Learn the skills to live the outdoor life you’ve always dreamed of
Get qualified in teaching outdoor activities, including surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking
Duration: Three months (Mondays-Thursdays)
The chance to work for Women + Waves throughout your course and potential for future paid employment
Have you always dreamt of living a healthy outdoor lifestyle…and getting paid for it? We’re offering you the chance to get qualified in instructing a whole host of outdoor activities so you can do just that. You’ll gain a wide range of qualifications, including your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor, British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award, Beach Lifeguard Qualification and Outdoor First Aid. So, whether you choose to stay here in Newquay or spread your wings and travel around the world, this course has you covered.
Like the idea of living by the coast, and getting paid to work in the outdoors with fresh air in your lungs? Then a career as an outdoor activity instructor could be just what you’re after.
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Newquay Activity Centre to offer our Women + Waves Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy. Run over three months, the course will harness you with all the training, skills and assessments you need to get qualified. It could see you bag a job in Newquay, New Zealand, Morocco, Bali or beyond. This is your ticket to a life on the beach.
You’ll learn how to instruct, guide, coach and save lives at sea, in Newquay – the UK’s surf capital. What’s more, you’ll get real on-the-job experience – as part of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to shadow top instructors at Women + Waves Weekends and Retreats.
The group on your course won’t be all-female, but you’re sure to meet other like-minded women – and mates for life. You’ll be united by your passion for the outdoors and a desire to get into the outdoor industry and live a healthy lifestyle, in Cornwall or further afield.
Coastal living embraces the best of the outdoors – from wild swims before work, to lunchtime surfs and sunset stand-up paddleboarding sessions. We want to share this lifestyle with you. This is your ticket to follow your passion and live the life you’ve always wanted.
Like the idea of waking up to a sea view in a self-catering apartment that’s a short walk from the beach? We have twin and single room options available in our coastal holiday apartments. It’s not essential that you stay in our accommodation, but those that do absolutely love it. Accommodation is not included in the course price.See our Price tab for costs.
Choose from Sunset Views Apartment in Pentire and Newquay Bay Apartment at The Harbour, which both sleep up to four people and are handily located near Newquay’s beaches, shops, restaurants and cafes.
Overlooking Pentire headland, this hugely spacious, two-bedroom apartment has amazing sea views and is excellently located near to Fistral beaches and Newquay town centre. You can also stroll to the Gannel Estuary or Crantock Beach in five minutes, taking either the coastal path or main road.
Located on the third floor (with elevator or stairs access), the apartment hasa spacious open-plan kitchen diner with Juliet balcony that receives the sun all morning. The diner has a large dinner table which is a great space to work or eat as it has inspiring views across Fistral. A large lounge with a sofa bed and a private, south-facing balcony. It’s perfect for catching some sun, checking the surf and watching those candy floss pink sunsets. It has the rare benefit of sun from dawn until dusk and is at the highest point in Newquay so the views from both sides of the apartment are stunning.
The two bedrooms have twin beds, wardrobe, drawers, bedside table and reading light. Both rooms have sea views. One is en suite with two hand basins, bath, shower and toilet. There is also another separate bathroom and toilet.
Newquay Activity Centre’s ‘Newquay Bay’ Apartment, The Harbour, Newquay
Just a two-minute stroll to Newquay Harbour (one of our favourite wild swim spots) and the town centre, this modern, quiet, two-bedroom apartment overlooks Newquay Bay. Based within the Newquay Activity Centre building, you’ll be only 30 seconds from your daily course.
The apartment was brand new in 2021 with a new kitchen, bathroom, fixtures and fittings. The huge lounge dining room has a sofa bed and huge 52” TV.The dining table lends itself to group meals or a great place to work. The south facing courtyard – perfect for catching some sun or drying wetsuits. The lounge has 4 large windows that look across Towan, Great Western and 5 more beaches with views as far as Watergate Bay. Perfect for checking the surf each morning.
We often transform the huge lounge in to a lush workspace to deliver some aspects of the course.
The two bedrooms are both twins with wardrobe, drawers, bedside tables and reading lights.
Course days are Monday – Thursday 9am – 4.30pm. There will be a mixture of time spent in the classroom and on the water.
You’ll develop your skills and get trained in:
Your day-to-day schedule might include:
Planning and preparing activities
Participating, explaining, advising on and demonstrating activities
Instructing in specialist areas e.g surfing or stand-up paddleboarding
Making sure all equipment and facilities are safe and clean
Explaining safety procedures and carrying out risk assessments
Completing log / work books and theory
Centre cleaning and kit management
Pre-class swims and post-work surf sessions go without saying – expect some real camaraderie on the course. We’ll do our very best to show you the most amazing beaches, coves, estuaries and gullies in Newquay!
We aim to supply you with the toolbox to become a successful outdoor instructor. This isn’t just leading activities – it also includes the less glamorous side of the job such as kit management and risk assessments. These small parts all build the bigger picture of a successful, internationally employable instructor.
You don’t need any previous qualifications to enrol on this programme. You also don’t need to be proficient in the course activities. You do not need to be able to surf, we will teach you all the skills you need to become an instructor.
However, this course requires competent swimming skills and a good level of fitness. Are you passionate about the coastal environment? Great! You’ll also need excellent leadership and communication skills. Your office for the next three months will be beautiful beaches and your colleagues will be other like-minded outdoor lovers.
Paid work during the course
If you need to work while you are following the course please let us know. We hold relationships with local companies that offer flexible working hours so that you can receive paid work during the time that you are following the course. This ranges from care work, shop employment to other freelance rolls.
The course includes training/assessment, as well as shadowing hours, so you can instruct in a variety of areas. You’ll get the chance to find direct employment and further training opportunities, depending on your interests and abilities.
18+ years old
Able to swim
Enthusiasm to learn
Good level of fitness
After the course:
After successful completion of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to interview for a job as an instructor or event manager with Women + Waves. You’ll also have the chance to interview to work for Newquay Activity Centre as a multi-activity instructor or within their logistics/bookings team. There will also be paid work available with their sister company Bodyboard-Holidays. And you’ll gain invaluable experience shadowing at Women + Waves events.
Newquay Activity Centre has an instructor exchange programme in place with (among others) an activity centre in New Zealand. Successful instructors who are looking for year round work can be employed from spring to autumn in Cornwall and then travel to New Zealand to work the summer season there.
Over the course you’ll have the opportunity to gain the following qualifications:
ISA/Surfing England Level 1 Surf Coach
RLSS National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)
SLSGB Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award
BC Paddlesport leader award (SUP & Kayak)
In House Coasteering Guide award
In House Super SUP leader
In House Bushcraft & Foraging
In House Snorkelling and wildlife awareness
In House Incident management, safety and rescue
In House Level 1 Bodyboard Coach (1st ever in the UK )
Outdoor First Aid Award
Additional training included:
Risk Assessing (including COVID 19 RA)
Health & Safety in the Workplace
Longevity in the industry & personal development
Interview & CV writing skills
Coaching barriers and adaptations
Team Building and icebreakers
Housekeeping, (invoicing, time management, professionalism)
WOMEN + WAVES OUTDOOR ACTIVITY INSTRUCTOR ACADEMY £5,399 per person
ALSO INCLUDED :
Equipment use in and outside of course hours (Surfboards, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), Super SUP, Bodyboards, Fins etc)
Discounts with Rip Curl, outdoor brands and local businesses
Regular surfing and swimming coaching sessions
Unlimited shadowing hours
Work experience and live group experience
Opportunity to work with Women & Waves and Bodyboard Holidays
One-on-one skills clinics when required
Final assessment & employment planning
Guaranteed interview for a lead instructor role at Newquay Activity Centre, Women + Waves and Bodyboard-Holidays
Subsidised kit package
Opportunities for paid flexible work alongside the training course (please ask for details)
Access to an exchange program through Newquay Activity Centre’s partners in New Zealand and other international surf camps and activity centres.
Sunset Views Apartment £600pp per month
Newquay Bay Apartment £500pp per month
This is for a shared twin, same sex room.
Apartment allocation is made by us and determined by the dynamic of the students on the course. You will be told which apartment you will be staying in, a week prior to the course start date. Both are great, so don’t stress! Full payment for accommodation is due 6 weeks prior to the course start date.
HOW DO I BOOK?
If you’d like to book please click our ‘Book Now’ complete the online form and we will be in touch.
Once paid you’ll be sent an email confirmation and an enrolment form to complete.
Payment plans are available.
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. Any classroom work will follow all relevant social distancing guidelines and will be explained in full on your first day. The majority of your classroom work will be delivered via Zoom. Outdoor sessions are delivered in suitable ratio, at distance. We will ask those travelling from high Tiers to present negative Covid tests.
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 ask you to self-isolate for the appropriate amount of time (generally two weeks) before joining the course or returning to the course.
It’s important for us to stress that you will not miss out on the course as we are able to offer online learning through platforms such as Zoom while you are self-isolating. We have delivered this successfully on numerous occasions. We are regularly updating our Covid policy in respect of this course and can supply it to you upon request. All pupils receive the policy as part of their pre arrival information.
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
Known as “Kernow” to locals, Cornwall is beautiful, wild and rugged.
A string of golden beaches stretch up and down the coastline, with a variety of surf from mellow rollers to steep, powerful waves.
Head inland and discover the raw beauty of Cornwall’s wilderness moorland, granite-topped hills and ancient stone structures. Explore abandoned pumping houses – relics of the county’s famous mining history – uncover local traditions and breathe in the fresh sea air as you watch sunsets that set your soul on fire.
Our cool little surf town has a laid-back vibe and friendly community. It’s full of independent shops and cute cafes, with three beaches right in the town centre.
Grab an artisan coffee and watch surfers wander down the streets to the waves, or stock up on your surf essentials. Visit the RipCurl store near Newquay Activity Centre – and receive a 15% discount when you join one of our coaching weekends.
Newquay is known as the UK’s surf capital – and for good reason.
The town is surrounded by golden beaches, with beautiful waves and epic sunsets. Feel the laid-back vibe as soon as you arrive in this chilled out surf town. Look out for road signs covered in surf stickers, cute cafes and surfers heading to the waves.
Most of the beaches work on different tides, wind and swell directions, so you’ll always find a wave somewhere if you know where to look. This is where we’re from, so we use our local knowledge to find the best conditions for the day and those secret spots.
As well as surfing the best-known breaks, we’ll also head off the beaten track and take you to places only a few know about.
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. We’ve got another centre at Fistral, making it easily accessible for changing and parking.
GREAT WESTERN BEACH
Wedged between Towan and Tolcarne, this is one of Newquay’s central beaches. It offers consistent, clean conditions in a southwesterly wind. There are plenty of lefts and rights for everyone.
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.
Lucky for us, Cornwall benefits from the warmest air and sea temperatures in the UK. Thanks to both the jet stream in the atmosphere and the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, Newquay has a relatively mild climate all year round. With our varied coastline we have our own little micro-climates from one beach to the next, so make sure you always pack sun cream.
Suggested Personal Kit List
We create a kit package at a discounted rate than you can buy on the high street or online. You may have some kit yourself already and not need everything. This is what we recommend.
Full length wetsuit (winter or summer, hooded or non hooded – time of year dependant)
Wetsuit Boots (time of year dependant)
Wetsuit Gloves (time of year dependant)
Wetsuit Hood or skull cap (if you have a non hooded wetsuit – time of year dependant)
Wetsuit socks (time of year dependant)
Drysuit (time of year dependant)
80L Dry Bag
10L Dry bag
Kayak/Coasteering Shoes – Note : Any grippy lace up old trainers are fine.
Waterproof Phone Case
Gloves (time of year dependant)
Remember, we allow you free use of our equipment such as surfboards, kayaks, SUP’s etc. to enable you to train and progress your skills in any free time during the week and at weekends (as well as during the coaching sessions). This is an unusual privilege on a training course like this but we feel it will offer you an excellent opportunity to up skill throughout the course. This will need to be booked in with the centre for the times that you need it.
There will be a lunch break each day. Please bring your own lunch and snacks to refuel between sessions. Newquay has some great shops and cafes if you prefer so you won’t go hungry! We have discount arrangements with a number of the best ones. Bring fibre filled snacks and fruit to get you through the day.
Newquay is a 15-minute drive from the A30, which links to the M5.
We’re based at Towan Beach. We’ll send you detailed information before your arrival, including parking instructions and maps.
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 available from key European cities.
HOW DO I BOOK AND PAY?
If you’d like to book please click our ‘Book Now’ complete the online form and we will be in touch.
Once paid you’ll be sent an email confirmation and an enrolment form to complete.
Payment plans are available.
pay in full at the time of booking
split the payment into two instalments
split the payment into three instalments
We’ll agree on the instalment dates with you at the time of booking. Generally, we take instalments on the 1st of each month.
We can’t reserve your place until we receive payment (in full or an instalment). You’ll then be sent a trip confirmation and enrolment form.
Can I reserve a spot to think about it for a few days?
Due to this course being in high demand, we have very limited availability. However, we can hold your space for 24 hours without payment.
Can I attend on my own?
Yes definitely! We pride ourselves on being super welcoming and friendly. Most of our guests arrive solo and leave with friends for life.
DO I NEED ANY TECHNICAL SKILLS TO JOIN THE COURSE?
As you can imagine you will be learning lots of technical skills from our team. Some are harder than others and we think surfing may be the most difficult to learn from scratch. 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. Please bear this in mind for any other technical skill that you think could need improvement.
Swimming is important and there will be both sea and pool swimming sessions built into the course. To pass the RLSS NVBLQ you will need to complete 400 metres in an indoor pool in under 8 minutes. In order to complete the SLSGB Surf coach safety and rescue award you need to complete 200 metres in under 5 minutes. This is quite achievable for most standards of swimmer. Note, you only require the Surf Coach Safety and Rescue award in order to work as an instructor for Newquay Activity Centre or Women + Waves and most other activity providers.
Both assessments are towards the end of the course so you will have a decent amount of time to train in the lead up. If you are currently wildly out on those swim times, you may need additional sessions in your own time and/or consider getting some coaching or joining the swim fit sessions at Waterworld.
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. Your classroom layout will follow all relevant social distancing guidelines and will be explained in full on your first day.
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 ask you to self-isolate for the appropriate amount of time (generally two weeks) before joining the course.
It’s important for us to stress that you will not miss out on the course as we are able to offer online learning through platforms such as Zoom while you are self-isolating. Please read our attached Covid policy for full information on this.
WILL THE QUALIFICATIONS I GAIN BE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED?
The National Governing Bodies (NGBs) through which your qualifications will come are UK specific, except for the ISA which is the World Governing Body for surfing. However, because of the UK’s internationally recognised standard of quality, many countries including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Middle-East, Canada and most European countries all readily accept them. Trainees also use their NGBs to get employment with UK companies operating abroad.
WHEN DOES THE COURSE START AND FINISH?
Start time: 09:00 – Finish time: 16:30. Please note, these times are approximate and will be subject to change. For example, we may need to start earlier to catch a tide or we may finish later due to sessions overrunning. We will inform you about this when possible so you can plan ahead. Please let us know on a week by week basis if you won’t be available outside the hours of 09:00- 16:30. It is likely that some learning will also take place during the evening once a week, we will avoid this happening on a Thursday.
We try our utmost to make our instructor courses enjoyable and informative. We hope that our students want to gain as much as possible during this time of learning and that hopefully flexibility will come from the passion to learn. You will get out of this course whatever you put into it and we appreciate your enthusiasm for making the most of the available resources.
WHAT ARE MY CAREER PROSPECTS AFTER THE COURSE?
Newquay Activity Centre and Women + Waves are well-regarded and firmly-established operations within the outdoor adventure industry. This is a sector that is growing both here in the UK and overseas. Having the correct qualifications and experience could potentially see you outdoor-instructing in all four corners of the world! This is your chance to change your life for the better, and bag yourself a healthy, active and fulfilling career on the coast.
After the successful completion of your Outdoor Activity Instructor course, you will be offered an interview for the chance to become part of the team at Newquay Activity Centre, Bodyboard-Holidays and Women + Waves. This will be a paid role forming part of our Instructor teams.
Newquay Activity Centre holds instructor exchange programmes with an activity centre in New Zealand so it is possible to live the endless summer, moving from one side of the world to the other. There are also other international surf schools and centres that we share staff with and can help you to build a career of international work if that is the way that you want your career to go.
If you’ve set your sights elsewhere, there are many other options including contract and freelance careers. The beauty of this course is that it gives you the tools to make ‘work’ work for you! We suggest spending as much time experiencing as many different activities as you can; this is a great way of finding out where your passion lies.
Is there one particular area that you wish to explore more? Do you want to work abroad and travel the world? Are you happy just being outside as much as possible? Do you want to head down the management route? Maybe you want to open your own centre? Our course is designed to help you explore the options and guide you into making the right decision.
It is for you to answer the question: What do you want to do?
DO I NEED MY OWN EQUIPMENT?
Due to the nature of the job we can appreciate there’s some pretty specialist equipment that not everybody will own. If you already have some of your own equipment (such as a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet etc) that will help massively. However, don’t worry if this is all totally new to you; we’ll help you order the best equipment at the best price.
We can also appreciate that costs add up and that you may need to delay investing in your equipment until a little later on. If this is the case, our helpful instructors will be able to sign over Newquay Activity Centre equipment for you to borrow during the course. This is to be kept safe and taken care of until the time comes to return it. Any loss or damage to the kit will be charged accordingly.
Leading up to the end of the course and beyond, we do advise that students begin building their own selection of good quality outdoor gear appropriate for professional use. If you are well equipped to start work straight away you will feel more comfortable and confident in your ability. In addition, NAC have close links with some of the top outdoor equipment brands, with pro equipment deals available to trainees.
HOW WILL WE TRAVEL TO THE SURF?
Our HQ is situated within walking distance to many of the sites we will be using throughout the course. We are located in Newquay town centre with lots of paid and unpaid parking options close to us. We are also just a short walk to both Towan and Fistral beaches, with many surf shops and cafés nearby.
On some days it will be necessary to venture further afield to make use of the conditions and the environment. On these days we encourage our students to car share as much as possible (please note our Covid guidelines). This helps to lower our carbon footprint and to split the cost of fuel. If you are happy to take fellow students in your vehicle then please let our instructors know. Travelling won’t be necessary every day but widening our activity net on the odd day will help to expose you to new surroundings and landscapes.
Our Newquay Activity Centre van will be fully loaded to supply these trips with the equipment they need, if you are struggling for space in your vehicle please let us know and it may be possible to arrange something in advance.
WHAT PERSONAL SKILLS DO I NEED?
You’ll need :
Patience and the ability to work well with others
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
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
Cover for Public Liability will be in place whilst you partake in activities with NAC, this to a limit of 5 million pounds. We have been asked by some pupils if you need further insurance. Personal Accident cover is available, similar to Travel Insurance (injuries due to accidents) this is something participants can acquire themselves by looking online. Insurance is a topic covered during the course with 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?
CAN I SEE MORE OF THE ACCOMMODATION?
Yes, please click on the ‘VIDEOS’ tab and look at the videos of our apartments.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE ON THE COURSE?
There will generally be between 12 and 16 pupils, with multiple instructors. You’ll often be broken down into smaller groups.
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 +44 (0) 1637 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 are payable as follows:
Over 12 weeks – deposit only (one third of the total weekend price)
36 days to 12 weeks – 50% of total cost
21-35 days – 75% of total cost
Under 20 days – 100% of total cost
Cancellation may fall under the terms and conditions of your holiday insurance policy and you may be able to claim.