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ISA Surf Instructor Courses Wales |Surfing Instructor Courses

Surf Instructor Courses

The ISA Surf Instructor Level 1 2019 Prerequisite: A current Beach Lifeguard Qualification acceptable to the ISA  At least two years personal surfing experience The ISA Level 1 Coach will demonstrate that their Personal Surfing Ability is of an acceptable standard. They will further demonstrate that they are competent to instruct surfers (on land and in the water) from Beginners (never surfed before) through to Intermediate level (able to paddle outside, catch green waves and ride right and left whilst performing basic maneuvers). 



9.00 am       

      • Enter names and addresses on attendance form
      • Ascertain any medical/dietary issues

Course overview

Introduce self, 

Set the tone for the course.

Collaborative and enjoyable.


Brief descriptive overview

Describe the delivery methods, i.e.

Theory modules delivered as per course contents over two days.

Practical sessions (tutorials) delivered by on beach practical sessions (both days) and classroom workshop.

Brief description about The International Surfing Association.


Coaching candidates will be assessed as competent / not yet competent within the workshop and practical sessions of:     

  • Venue analysis 
  • Lesson planning (group assessment)
  • Delivering the planned lesson (deliver lesson segment)
  • Demonstrate practical surfing skills
  • Assess lesson delivery (self-assessment)


If the coaching candidate is deemed not yet competent in any criteria they will have the opportunity to develop these competencies during post course supervised coaching hours.

Note:  Owing to time constraints, specific needs of the candidates and the important requirements of workshops and practical sessions the course presenter may need to editorialize the modules that contain extensive content.

E.g. ‘Safety of Surfers in Your Care’ Module 2 – Page 18, the focus of the module is developing a venue analysis guide which requires the candidate to have an understanding of how to identify a ‘safe surfing venue’ and ‘duty of care obligations’.

Surf and weather conditions although part of the safety aspects of selecting a venue can be briefly explained rather than a comprehensive approach.

The manual can be seen as a comprehensive resource and reference for the Level One coach.  The course presenter does not necessarily need to quote verbatim to get the message across.

Course delivery (day one continued)


9.30 am           Candidates chat

                        One of the key attributes a coaching candidate needs to develop is the

                        ability to communicate confidently to individuals or groups.


                        A strategy to encourage the development of oral skills, is to have each

                        candidate give a brief 2-3 minute talk relating to the listed headings.



                        Where they live


                        Relevant qualification, teaching experience etc.

                        Surfing experiences

                        Reason for attending the course

                        Future goals


If candidate is hesitant or unsure – presenter to prompt using the headings as guides to encourage and support the candidate.

Presenter can record pertinent information such as teaching – coaching experiences etc. and utilize the experiences of the candidate to assist them logistically during the course, i.e. Facilitators – Beach assistants – Assessors etc.


10.00 am          Morning break

10.30 am         Role of the Coach – Module 1, Page 10


State competencies. 

Note:  One hour is allocated for this module which owing to the content allows the course presenter scope to cut the module short or lengthen the time for module two if required.

This module touches briefly on the qualities an effective coach requires, i.e. communication, organization, knowledge and importantly the role a coach can play in the community.

Teaching basic surfing rules and environmental concerns are vital with overcrowding of some surfing breaks and the need to protect the eco-system of the beach and ocean environments.

Refer to the ‘Coach’s Code of Ethics’ – Page 17.

Explain that the coach will need to understand and sign off as part of the accreditation process.


Course delivery (day one continued)

12.00 am         Safety of the Surfer in your Care – Module 2, Page 18

State competencies

Editorialize this unit:

Candidates need to understand ‘Duty of Care’ obligations and surf lesson safety guidelines and how to identify a safe surfing venue.

The course presenter can touch briefly on weather conditions and marine creatures and focus on preparing candidates for the practical exercise in developing a quality venue analysis guide.  Refer ‘Selecting a Safe Venue’ – Page 27

Give brief preview of what the candidate can expect from the course presenter delivered ‘Learn to Surf’ lesson.


12.30 pm         LUNCH

2.00 PM          On beach practical session

Venue analysis  - Page 28

Presenter and candidates to be prepared with appropriate clothing, sun protection, fresh water, clip board and workbook.

Proceed to designated beach.

Employ sound environmental practices, i.e. don’t walk on dunes etc.

Candidates to assess suitability of the beach and surf venue for a beginner surf lesson.


Candidates to record assessment on venue analysis sheet in provided workbook.


Presenter delivered learn to surf lesson – Page 29

Presenter to deliver standard lesson plan format, utilizing candidates as entry level students.  Co-presenter or trainee presenter can act as on beach or in surf demonstrator.  If required utilize candidates with relevant experiences to assist.

Utilize effective teaching formations, i.e. explanation – demonstration – participation, and immediate positive feedback.

Teach skills sequentially and introduce safety elements throughout the lesson.

Explain the core principles of safety, enjoyment and skill development.

Emphasize good outdoor teaching practices.

3.30 pm           Afternoon break

Course delivery (day one continued)

4.00 pm           Coaching methods – Module 3, Pge 30

State competencies.

Explain key headings of explanation, demonstration, participation, feedback.

Refer model, page 31.

Inclusive coaching segment is important to encourage the coaching candidate to adapt and modify their coaching methods and lesson plans – Page 32

Refer and explain effective coaching during the lesson – Page 34

4.30 pm           Skill development – Module 4, Page 36

Refer to the differences and characteristics of the beginner, intermediate, advanced surfer.

Refer to core skills, Page 39 – 40.

Talk through one particular core skill referring to the utilization of cues and how to correct common errors.

5.00 pm           Finish





9.00 am           Program planning – Module 5, Page 52

State competencies

Introduction – Page 52

The lesson plan – Page 53

Refer to text and examples on Page 54, 55, 56, 57

(Emphasize concise and relevant.) Aim should be specific to the lesson.


Workshop 1 (tutorials) Page 58

Course presenter to follow ‘What to do’ and set time available and assist and prompt groups to complete tasks. – Page 58

Assessment – Lesson planning

Course presenter to assess candidate competent or not yet competent utilizing lesson plan assessment sheet provided in presenter’s kit.

10.00 am           Morning break

10.30 am         Delivering the planned lesson – Page 59

                        On beach practical session

Proceed to designated beach and surf venue.

Student required to bring: lesson plan, sun protection, surfboard of choice.

Within the designated groups each student to present a segment of the group’s selected skill task from their lesson plan to their peers.

Course presenter to assess the competency of each candidate using the lesson delivery assessment sheet provided in course presenter’s kit.

Demonstrate basic surfing skills – Page 60

Coaching candidates to demonstrate basic surfing skills.

Assessment – Surfing skills

Course presenter to assess the competencies of each candidate using the surfing skills assessment sheet, provided in course presenter’s kit.

If a candidate is deemed not yet competent with a particular skill they have the opportunity to develop their skills during the 20 hours post course practical coaching hours.

12.30 pm         LUNCH

Course delivery (day two continued)

1.30 pm           Assessing effectiveness of delivered lesson - page 61.

Course presenter to overview the practical session and provide some helpful suggestions and comments.

Coaching candidates can record self assessment on page 61.

3.00 pm           Equipment for beginner surfers module – Module 6, Page 62

State competencies.

Refer to text of this module.

Emphasize the need to utilize softboards when developing skills from beginner to intermediate .

Brief description of wetsuits, lycra shirts, legropes etc.

3.30 pm           Afternoon break

4.00 pm           Steps to Level One Accreditation – Appendix 3, Page 76

Refer to text on Page 76 and encourage the instructor candidate to move forward with steps to accreditation and ensure the candidates are aware of contacts, surf school locations and designated supervising instructors.

Explain the ‘Post Course Process’ of accruing 20 hours of beginner level practical coaching (guided and signed off by designated supervisor instructor).

Explain the utilization of the Level One Practical Assessment Workbook re: recording practical coaching hours, Instructor ‘Code of Ethics’ and the need for competencies to be checked and signed off.

Completed workbook including completed and signed instructor information card sent to course presenter only.

Seek questions.

Wrap up.

5.00 pm           FINISH



Instructor candidate’s requirements and obligations should be indicated in a letter to the accepted Level One Instructor Course candidates along with The International Surfing Association registration form.


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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