Coaching Scheme

Level 1 Instructor

Pre requisites:

  • RYA Powerboat Level 2; for coastal certificates –
  • Inland certificates do not require powerboat qualification. (see inland limitations)
  • Minimum age 16;
  • Valid first aid qualification;
  • Paddle competency:
  1. Competent on a range of boards sizes
  2. Knowledge and execution of all basic and intermediate paddle strokes
  3. Timed paddle test
  4. Towing test
  5. Unconscious casualty recovery
  6. Group control and close quarter manoeuvres control
  • Current member of BSUPA;
  • Students without any previous water sports teaching experience or qualifications will be required to undertaker 3 hours of shadow teaching at a BSUPA School

On the course you will be expected to deliver lecture topics on the following subjects, you will also be shown personal paddle technique tips and tune ups. You will have plenty of practical water time where you will be shown how to deliver the BSUPA lesson plan, group control techniques as well as a paddle assessment and different methods of rescue recovery.

Qualification scope

BSUPA level 1 Instructor qualifies an individual to teach beginner learn to ride courses to a maximum of 6 students on a suitable area of water within the infrastructure of a BSUPA recognised school


You can undertake your BSUPA Level 1 instructor course at the age of 16. YOU WILL NOT BE A FULLY LICENSED INSTRUCTOR UNTIL THE AGE OF 18. You can assist on courses under the supervision of a fully licensed instructor. You cannot be solely in charge of students or extend a class ratio.


For instructors working on enclosed inland water with a maximum distance of 50m from land and no tidal influences. An RYA powerboat level 2 certificate is recommended but not required.


If you are a current RYA, BCU, BKSA, SLSA instructor you can attend a one day ‘direct access’ conversion course to become a level 1 BSUPA instructor.

You must display current valid certificates to prove qualification level.

Failure to reach the required standard in any areas of the instructor assessment will result in being required to attend the full BSUPA instructor level 1 course.

Instructor Level 2

Once you have gained 100 hours of logged teaching experience at a BSUPA recognised school in no less than 6 months, you can apply for your level 2 instructor course.

Level 2 as above separates into two categories. Waves and distance.

Level 2 is separated into two disciplines which are developed to an advanced intermediate level.

For waves it involves board types, beach and wave selection. Etiquette, getting out, take off technique, turning, trimming, wipeouts, currents and rips and surf safety and ratios

For distance it involves board types and selection, short medium and longer tours, rivers, coastlines, tides, windage, passage planning and exit routes, safety gear communications and ratios.

Pre requisites:

  • 100 logged Hours as a BSUPA level 1 instructor
  • BSUPA Level 1 Instructor Certificate;
  • Minimum age 18;
  • Paddle skills,
  1. Complete level 1 paddle test.
  2. Demonstrate a medium level of wave riding ability in moderate surf, catching/turning/trimming/getting out and in/etiquette
  3. Demonstrate a medium/high level of fitness and experience in distance paddling and passage planning on both tidal and non tidal waters.
  • Current member of BSUPA.

Qualification scope

A qualified BSUPA level 2 Instructor can run or open a BSUPA recognised school. Teach in small to medium surf on beach breaking waves with a ratio of three students to one instructor.

Take level 1 ready to ride paddlers on short and medium length distance paddles and tours, with a maximum of 10 students to one instructor.


BSUPA coaches are expert paddleboarders within an identified discipline. They may be an accomplished competition wave or distance paddler or have proved competency in another way. They can work within BSUPA schools in the UK or overseas exotic locations delivering higher level coaching clinics in wave riding or distance paddling to medium and high level paddlers.

Pre requisites

Be a level 1 BSUPA instructor.

Have a proven high level of competency and knowledge within the sport.

By application

Qualification scope.

BSUPA coaches can deliver clinics and coaching sessions on medium/high level wave riding in moderate to large wave on both beach and reef breaks. Ratio is 6 students to one instructor. Also they can execute medium to long distance paddle sessions on a range of water conditions. Ratio is 1 instructor to 10 students.

BSUPA Trainer examiner

After becoming experienced within a sport, it is often a desire to return knowledge to future instructors to continue and grow the sport in a safe and professional way. BSUPA trainer examiners are the most experienced instructors within the scheme, showing a high level of paddle ability on all water states and conditions, along with a high level of experience, knowledge, professionalism and conduct towards themselves and their teaching operations.

Once you have become a level 2 instructor, and have 2 years of teaching experience along with 800 hours of logged teaching in a range of locations you can apply to attend the trainer examiner program.