How To Become A Surf Instructor?

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A Kook’s Guide to: How to become a surf instructor?

By Beatrice Cook, Surf Instructor at the Newquay Activity Centre

After returning to Newquay from a winter away in the tropics, my thoughts quickly turned to how my summer season would pan out. Shying away from life back in hospitality, and with my love for surfing flourishing, a desire to spread the stoke took shape, and I began to wonder how to become a surf instructor, and how I could possibly become qualified.

By chance, a friend of mine recommended Newquay Activity Centre to be my first port of call for pursuing this exciting career. The centre’s professional and widely-renowned reputation assured me that this was the right school to go through on how to become a surf instructor.

Following a meeting with NAC’s owner and director, Rob Barber, I was quickly enrolled on to an ISA Level 1 Surf Coach course for the following weekend. Hosted by Barrie Hall, owner of Surf Coach Academy, myself and a fellow new NAC recruits, Renato Dos Santos (Brazil) and Georgia Lewis (Australia), were put through our instructing paces. This particular surf instructor course was not only about analysing our own surfing abilities, but also finding out how well we could deal with group scenarios, furthering our knowledge of surf coaching techniques, building our confidence, and providing the correct environment for beginner surfers. On top of all that, it showed us how to make our future surf lessons as safe and as fun as possible!

In order to become a fully qualified surf coach, all candidates need to have the relevant lifeguarding qualification. Following our successful completion of the surf instructor course, Rob Barber then liased with Mark Kelly of Four Elements Adventures to set up a Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award, in association with Surf Lifesaving GB (SLSGB). Through the course, we learnt the necessary lifesaving prerequisites; this included confidently performing board rescues and other rescue techniques, a 200m swim and beach run, in depth studies of beach safety and First Aid, CPR and lifeguarding signals, as well as how to apply this within a surf lesson. Personally, having had no previous surf-lifesaving history.

After a demanding yet extremely rewarding week, myself, Georgia and Renato were pleased to learn we had passed all elements of both the surf instructor course and lifeguarding qualification.

With the school holidays rapidly approaching, the final prerequisite for how to become a surf instructor was to complete twenty hours of shadowing surf lessons. This was quickly achieved through working and logging our hours through the Newquay Activity Centre. We shadowed lessons with the centre’s senior coaches (including that of English Surfing champion Johnny Fryer), gathering useful tips and ideas for future sessions, as well as being shown how a professional yet fun lesson should be delivered. We all also took the opportunity to follow some coasteer assistant training with the Activity Centre. We learned new skills about entering and exiting the water, rescues, currents and group management skills.

Completing the surf instructor and lifeguard courses was genuinely one of my greatest achievements to date. Thanks to Rob Barber and his dedicated team, the three of us successfully passed both external and in-house training. Becoming a surf instructor is without a doubt the most exhilarating and fun job I have ever had, and through Newquay Activity Centre, myself and my fellow coaches are set for the best summer ever!

So if you’ve ever wondered How to become a surf instructor? and wish to live the dream lifestyle, getting paid to surf and travel, then get in contact with the Newquay Activity Centre. With more than 20 years in the industry we can organize the very best courses for becoming a fully qualified surf instructor, bodyboard coach or beach lifeguard.

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