Location Definition

  • Coastal beaches, bays and harbours, and large inland bodies of water 
  • Greater than 1km (0.6 miles) wide 

Location Conditions

  • Choppy or uneven waters
  • Swell size up to 0.6m (2ft)
  • Shore break up to 0.5m (1½ft)
  • No breaking waves
  • Wind speed less than 12 knots, offshore wind less than 10 knots 
  • Water depth no less than 1m (3ft) 
  • No more than 250 metres (820ft) from shore
  • Free from hazards (hazards includes: boats, rocks, rips and currents, pollution, dangerous marine creatures, etc. )

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


  • Suitable flat water paddle boards
  • Suitable paddles with correct blade
  • Coiled leashes must be fixed to the board

Instructor Qualifications

  • Level 2 Stand Up Paddle Instructor (Exposed Waters) or Level 2 Stand Up Paddle Technical Coach (Exposed Waters)
  • Current Water Rescue or Surf Rescue 
  • Current Senior First Aid
  • Working with children check (as applicable to the country)



At least 8 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)
Previous paddling experience and competent at paddling in flat water conditions.

Student Management

Instructor to Student Ratio

No more than 6 students to 1 fully accredited instructor  1:6  (wind up to 8 knots)
No more than 4 students to 1 fully accredited instructor  1:4   (wind up to 12 knots)

Group Size

No more than 6 clients (1 group) to be in the one place in the water, at any one time. If there are more than 6 clients (1 group), the groups are to be separated by a minimum 100 metres.   (for busy locations)       

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