Become a qualified surf instructor in just three weeks
Intensive training compresses everything needed to become an internationally recognised surf coach (in our experience, this usually takes six months!)
Train with pro surfer and top coach Alan Stokes
Learn to surf or improve your surfing on the beautiful beaches of Newquay
Fast-track your way to life as a qualified surf instructor in just three weeks. Suitable for both new surfers and those who can already surf, this intensive training will equip you with the skills, experience and qualifications needed to land your dream job on the beach.
Want to turn your passion into a profession and live the life you love? This intensive surf instructor training will help you do exactly that.
In just three weeks you’ll gain your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Award (the industry standard for teaching surfing in the UK and around the world) and Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award. Once you’ve bagged them both, you can get to work.
You’ll be trained by the UK’s premiere instructor amidst the epic backdrop of Newquay, the UK’s surf capital.
International Surfing Association (ISA) Surf Coach Qualification
Surf Lifesaving Great Britain Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award
Surf Skills Coaching from 3 X British Champion and UK Number 1 Surf Coach Alan Stokes
All essential shadowing hours
ISA logbook completed and submitted on your behalf
Video coaching to help boost your surf skills
Job interview with Newquay Activity Centre after the course
If you’ve never tried surfing, our intensive course is geared towards getting you up to speed in three weeks.
Already up and riding? Then you’ll work on improving your skills under the guidance of 3 X British Champion Alan Stokes. His top tips will set you on the path to becoming a better all-round surfer and coach.
If you’ve already got a suitable lifeguarding qualification, you can join the course for two weeks at a discounted rate.
We want to take you from zero to hero on our three-week International Surfing Association (ISA) Level One course. Our focus is on coaching beginner level surfers, with a team of dedicated coaches on hand to guide you every step of the way.
As well as learning crucial technical and safety skills, you’ll also gain the soft skills needed to instruct new students on session. By the end of this comprehensive training, you’ll be able to support, teach and encourage others to surf, and know how to adapt classes in a safe and insurable manner.
Ideal for both beginner and intermediate surfers, this course gives you the opportunity to make a career out of the sport and get paid to do what you love. You’ll also train with one of the UK’s best surfers – 3 X British Champion Alan Stokes.
All ISA Level 1 courses require 20 hours of shadow coaching after completion. Generally this isn’t included by the provider, but we’ve consolidated all requirements into our course so you get the best chance of becoming an experienced and effective surf instructor in just three weeks.
You’ll fulfil your shadowing hours by working alongside the highly-experienced team of instructors at Newquay Activity Centre. You’ll also spend a week learning essential water safety and first aid skills to achieve your Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award.
Our innovative photo and video feedback sessions will help us analyse your surfing so you can reach that next level. Seeing yourself in action is a fantastic way to understand where and how you can improve.
You’ll also deliver peer-to-peer coaching. This not only refines your own surfing, it also teaches you to analyse how your fellow students surf – an invaluable skill for an instructor.
This course will furnish you with everything needed to deliver professional surfing lessons in a safe and competent manner.
To work with members of the public in the water, you are required to hold a recognised surf lifesaving qualification, which you will attain during the first week of the course. If you already hold a recognised lifeguard qualification, you can take part in the last two weeks of the course – just drop us a line through our online chat and we’ll activate a discount for you.
You also need to be:
Aged 18 or over
Medically and physically fit
Able to swim 200m in under five minutes (we can help you achieve this)
Passionate about surfing and the ocean
AFTER THE COURSE
Once the course is completed, you’ll get the chance to work as a surf instructor for Newquay Activity Centre or at one of the town’s 25 other surf schools. So you could be sticking around on the town’s gold sand beaches a little longer than planned! There is high demand for great instructors in the UK, particularly during summer months, with some schools offering year-round positions.
Prefer to travel abroad? You could bag a job anywhere in the world, as your qualification is recognised internationally. We have contacts in New Zealand, Morocco, Bali, Portugal and beyond that we are happy to put you in touch with.
Our intensive course makes entering the world of surf coaching as quick and easy as possible. Now all you need to do is grab the opportunity with both hands!
We’ve partnered with Newquay Activity Centre who’ve been delivering training courses since 2001 and we’ve identified 8 Reasons why our intensive surf coaching course takes away the headache of doing it on your own.
We recognised a problem! Each trainee who tries to attain their ‘shadow hours’ always struggles because you have to book in with a surf school for each lesson, they’re rarely consecutively and you don’t necessarily get to shadow with great instructors. The whole process can take months, but with us, you receive them within the course from instructors who are trained to help you.
Getting your logbook completed and submitted correctly can be a real faff. If you get it wrong (which is highly likely the first time), it will be sent back to re-do it and this can sometimes take weeks. We solve this problem by assisting you to get it right the first time and then submitting it for you.
Many new surfers struggle to gain the standard required for their ‘surf test’. We teach you the skills required to pass and put a huge focus on getting you there. We do this with 3 x British Champion surfer and number 1 UK surf coach, Alan Stokes. And don’t worry, if you don’t nail it the first time, you’ve got 12 months to re-submit your surfing.
If you can surf already, we concentrate on getting footage of you to pass the ‘surf test’. Upon achieving this, we concentrate on taking your surfing to the next level. This will not only benefit your own personal surf skills, but you will also learn from the process of achieving this. WIN -WIN
Our course is three weeks long for a reason. We concentrate on teaching you real coaching skills both in the classroom and at the beach. Video analysis, goal setting, teaching mixed ability groups, dealing with tricky conditions, are all vital skills that we see as essential to becoming an awesome coach.
The SLSGB Surf Coach Safety and Rescue award was designed to equip surf instructors with safety skills and first aid knowledge to deliver safe, insurable lessons. We get you there in a week. If you already have the award, we can discount the price and reduce the length of the course.
With 7 beaches in Newquay, we can guarantee conditions to surf on every given day of the course. Spending 3 weeks in the surfing hub of the UK is something that will benefit all new surf instructors and we’re pretty sure that you’ll LOVE it here too!
In a nutshell, we’ve been through this process with pupils for years. This course has been developed to encapsulate all the features that you need to achieve in an intensive but fun three weeks in Newquay!
We welcome all ages from 18 to 80, so no matter your age or background we’d love to teach you to become a surf instructor! So if this sounds like something you’re interested in, don’t hesitate to drop us a line or get in touch.
The course is spread over three weeks, with four days off. In your downtime you can practise your surfing or add extra shadowing hours. Here’s a rundown of what happens day-to-day. NB – the itinerary below is dependent on surf conditions and other variables, so should be used only as a guide.
Welcome to the course! At our centre, you’ll meet your coaches and fellow students and get an overview of what the next three weeks will entail. We’ll dive right in with a surf lesson from a Newquay Activity Centre Instructor, showing you how a perfect lesson should be delivered.
Time for your first surf skills training session with Alan Stokes, plus progression planning. These are held both in the classroom and at the beach. You’ll also get your first video analysis session.
Develop your surf skills with Alan Stokes. Today you’ll also get a second video analysis session and work on lesson presentation and delivery.
Shadow a surf lesson with the Newquay Activity Centre surf instructor team. Alan Stokes will deliver surf skills coaching and video analysis.
It’s day 1 of the ISA surf coaching qualification, delivered by Industry figurehead Barrie ‘Baz’ Hall. Try some free surfing in your lunch break to improve your skills.
Shadow a surf lesson with the Newquay Activity Centre surf instructor team. Alan Stokes delivers surf skills coaching and video analysis.
Day off – time to chill out or practise your surfing!
Industry figurehead Barrie ‘Baz’ Hall delivers day 2 of the ISA surf coaching qualification. In your lunch break, free surfing will improve your skills.
Surf skills development with Alan Stokes and your third video analysis session. Work on lesson presentation and delivery. Anyone who has achieved admissible footage of themselves surfing can have it submitted at this point.
Shadow the Newquay Activity Centre surf instructor team as they deliver a surf lesson. Alan Stokes will offer another surf skills coaching and video analysis. Surf lesson delivery filmed and submitted for marking.
Shadow the Newquay Activity Centre surf instructor team as they deliver a surf lesson. Surf skills coaching and video analysis with Alan Stokes. After finishing your final shadowing hours, your ISA instructors logbook will be completed and submitted to Baz Hall for review.
Shadow the Newquay Activity Centre surf instructor team as they deliver a surf lesson. Surf skills coaching and video analysis with Alan Stokes. Anyone who did not pass the lesson delivery submission will have another chance to present and submit.
Shadow the Newquay Activity Centre surf instructor team as they deliver a surf lesson. Surf skills coaching and video analysis with Alan Stokes. Anyone who hasn’t passed their surf skills will re-submit their best surfing footage for review.
Day off – time to chill out or practise your surfing!
The start of the Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award. First up – a module introduction, followed by a Timed Pool Swim Assessment and beach environment training.
Beach training including board and tube rescues. Then it’s back to the classroom for an intro to first aid.
First aid and Resuscitation, followed by run, swim, run and rescue scenarios.
Exam day – based at the beach in the morning and the classroom in the afternoon.
Another opportunity to be assessed for surfing, and to retake the timed swim. Interview with Newquay Activity Centre for freelance instructor work.
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT WEEKEND. LOADS OF TIPS TO HELP IMPROVE ON THE WATER AND A LOT OF PHOTOS TO REVIEW IN BETWEEN SURFS SO YOU CAN SEE WHERE YOU NEED TO IMPROVE. GREAT INSTRUCTORS, WHO WERE SO ENCOURAGING ALL WEEKEND. AND A FANTASTIC TALK FROM ALAN STOKES ON BEACH ANALYSIS AND CONFIDENCE BUILDING.
NEWQUAY WEEKEND 2020
IT WAS A GREAT GROUP DYNAMIC IN AND OUT OF THE WATER, WE ALL PUSHED AND LOOKED AFTER EACH OTHER A LOT THAT WAS GREAT. IT WAS A GREAT WEEKEND FOR BUILDING CONFIDENCE. THE WHOLE WEEKEND OVERALL WAS VERY WELL ORGANISED AND RAN REALLY SMOOTHLY
NEWQUAY WEEKEND 2019
WHAT AN AMAZING WAY TO GET A GROUP OF THE LOVELIEST, LIKE MINDED LADIES TOGETHER AND INTO THE OCEAN. AND ALL FOR A GREAT CAUSE! WHETHER YOU'RE A COMPLETE BEGINNER, STRAIGHT OUT BACK OR JUST TEND TO THRASH AROUND IN WATER WITH ABSOLUTELY NO STYLE (LIKE ME) YOU'LL FIT RIGHT IN. AND THE PIZZA AND PINTS AFTER AREN'T HALF BAD EITHER. RACHEL, YOU'RE A STAR. CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR ABOUT PLANS FOR THE NEXT GET TOGETHER.
NEWQUAY WEEKEND 2019
We might be slightly biased, but we think the landscapes around Cornwall (or ‘Kernow’ to the locals) are some of the most interesting, varied and adventurous landscapes in the whole of the U.K. We have golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, historic fishing towns and rugged coastlines; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Head inland and you will find even more raw beauty with rolling green hills, cavernous mines, ancient stone structures, vast moorlands and granite-topped mountains. And while the landscape holds a picture-perfect gaze in the eye, the undulating lands are also a symbol of the history surrounding Cornwall itself. From gin-smuggling pirates on the coast, to the tin-mining villages in the hills, to the legend of King Arthur in Tintagel; there’s so much to explore and learn.
Newquay is our home and we couldn’t be more proud to welcome course students to this relaxed and friendly surf town. It’s a place filled with independent retailers, artisan coffee shops, high-end eateries and epic beaches. There are surf shops to stock supplies and welcoming pubs for well-earned rests; you might end up staying a little longer than you expected!
Grab a coffee and watch surfers wander down towards the waves, or wake up early to catch an epic sunrise over Fistral Beach. While you’re in town, be sure to make the most of your 15% discount at Newquay’s Rip Curl store on Bank Street.
There’s a reason that Newquay is known as the surf capital of the UK. In part due to the relaxed and easy-going lifestyle, but mostly because of the epic beaches and the consistent Atlantic swell that Newquay benefits from year-round.
Most of our beaches work best with different conditions. This means that no matter the tide, wind or swell direction, you’re always likely to find something worth heading out for. All of our instructors have excellent local knowledge so you needn’t worry about missing out. We’ll visit the best-known breaks, our secret surf spots and also explore a little further off the beaten track.
This sheltered, sandy bay is the perfect spot when the west-facing beaches are big and blown out. It’s the most friendly break for beginners, and you’ll almost always find a fun, clean wave here.
Backed by rugged cliffs and sand dunes, Fistral Beach is the jewel in the crown of Cornwall’s surf scene. It delivers waves on every stage of the tide and serves up dreamy conditions on an offshore southeasterly wind. You can almost always find a suitable peak for your ability.
GREAT WESTERN BEACH
Wedged between Towan and Tolcarne, this is one of Newquay’s central beaches. It offers consistent and clean conditions in a southwesterly wind. There are plenty of lefts and rights for everyone.
THE GANNEL ESTUARY
The Gannel is Newquay’s relaxed river alternative to the buzz of the beaches. Turquoise waters sashay their way past golden sand banks, local wildlife and vibrant green hills. Once a prominent passage for schooners and barges, the estuary holds a whole host of historic tales and secrets just waiting to be explored.
Gazzle is the Cornish word for armpit. Affectionately used to refer to a 2 km-stretch of Atlantic coastline, this area of protected coves, cliffs and caves is a fantastic place for kayaking, coasteering and paddleboarding. The Gazzle has proved to be a firm favourite for customers and instructors alike.
Other great spots nearby include Crantock, Perranporth and Watergate Bay. There are plenty more that offer uncrowded perfection on their day – you just need to know where to look. That’s where we come in.
Cornwall’s climate is fairly unique and independent from the rest of the UK’s weather patterns. Thanks to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic ocean and the jet stream in the atmosphere, we enjoy the warmest sea and air temperatures in the country with a relatively mild climate year-round.
Each bay, beach and pocket of adventure seems to have its own microclimate in Cornwall. It’s best to be prepared by always keeping sun cream packed in your bag just in case those rays start to filter through the cloud.
The benefit of this means we are able to deliver our course year-round; spring, summer, autumn or winter. We have many sheltered spots along our stretch of coastline along with all the correct technical equipment for the relevant season. We are well-equipped to deliver practical lessons in all weathers and conditions.
Each day of your course will be broken up with a midday lunch break. This could be at home, in town, in the centre or on the move – we like to keep the adventure alive! Please bring your own lunch and snacks to refuel your body between sessions. The course is physically demanding so energy-rich foods and healthy snacks are recommended. Please also bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. We highly advocate the use of reusable bottles to limit plastic waste and to reduce our carbon footprint as a company.
Newquay town has a vast selection of excellent shops and cafes so if you forget to bring some lunch, you won’t go hungry! As a member of our course, you will also benefit from discounts at local cafes and coffee shops – we will supply you with a discount card on arrival.
If you are booking accommodation through us and staying in either of our apartments, you will have full access to a modern working kitchen. This will give you the opportunity to self-cater and help keep your costs down throughout the course. When COVID restrictions allow, we take great pride in organising tasty and fun social group meals; perfect for making new friends if you’re joining the course alone.
Newquay is a 15-minute drive from the A30, which links to the M5.
Our main centre is based on Fore Street, near Towan Beach. We’ll send you detailed information before your arrival, including parking instructions and maps.
Both our accommodation options are within walking distance to both Fistral Beach and Newquay Bay, the town centre and many local supermarkets.
The railway station is in the town centre. If you’re travelling by train, we may be able to pick you up from the station (time dependent). Get in touch for more details.
We’re a 20-minute drive from the airport. You can fly into Newquay from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Flights are also available from key European cities.
HOW DO I BOOK AND PAY?
You can book securely online or if you would prefer we can take payment over the phone.
Once paid you’ll be sent an email confirmation and an enrolment form to complete
Pay in full at the time of booking or
Split the payment into two instalments
We can’t reserve your place until we receive payment (in full or an instalment). Payment in full must be received no later than 16 weeks prior to commencement of the course.
Can I attend on my own?
Yes definitely! We pride ourselves on being super welcoming and friendly. Most of our students arrive solo and leave with friends for life.
DO I NEED TO BE A STRONG SWIMMER?
To work as a surf instructor, you need to gain an SLSGB Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award. In order to complete this award, you need to be able to swim 200 metres in under 5 minutes. This is quite achievable for most standards of swimmers.
We advise you to train in the swimming pool prior to the course.
DO I NEED TO BE A GOOD SURFER?
The better you are at surfing, the easier the surfing skills section is. However, we have proved this to be achievable for first-time surfers during the course. If you can clock up time surfing before the course, then we strongly recommend that you do so.
If you think you may benefit from a few extra sessions before or during the course, please check out our surf lessons and get in touch, we will discuss how this works.
If you don’t pass your surf test, you have 12 months to achieve it after your exam date.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVEN'T SURFED BEFORE?
You can still join the course. We will supply you with pre course training recommendations that will help you to achieve the standard. No doubt, it is harder to pass within three weeks if you haven’t surfed before. But this has been achieved by around 40% of our previous students.
WHAT IF I DON'T PASS THE SURFING SKILLS SECTION OF THE COURSE?
If you don’t pass the surfing skills module within the two weeks you have a further 12 months to make the grade. But we will try our very best to get you there during the two-week course.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF WORK AT THE END OF THE COURSE?
The surf school industry has grown massively in the last 10 years. Every beach that has waves, seemingly has a surf school. If it doesn’t, perhaps you should set one up. As a lifestyle business or lifestyle employment it takes a lot of beating. Organised surf instructors pick up work year round by travelling to different parts of the world where they are in demand. Or gain year round position at a bigger surf school. Many surf instructors choose to set up their own operation, as once you have the qualification, you just need the equipment and a place to operate lessons and you are good to go.
WHAT LEVEL OF FITNESS DO I NEED TO PASS THE ISA SURF INSTRUCTOR COURSE?
As you can imagine, the fitter you are, the easier it is. But, that said, it isn’t a triathlon! Our coaching sessions are usually two hours long and you can participate at your own steam. If you need to rest, you can. Our pre course training programme will help you prepare for the course. When you have passed your ISA surf coaching qualification you will need a life saving qualification, this will mean that you need to gain a minimum standard of swimming 400 metres in under 5 minutes. This is achievable for most individuals and some times requires a some swim training to achieve the standard.
I DON’T HAVE ANY EQUIPMENT, CAN I STILL TAKE PART?
We have an excellent range of wetsuits, wetsuit boots, gloves and hats. We also have a huge range of surfboards, from foamies, to softtop progressor boards, all the way through to mini mals and shortboards. Just let us know at time of booking and we will reserve your equipment, this is included in the price of the course.
WHERE CAN I STAY?
Most pupils stay in one of the following;
An Air BnB (there is a huge range of options in Newquay)
Surf Lodge Accommodation (we work closely with Smarties, Escape and Ocean Surf Lodge)
Hotel or Guesthouse (Check Booking.com for the options or drop us a line for recommendations)
Their van (either wild camping or staying on one of the many local touring parks/campsites)
WILL THE QUALIFICATIONS I GAIN BE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED?
Surf Life Saving Great Britain (SLSGB) and International Surfing Association (ISA) are all recognised worldwide.
WHAT IS THE PAY RATE FOR A SURF INSTRUCTOR?
Freelance surf instructors generally get paid between £35 and £50 for a two-hour coaching session (which means, with prep and lesson close down you will work for approx. 3 hours). A professional instructor will deliver three lessons per day. If you take a full-time job or build your own roster of regular clients the pay can range dramatically. Some instructors demand huge sums by offering an awesome service and getting excellent results. Like any job, the more that you put in to it, the more that you get out of it.
WHAT PERSONAL SKILLS DO I NEED?
You’ll need :
Patience and the ability to work well with others
Enthusiasm to learn and train
Sensitivity and understanding
To be thorough and pay attention to detail
The ability to work on your own
Knowledge of the English language
To be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
The ability to retain important information
The ability to remain calm when faced with new situations
ARE YOU COVID SECURE?
Due to the ever-changing restrictions around COVID-19, we are constantly monitoring the latest news and making sure our practices are always up to date with government guidelines. We have developed our course to be COVID safe with all teachings following the correct safety guidelines. Theory work can be completed online, if restrictions are in place, allowing you to work remotely from the safety of your home or hotel. Our practical activities will be taking place outside and will follow all social distancing guidelines.We ask all of our students to be transparent and honest if they, or any member of their family, develop any COVID-19 related symptoms. If you think you may have contracted the virus, we will ask you to self-isolate for the appropriate amount of time before joining or returning to the course and we ask everyone to regularly carry out lateral flow tests.It’s important for us to stress that you will not miss out on the course as we are able to offer online learning while you are self-isolating. We have made sure that your ability to complete the course will not be affected by future restrictions or lockdown rules.
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
Cover for public liability will be in place whilst you partake in activities with Newquay Activity Centre, this is to a limit of £5 million. Personal accident cover is available, similar to travel insurance (injuries due to accidents etc), this is something participants can acquire themselves by looking online if they wish to purchase. Insurance is a topic covered during the course Q and A sessions so that everyone is clear of how this works in the outdoor industry.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE COURSE FEE?
Travel costs – fuel, parking. (We may occasionally travel further afield to seek out the best conditions. However, our centre is within walking distances to most sites so this will be kept to a minimum).
Retake fees incurred should they be necessary if you do not pass the initial assessment; you will be given training and support to prepare for each activity’s initial assessment whilst on the course, so please do not be concerned.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE ON THE COURSE?
There will generally be ratios of 1:8 (instructor to pupil) for all activity training. However, theory classes may have larger ratios. You’ll often be broken down into smaller groups and all learning will observe the correct social distancing guidelines.
ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS?
You need to be over 18 to join the course. If you are 65 or over we’d love to chat to you about the course before you book. Please email us to arrange a time and we’ll contact you. Or you can call us on 01637 226017.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CANCEL MY BOOKING?
If you can’t join the course, please let us know as soon as possible via email. Your cancellation notice will start from the date we receive it.
Cancellation charges for the Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy, courses and modules are payable as follows: