Professional Instructor Training Course 2020

Fast Track Watersports Instructor Training Course starting this October

  • October 2020 – March 2021
  • 3 days per week: Monday – Wednesday
  • Free additional use of equipment for personal development
  • £3,500 (Non residential)

Introduction to Watersports

The watersports industry offers exciting and varied opportunities for qualified instructors which could be part of a long term career plan, gap year or career break.

In order to gain employment as a watersports instructor you are required to hold professional qualifications. These are recognised national governing body (NGB) instructor awards through various organisations such as the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Canoeing (BC) and Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI). The high quality of the training provided under these schemes will be recognised wherever you work in the world, from a local watersports instructor to a captain of a super yacht, these qualifications will give you infinite career opportunities.

For those who are passionate about watersports and are keen to pass on their knowledge, the possibilities are boundless, from working at a beach club in Greece to working on a tropical Caribbean island or being part of a super yacht crew to teaching in a small Centre in Cornwall

Why study watersports in Cornwall?

Cornwall is a hub for outdoor activities, with some of the UK’s best locations for watersports right on our doorstep. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved with other outdoors activities such as climbing, walking and the ever-growing mountain bike scene in Cornwall.
This is a mere snapshot of the opportunities available to students locally, so with an industry experiencing such growth both in the UK and abroad, now is the time to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field.

Course Location

Stithians Lake is a picturesque lake set in West Cornwall.  Its location makes it perfect for watersports due to the low surrounding grounds and clean winds that make it renowned within the sailing and windsurfing communities. There are also some great sheltered bays which offer great spots for a variety of paddle sports from stand up paddleboarding to kayaking and canoeing.

The activity centre is open all year round; it is busiest from Easter to the end of October but has a steady flow of watersports enthusiasts all year round. It is a Royal Yachting Association recognised sailing, powerboat and windsurfing centre with AALA accreditation. The centre also offers kayak and stand up paddleboard tuition as well as a variety of team building and educational sessions.

About the Course

This course is aimed at people who would like to get into the outdoor industry, specifically watersports. The minimum age to participate on this course is 18 and there really is no upper age limit. So, if you are looking for a career change or you are just starting out on your carer journey this course is perfect.

It is an intensive professional instructor training course which runs from October to March. The aim is for students to graduate with three globally recognised instructor qualifications in dinghy sailing, windsurfing and kayaking/SUP as well as various other useful skills.

The course will run 3 days per week Monday – Wednesday 0900 – 1630 each day. There is also the opportunity to use the centre equipment for personal development (safety cover will be available) there is some degree of flexibility and this can be arranged at the start of each week.
These qualifications allow the successful students to gain employment in the watersports industry worldwide. The course is based at Stithians Lake, near Falmouth, Cornwall and teaches the foundation skills of powerboat handling and first aid, leading to the basic disciplines of windsurfing, dinghy sailing and kayaking.

The course then concentrates on improving skills and concludes with the instructor course for each discipline. All qualifications will be valid for both coastal and inland use.

What Will I Study?

We will also teach you the foundation skills in powerboating and first aid and you will receive the relevant qualifications in these which are an essential part of gaining your instructor qualifications.

The course then concentrates on improving skills and working on higher level modules. This personal development with the various disciplines all leads to the final instructor courses. All qualifications will be valid for both coastal and inland use.

Teaching and Learning

The maximum number of participants on this course is six so we are able to offer a very personal teaching experience from our small team of experienced instructors. The course combines both practical and classroom-based sessions to allow development in all areas.
Initially we will teach you the basic skills of windsurfing, dinghy sailing and paddlesports. We will follow the syllabuses laid down by the various NGB’s and provide you with logbooks to track your progress.

Our Team

Our centre team has a huge combined experience of working in the industry both in the UK and abroad

You will be taught by senior instructors who have worked their way up from junior participants in the various activities to becoming instructors, senior instructors, chief instructors and centre managers.

They have seen the industry from all angles so have the knowledge and experience to ensure you can learn the skills required to become a great instructor. They will mentor you all the way through your journey from learning basic skills to completing your instructor course.

As well as helping you achieve your goal of becoming an instructor, they will also be able to give you a good insight into working in different areas of the industry and help connect you with employers.

Qualifications and Assessments

As an employer of watersports instructors ourselves we understand what is required by the  industry in terms of instructor qualifications. Therefore, we aim to ensure that all participants come away from the course with as many Instructor Qualifications as possible whilst still maintaining the high standards of the various National Governing Body’s. This ensures participants have the best chance of securing employment in the industry after the course.

The table below shows the full list of qualifications with links to further information for some elements

RYA Level 2 Sailing RYA Windsurf Intermediate Non Planning
RYA Better Sailing Windsurf Skill Development
RYA Seamanship Skills RYA Start Windsurf Instructor
RYA Sailing with Spinnakers RYA Powerboat Level 2
RYA Day Sailing RYA First Aid
RYA Start Racing RYA Safe and Fun Safeguarding
Instructor Development VHF Radio Operator
Pre-Entry Sailing Assessment BC Foundation Safety & Rescue Test
RYA Dinghy Instructor BC Paddle sport Instructor
ASI L1 SUP (Personal Skill) ASI L2 SUP (Personal Skill)
RAFT Building In House Training Intro to equipment maintenance (In house)
Biosecurity Training

The prerequisites for this course are the following qualifications or equivalent experience.

⦁ RYA Start Sailing
⦁ RYA Start Windsurfing
⦁ Some basic kayak and SUP skills

If you don’t have the above, don’t worry we can offer these for a special price before the start of the course. If you are not local to us there are lots of centres around the UK where you can complete this training.

You can find more information about some of the training schemes below

RYA Adult Sailing Scheme

Download PDF 

RYA Adult Windsurf

Download PDF 

BC Paddlesport Instructor

Download Guide

To ensure your best possible chance to gain all the instructor qualifications listed we recommend you take up our offer of additional time on the water for personal development.

Assessment for personal skills will be carried out on an ongoing basis by our course instructors. This will be backed up by logbooks and certificates issued on behalf of the NGB’s. We will also have regular group and 1:1 reviews to ensure everyone is on track and to see if there are any particular areas to develop.

Final instructor courses will be run by highly experienced trainers and coaches from the relevant NGB’s.

Entry Criteria

There are no academic qualifications needed for enrolment on this course just an enthusiasm to learn new things. If you are considering this course you will probably already have an interest in the outdoors.

It’s useful to have some basic experience in some of the activities so we ask you to have completed RYA Start Sailing and Windsurfing and have done some basic kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.

if you haven’t done these courses, we can offer you a discounted rate to complete these courses with us prior to the start of the course.

What Can I Do Next and moving towards employment?

The course is designed so that the successful candidates will have all the qualifications necessary to start their career in the industry. South West Lakes has five activity centres across the South West and candidates can apply to work with us over the summer or we can help with advice on working for other companies both in the UK and abroad

With qualifications in watersports it is possible to get jobs worldwide and many people choose to work abroad for their first few seasons to build their experience and see new places.

The following are some examples of opportunities for employment after the course

Apply to join the wider South West Lakes Team at our centres throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

If you have a passion for the outdoors or watersports, enjoy teaching and helping others then we would like to hear from you. With a range of exciting opportunities available at our activity centres. During our summer season we deliver activities such as archery, paddle boarding, kayaking, high ropes and windsurfing.

We pride ourselves in delivering the highest standard of customer service so excellent communication skills are certainly advantageous. Our Activity Centres can offer flexible working hours and provide a fantastic working environment whilst allowing you to develop your knowledge and experience.

Canoe/Kayak Instructor – USA
Make a splash in the USA by working as a Canoe/Kayak instructor. You will get the opportunity to enjoy the most amazing, fulfilling and challenging time you can imagine!

Paddle sports Instructors – UK, France & Italy
Join a team of Paddlesport instructors to deliver taster activity sessions to children and adults in the UK, France and Italy

Watersports Instructors – Greece
Become a dinghy or windsurfing instructor delivering beginner and intermediate courses at beach clubs in Greece

Open Days

We don’t have a set open day as we like to meet people individually. If you would like to arrange a visit to the centre to have a look at the facilities and talk to us more about the course, please contact us. We can even get you out on the water. Full kit can be provided.

What will it cost and finance

The cost of the course is £3,500 which includes all tuition, logbooks, certificates and instructors’ courses.

To secure your place a deposit of £500 is required and then the remaining balance is payable six weeks prior to the start of the course. There is also an instalment option available.

Additional costs
Any handbooks you may be interested in – Available at cost price
Memberships to NGB’s such as RYA, BC and ASI – £150 approximately
Personal clothing – As a minimum you will require a pair of good quality wetsuit boots. We can supply a basic range of other clothing to get you started from our centre kit. We can then advise you on the best kit to keep you warm and comfy during your training. We can even offer the same discount to you as our own team.


We do not have any accommodation at the Centre but are more than happy to help you find some accommodation locally. This helps us to keep the cost of the course as low as possible and enables people to find accommodation that suits them.

The lively university town of Falmouth is only a short drive away and offers some good accommodation options and there are also options closer to the actual centre.

How to apply and further information

If you would like further information, please send us an email or give us a call on 01209 860301. We can then discuss the course in more detail with you and arrange a time for you to come and visit the centre.

Why Stithians Lake?

You will be immersed in centre life and be part of the team from day one. Being based at an operational centre means that you will learn about real life scenarios, health and safety, working with all people of all ages, equipment maintenance and many other things that just are not possible in a regular classroom.

You will be able to practice your teaching skills with real groups whilst having the security of the centre team to help and guide you. During the course you will also have the opportunity to volunteer as a trainee instructor and assist with our junior, adult and club sessions.

The fully equipped lecture rooms are literally just a stone’s throw away from the water, which make it a perfect training location and gives a high degree of flexibility to balance practical and classroom session.

On successful completion of this course candidates will have gained sufficient qualifications to be able to apply for the position of watersports instructor throughout the world.