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Surfing Instructor FAQ Pembrokeshire Wales |Surf Instructor Courses


Q: What’s the price?

A: £195 NARS Beach Lifeguard Award /£275 Surf Coach Lifesaver £195 for the ISA Level I Surf Instructor Award. The combined course costs £450 and £350for the level 2Q: Where are the courses held?

A: Our courses are Run in primarily run in Pembrokeshire, Four miles away from the Manorbier YHA Youth hostel. We also run our courses in many Surf Camp around the world.

Q: Do you provide accommodation?

A: Yes, local accommodation can be arranged with YHA Youth Hostel and B&B providers. This is not included in the course price. Please book well in advance to assure you have a place to stay.

Q: How long do the NARS Beach Lifeguard Award / NARS Surf Coach Lifesaver take to complete?

A: The course is held over Five days Tue - Sat with an examination on sixth day by independent SLSA Surf Lifesaving Association (SLSA of GB) Examiners.

Q: How long does the Level I Surf Instructor Award take to complete?

A: The course is held over 2 days. Each candidate is assessed throughout the 2 day course with a final assessment on the last day. Candidates must complete 20hrs work experience with a surf school before receiving final accreditation. This can be completed with us at Outer Reef Surf School

Q: How long are the awards valid?

A: The NARS qualifications are valid for indefinitely for so long as the candidate undertakes a proficiency test within 12 month of gaining the qualification and every 12 months thereafter. After this time the exam must be repeated. The Surf Coach Awards are valid for 24 months.

Q: Can I work abroad with these qualifications?

A: All NARS awards are internationally recognised but you will still have to conform to each country’s own qualification specifications.

Q: How old do I have to be?

A: You must be at 16 to complete the NARS beach Lifeguard Award/ Surf Coach Lifesaver and the Level 1 Surf Instructor Award. Candidates who are 16 taking the Level 1 Surf Instructor award will receive an “Assistant Level 1 Instructor” qualification. They will be able to work as surf instructors as long as they are supervised at all times by a fully qualified Level 2 (or above) instructor. When teaching age 18 they can upgrade to the full Level 1 status by submitting proof of age and proof they hold a current recognised lifesaving qualification and have a CRB check.

Q: What is the difference between the NARS Beach Lifeguard Award and NARS Surf Coach Lifesaver Award?

A: The NARS Beach Lifeguard Award requires you to swim 400m (16 lengths) in a 25 metre swimming pool in under 7 minutes 30 Seconds. The award then qualifies you to work as Beach Lifeguard. The NARS Surf Coach Lifesaver Award. With this qualification you will be able to work as a Surf Instructor when combined with the Level I Surf Instructor Award. You will not be able to work as a Beach Lifeguard unless you hold the NARS Beach Lifeguard qualification.

Q: What fitness test is required for the Level I Surf Instructor Award? Do I have to be a good surfer?

A: You must be able to demonstrate that you can ride left and right on a green wave, execute some turns, kick out safely and be in control of your board at all times. There is no specific fitness test but you must be confident in the water.

Q: Where do the courses operate from?

A: The courses are split into water work and dry work. The water work takes place at Tenby South Beach and the dry work operates from our classroom facility in the Tenby surf life saving club. The pool swims are conducted at Tenby Sports Centre.

Q: How do the courses operate?

A: The NARS Beach Lifeguard/ Surf Coach Lifesaver Awards run alongside each other and each day is split into water work (rescues) and dry work (first aid training) Successful completion of both awards will also lead to candidates obtaining the Award. The Level I Instructor is split into teaching practice on the beach and class room study.

Q: How many people will be on the course?

A: All NARS courses have a maximum of 20 candidates per course. All Surf Instructor course have a maximum of 10 candidates to 1 trainer to ensure high levels of teaching standards.

Q: What equipment do I need?

A: You will need a good wetsuit (winter wetsuit, boots and gloves required for

April courses, (hire can be arranged through Outer Reef Surf School.) You will also need a pen,

paper, swimwear, goggles, warm clothing and sunblock.

Q: Do you provide lunch?

A: No, lunch is not included but there is a range of food outlets nearby. If you book a full board package with Manorbier YHA Youth Hostel you will be provided with a packed lunch.

Q: Do I need previous sea/ surfing experience?

A: For the NARS Beach Lifeguard/ Surf Coach Lifesaver Awards previous ocean experience is desirable but not essential. For the Level I Surf Instructor Award competent surfing skills/ocean knowledge is essential.

Q: Who validates the awards?

A: The Surf Lifesaving Association of Great Britain (SLSA of GB) validates the NARS Beach Lifeguard/ Surf Coach Lifesaver Awards.  The ISA is the awarding body for the Level 1 instructor course.

At Pembrokeshire and West Wales' Premier Surf & Sup (Stand up Paddle Boarding) School we offer a full range of surfing and SUP stand up paddle boarding lessons and equipment hire, from a half day tuition to week long courses, Kids' Clubs, surf camps and more.

The surf courses are run at:
Newgale, Broadhaven, Freshwater West, Stackpole & Manorbier.


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