Your first lesson is primarily just about getting you used to being on a board and paddling it – our main goal is simply to ensure that you have a great time and enjoy yourself. Your brain is not yet ready to take on the challenges of fine tuning your paddling stroke, let alone tackling the challenges of the multitude of stances and turning techniques that the competent paddleboarder needs to know.  This is why it’s so valuable to get some lessons and guidance into the Progressor phase of your paddling.  If you’re not local to the Bay of Islands then we also offer video coaching which is actually a fantastic way to work on improving your technique. We have clients all over the world benefiting from this. Click here for more details.

Progressor lessons start off with a one-to-one with our senior instructor, who will discuss what you are looking to get out of the sport, and then take you on the water to see you paddle and assess what needs to be worked on. Subsequent sessions can then be targetted specifically towards achieving these goals. If you are specifically looking to work towards SUP surfing or racing then we will use our vast array of boards to challenge you progressively more in this particular direction (ie; if you want to learn to race then we will introduce you to progressively faster and more directional boards.)

Whatever level you’re at, you will benefit from improving your paddle stroke. There is ALWAYS room to improve your stroke! The paddle stroke is actually a very complex manouevre, and there isn’t any one ‘right’ way to do it (just as there isn’t one right way of walking, running, or any other repetitive motion activity). However, if you try and teach yourself you will almost certainly pick up bad habits and incorrect techniques. This is why it is so worthwhile taking some progressor lessons, where your instructor will be able to fine tune your paddling technique to match your bodyweight, shape, height, age and fitness level.

Our chief instructor Bill Dawes is also the lead technique coach for magazine, check out some of his thoughts on learning technique on this video:

Other important progressor techniques include turning, stances, bracing and steering strokes, understanding board and paddle design, and understanding your environment (water and weather awareness). If you are new to watersports then a few of these improver sessions will equip you with a wealth of vital knowledge that could one day save your life!

If you’re looking to get into racing or surfing then again, it is vital that you are doing the basics right. Or indeed, if you are already racing or surfing, and looking to improve your performance – come and see us. Every successful athlete needs coaching – you can’t do it on your own. We can help you – we have coached SUP racers to podium level at the National Championships!

We generally find that progressor sessions last about an hour, as after that there’s danger of brain overload! However, if you really want to give it your all, then do check out our BIG DAY OF SUP courses, a full day of paddleboarding learning and fun.

Progressor sessions can be up to 3 in a group, if all the clients are of similar ability and have similar goals.

1 person: $80

2 people: $140 ($70 per person)

3 people: $180 ($60 per person)

Progressor Session FAQ

Absolutely! However, if you haven’t yet purchased your gear, we’d strongly suggest not buying until you have had a few lessons. We can supply appropriate gear at this stage, and most importantly, we can help you decide on what will be the right purchases for your requirements – try before you buy!

This is particularly applicable if you are looking to get into racing or sup surfing. If you buy without knowing exactly what you need, you are pretty much guaranteed to get it wrong. Sadly, we encounter this all the time!

Initialy, we’ll start on flat water, so we can work on technique without the distractions of dealing with chop or surf. From then on we’ll use locations that provide conditions appropriate for the lesson.

At some point, yes. Particularly if you are looking to get into surfing, then falling off, dealing with the board in the water and getting back on again quickly and efficiently will be absolutely vital. However, we can usually schedule getting-wet lessons in advance, so you can bring a wetsuit or specific clothing for those sessions.