The SUP SAFE Course

This safety education course covers how to choose and use your safety equipment, understanding the conditions, and what to do when things go wrong.  It’s a fun and easy way to really improve your general water knowledge.

There are two ways you can access this course:

  1.  Online
    The online version of the course is broken down into bite sized chunks and offers a huge resource of information, videos, pix, analysis and commentary on all aspects of SUP Safety. You can work through the course lesson by lesson at your own pace and convenience, or just simply dip in to the bits that you want to find out about.  The online course is COMPLETELY FREE, and you can sign up for it right here.
  2. In the classroom
    The classroom course will be presented by one of our trained SUP SAFE presenters around New Zealand, and delivered in an interactive way, giving you examples and scenarios to work with in order to make it as interesting as possible and maximise your learning. You’ll get some good information to take away, as well. Click here to find your nearest course.

Whichever version of the course you do, you will learn about:

  • Choosing the right leash for the conditions, and what could go wrong

  • Choosing the right PFD for the conditions, how to use and service them, what could go wrong

  • Communication on the water

  • Other safety options and equipment

  • Understanding wind direction and strength

  • Understanding tides and currents

  • How to interpret weather forecasts

  • Planning a SUP trip

  • The SUP SAFE code

  • What could go wrong and how to deal with possible emergency scenarios

There may be a small charge for the classroom course, which will depend on the local presenter (as some have support from local councils etc in order to run them FOC, while others have to recoup costs for renting rooms etc), but should not be more than $40 per person.  A small outlay in return for knowledge that may save your life!

Check out also the SUP RESCUE course.  With the skills you will learn in this 2.5 hour practical and classroom course, you will be equipped to save someone from drowning. It’s a vital skill that every stand up paddleboarder should have. Unfortunately, preventable drowning incidents are all too common around the New Zealand waters, and you never know when you might come across someone in trouble.

A group of us just completed the latest course here in Dunedin. Was really good to attend, well worth it
Hamish T


There will be courses run all over New Zealand throughout the summer.  Courses will be scheduled, and/or on demand – if there are enough takers then the local course presenter will put one on. Contact your local presenter to put your name on their list! Or if there isn’t a course near you, check out the online course, which is completely free and you can do at your own pace .

Where the course presenter is shown as TBA, this is because the training is still under way. If you would be interested in a course in this area please let us know, and you will be contacted as soon as the presenters are ready to begin running the course.

Location Presenter Email Phone
Far North Northland Paddleboarding 027 777 1035
Whangarei SUP Bros 022 644 9613
Orewa tba contact us tba
Auckland SUP Well 021 289 0221
Cambridge tba contact us tba
Raglan tba contact us tba
Bay of Plenty East Coast Paddlers 0274 510 579
Nelson/Marlborough Moana Paddle Nelson 0272727259
Golden Bay Golden Bay Kayaks 03-525 9095
Christchurch tba contact us tba
Wanaka/Queenstown Paddle Wanaka 0800 926 925
Dunedin Water Cooled Sports 03-479 2206

More presenters will be added to this list very soon.  If there is not a presenter in your area please contact us to request a course and we’ll see what we can do, or if you’re OK with online learning, check out the online course, which is completely free and you can complete at your own pace whenever you like.

We are hugely grateful to Water Safety New Zealand for the funding to create this course, and Maritime New Zealand Safer Boating Forum for the funding to train the course presenters around New Zealand.