Location Definition

  • Coastal beach
  • Sandy beach / ocean floor with even gradient  

Location Conditions

  • Gentle breaking waves up to 0.5 metres (1½ ft) 
  • Small channel
  • Free from strong rips
  • No dumping shore break   
  • Wind speed less than 12 knots, offshore winds no more than 10 knots. 
  • No more than 100 metres (320 ft) from shore.
  • At least 100 metres (320ft) downwind from lifesaving flags  
  • Non busy surf location

If the conditions are greater than those stated above, the SUP activity should not proceed.    


  • Suitable flat water paddle boards (ideal length 10-11ft) 
  • Suitable paddles with correct blade
  • Long leashes must be fixed to the board

Instructor Qualifications

  • Level 3 Stand Up Paddle Instructor (Beginner Surf) 
  • Current Surf Rescue 
  • Current Senior First Aid
  • Working with children check (as applicable to the country)



At least 12 years of age (guide only – to take into consideration strength needed to paddle against wind and tide).

Entry Requirements

  • Able to swim 50 metres (165ft)
  • Exposed waters stand up paddle skills
  • Ocean safety knowledge, skills and awareness
  • Ideally have surfing knowledge and ability equivalent to ASI Learn to Surf Beginner Level 3

Student Management

Instructor to Student Ratio

No more than 1 student to 1 fully accredited instructor  1:1  (busy location)
No more than 2 students to 1 fully accredited instructor  1:2   (non busy location)

Non busy surf location:  no other water users within a 100 metre (320 ft) radius of activity
Busy surf location: other water users within 100 metres (320 ft)

Group Size

In any 100 metres (320ft) of surf, no more than:

  • 2 students (1 group), at any one time. (non busy surf location)
  • 1 student at any one time (busy surf location) 

Paddling Safety 

  • Students and instructors wear leash at all times
  • In shallow water and water depth less than 3ft and on entry and exit to water, participants must paddle on knees or bum
  • The instructor is to be on a board, in the water, close to students at all times
  • It is recommended that a minimum of 3 lessons are conducted in the exposed water locations before a beginner student could reasonably demonstrate effective paddling skills to negotiate surf
  • Instructors are not to take students into areas where there are a high number of other surf users. SUP boards are bigger so the potential injury to other surf users is higher