Category Archives: safety

Innovate and SUP: Surf Steps welcomes the first Polish squad to the ISA FWSUP Instructor Course

By Anna Nadolna

From (Edited by Surf steps).

With the world in lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the transition towards digital, organisations had to adjust their business models and start investing in digital-first strategies. From the world’s most iconic SUP races such as MOLOKAI TO OAHU becoming a global virtual event with a welcoming motto “Anyone. Anywhere. Anything Goes” to a Zoom-powered, SUP-specific training – The SUP industry went online too.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) also responded to these challenges by developing and introducing new guidelines for the online delivery of the ISA Education Courses for surf and SUP instructors, judges and enthusiasts around the globe.

These guidelines allowed for ISA Coaching and Instructing Courses to be delivered with a blended approach of both virtual instruction and an extended timeframe for the practical requirements for certification.

Following the successful delivery of the virtual ISA Surf Level 1 and ISA Flat Water SUP Courses in the UK and with significant interest from the international SUP community, Surf Steps ISA Course Presenter Andy Joyce, ran the ISA Flat Water SUP Instructor Course this past weekend for a group of Polish and English SUP riders where four participants were from Poland alone.

Andy said: “It’s been an extremely challenging year, I ran my 1st Online virtual course with only 4 days’ notice! There was so much hard work developing online resources quickly with concern that it might have been a temporary measure. In the 8 months since we have adapted and overcame the obstacles in delivery and have found the demand for online ISA courses still incredibly strong. I feel so stoked that there are so many positives in this online delivery! We can reach a global audience more easily and cost effectively than before, while still providing a high-quality service. Lastly, the courses help connect the isolated community and a focal point for us all to meet new people. So important in these times!!”

“Attending the ISA Flat Water Instructor Course seems like a natural progression when you want to take people on the water and show them what a great sport stand-up paddleboarding is. For me the course is a step towards an essential and globally recognised qualification consolidating my SUP knowledge and skills,” said Gosia Szłapczyńska, Founder of a lifestyle SUP blog SUPerka. “Taking part in the course delivered by Andy Joyce has demonstrated new ways and techniques of conducting SUP lessons. I did not feel limited by the online format. Everything was clearly presented, explained and discussed in a lovely group of people who share the same passion for the sport.”

“My main focus is SUP racing. I really enjoy competing and I combine it with coaching and beginner SUP lessons. I would like to progress and develop my skills to do it professionally, in an informed, safe manner. I found all of that at the ISA SUP Instructor Course,” said Faustyna Andrzejak, Team Rider for JP Australia Poland. “My impressions? I was stunned that despite all my previous experience I have gained so much hands-on knowledge and new information about paddleboarding! I can’t thank enough the Coach, Andy Joyce and Anna Nadolna, Andy’s former student and now a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor, who supported us with some interpreting!”

“In Poland, the sport of stand-up paddleboarding is just kicking off. I would like to show that it’s a real SPORT ACTIVITY, rather than just an alternative to kayaks, pedalos or pool inflatables. For me SUP is a lifestyle thing I want to share with others, so taking part in the ISA Flat Water Course was the next move for me,” said Dominka Głąb, Co-Founder of a sports and recreation brand, Banana. “Passion is an awesome mechanism that makes us constantly improve our skills and thanks to completing the theoretical part of the course I can move up a gear! The course provided me with a lot of valuable tips and practical information. I’m very happy and I know my future SUP students will be too!”

“I have learnt some new ways to motivate and inspire my future students,” said Paweł Mucha, Founder of a SUP lifestyle blog, SUPer Mucha. “I found the presenter super knowledgeable and approachable and had a great support from the group. I didn’t find the language barrier too difficult as the sessions were delivered in a clear and user-friendly way. Safety and environmental aspects I found at the course are the ones I truly relate to and it’s what motivates me in the sport of SUP.”

“These are unprecedented times, so we are exploring creative and innovative solutions to keep our community active and engaged,” said the ISA President Fernando Aguerre in the April 2020 announcement. Echoing his words and building on the experience of the Polish group, digital capabilities adapted for a training context not only strengthen the sense of a global SUP community but have the potential to further democratise the sport of stand-up paddleboarding.

To find out more about the upcoming ISA Courses, please contact Andy Joyce at or visit

Massive thanks to Anna from Superwhale for all your support during the course and with copy for this article. Check out more of her work at


Post lockdown: First Water Rescue and Safety Course

Walton on Thames, Elmbridge, Surrey August 21-23 2020

8 SUP coaches from Ditton’s Paddle Boarding took part in the first Coach Rescue course since the UK lockdown in March.

The course was hosted at a superb private location right on the banks of the river Thames arranged by Brett Scillitoe, Admiral of Dittons, with Surfing England and SLSGB trainer/assessor Andy Joyce.

Subjects covered included practical skills, safety, communication, risk analysis and assessment, SUP rescue, and First Aid.

The days started with theory and dry land practical sessions, followed in the afternoon by a lot of enjoyable water-based practical sessions in the surprisingly mild temperatures of the summertime Thames.

“It was great to be able to get back to doing what I love, helping people become safer coaches in and on the water and enable them to perform quality rescues in emergency situations. The students finally got the long-waited opportunity to complete the internationally recognised course and showed this in the way they applied themselves during the courses.” Andy Joyce

” Andy was a great instructor and all the students commented on how well he guided them through all parts of the course, with care and consideration. Nothing was ever a bother to go through again. They were all very keen to get going and practice their new skills.” Brett Scillitoe

Surf Steps provide this and other safety courses that are suitable for all watersports users, not just lifesavers and coaches.

If you are interested in any information regarding these, feel free to contact Trainer: Andy ( or Ditton’s Paddle Boarding

Adapt and Overcome #4 Online Surfing England/ISA judging course

Surfing England helped bring some of our wide surfing community together on the evenings of the 13-14 May to take part in an ISA Judging and Officiating course.

In addition to the English course members starting their Judging journey, we had surfers wanting to improve their competition performance and students from Ireland, Norway and China!

Surfing England / ISA  Course presenter and National  Para Surf Team Manager Andy Joyce  hosted the course, in conjunction with Ben Kewell from Glide Surf School 

Academy director Andy Joyce said “I loved running the Judging course online, it’s theory and interactive video based, so works well in the online format. I would thoroughly recommend taking this course if you’re anyway involved in competitive surfing, be it an aspiring judge or official, competing surfer, or even a parent or supporter of one”

A course student reflected on the course:

“Thought the course was excellently presented and the use of the zoom platform was a great option during these difficult times. The breakout room feature was fantastic tool, the ability to see the rest of the course attendees and chat in the breaks was great. Its safe and eco-friendly, means folks can join from overseas without the expense of travel. Worked really well on many fronts. I stayed for most of the heats after and my scores were within a few .2’s or .5’s of the on-screen scores so stoked with that, nice to practice!”

If you want a wide range of #Surf and #SUP coaching, Judging and safety courses you can do from anywhere in the world, click here

Special thanks to all involved in the course for making it happen: The students, Glide Surf School, the ISA and Surfing England for their support!


a student sharing her lesson plan with the class

Adapt and Overcome #3 Online-courses reach across the globe!

Online-courses reach across the globe!

Last week’s ISA Surf Coach course has highlighted other positive aspects of our online courses. We reached out across the globe this time, having students from as far apart as Senegal and Ecuador taking part!

Surf Steps Water Training Academy hosted the course, in conjunction with Ben Kewell from Glide Surf School 

Academy director Andy Joyce said “It’s amazing the global reach our online courses are having. When you can have people from different continents meeting each other from their homes, the opportunities for networking are immense! In addition, the courses allow people in lockdown to socialise and do something constructive. It feels great to be making a small, but positive difference in these times!”

One course student wrote:

“The two sessions were very interesting, and we enjoyed them a lot. It was cool having people from everywhere around the world. It was very well organized and I loved the break out groups! It was really fun to hear and share experiences with the others in smaller groups:-)”

If you want a wide range of #Surf and #SUP coaching, judging and safety courses you can do from anywhere in the world, click here

Special thanks to all involved in the course for making it happen: Glide Surf School, the ISA and Surfing England for their support!


Adapt and Overcome #2

ISA Online courses continue!

On the back of running the first International Surfing Association (ISA) Judging and Surf Coach online courses, we successfully ran the Premiere ISA Flat-Water Stand-Up   Paddle Board (FWSUP) Coaching course last weekend.

The Scottish Surfing Federation (SSF) engaged Surf Steps Water Training Academy to run the course for 6 of their members in lock-down all over Scotland, ably assisted by Ben Kewell from Glide Surf School. We were fortunate to also have viewers from all over the globe, including representatives from the surfing Federations of Denmark and India.

Our new course resources and structure, based on feedback from the other online courses, allowed us to deliver the FWSUP course in a more enjoyable and satisfying format.

If you want a wide range of #Surf and #SUP coaching, judging and safety courses you can do from anywhere in the world, click here

Special thanks to all involved in the course for making it happen: The Scottish Surfing Federation, Glide Surf School  and to the  DSRF and the ISA for their support!


1st Online delivery of International Surfing Association courses.

Adapt and Overcome!

Last week we successfully ran the first International Surfing Association (ISA)  Judging and Surf Coach online courses. Great effort from all involved: developing new resources, doing the pre-course preparations and adapting to the new online course environment!

If you want a wide range of #Surf and #SUP coaching, judging and safety courses you can do from anywhere in the world, click here

Special thanks to: DSRF, Glide Surf School and the ISA for making this happen!!


NEW: 2020 Course dates and prices

Discounts available for multi-course and group bookings!

I can arrange other courses and dates on request, ideal for centres, schools and large groups. Contact us for more details.


20-22           Surf Coach rescue  £295, Bournemouth

22                LG Proficiency exam (with half-day refresher training.) £80 (£120) Bournemouth

23-24           level one SURF  £350, Bournemouth


2-3             level one SURF  £350, Bournemouth

4-6            Surf Coach rescue  £295, Bournemouth

5                LG Proficiency exam (with half-day refresher training.) £80 (£120) Bournemouth

6-7            Flat water SUP £295, Bournemouth


15-16        level one SURF  £350, Bournemouth

17-19        Surf Coach rescue  £295, Bournemouth

18               LG Proficiency exam (with half-day refresher training.) £80 (£120) Bournemouth

19-20          Flat water SUP £295, Bournemouth

To book, go to go to the booking calendar. Select the dates and the tab “get qualified” .

Please contact us for further queries or info.

Upcoming Watersports Courses at Surf Steps

Hi all! Just a quick info post about the upcoming courses this autumn at Surf steps!

17-18 Oct       level one SURF  £295, Bournemouth

18-20 Oct       Surf Coach rescue  £295, Bournemouth

20 Oct             LG Proficiency exam (with half-day refresher training.) £80 (£120) Bournemouth

21 Oct             Open water SUP    £190

4-5 Nov      Level 2 Surf Coach £395, Bournemouth

For further queries or info? Please contact us

To book, go to go to the booking calendar. Select the date the course starts and then click on the course tab!