of other outdoor activities and/or work in the education sector, you will be well aware that clients/students vary greatly in terms of ability, character and motivation.  You’ll already 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. 

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

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

Beginner Mistakes (SG Course)

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 L1 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, that 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.)


Equipment for teaching SUP (SG Course)

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 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.

Teaching Beginners (SG Course)

Importance: Critical! This lesson is very much the ‘meat’ of what this course is all about. To pass the practical assessment you must be able to deliver a lesson using the ABCD format shown here. Once you being operating as an instructor after completing your instructor qualification you may choose to use a different format if you wish, but to complete this particular Instructor qualification process you must show competency in this specific format, which is considered best practice. 

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. 

Part C:  On the water Session
The session itself, which has its own phases and flow. 

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. 

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 the vast majority of successful SUP schools – not because they are forced to, but simply because it works so well and is so reliable.


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. To reiterate, to pass the practical assessment you must be able to deliver a lesson following the ABCD format shown here. It is acceptable to use prompt cards while delivering the safety brief or the Part B (on the beach) section. So we strongly recommend practicing the delivery – either by visualising or rounding up friends and family to volunteer as guinea pigs to be practiced on!

PFDs for SUP (SG Course)

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 many parts 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.

Leashes for SUP (SG Course)

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