Outdoor Activity Instructor Course


Outdoor Activity Instructor Course

  • Gain all the outdoor qualifications you need to live the life you love 

  • Duration: Three months (Mondays-Thursdays) 

  • Become qualified to teach bodyboarding, paddlesports, surfing and coasteering

  • Comprehensive training and qualifications in First Aid and beach lifeguarding

  • Gain all the outdoor qualifications you need to live the life you love
  • Duration: Three months (Mondays-Thursdays)
  • Learn to lead activities including bodyboarding, paddlesports and coasteering
  • Comprehensive training in First Aid and beach lifeguarding


Quick Facts

Play Video about Our Aim Outdoor Activity Instructor Course

Quick Facts

  • Guaranteed interview for a lead instructor role 
  • Opportunities for paid flexible work alongside the training course 
  • Purpose-designed pre-course fitness regime 
  • Free equipment use (Surfboards, Bodyboards, Fins, Stand Up Paddleboards, Super SUP etc) 
  • Regular surfing and swimming coaching sessions 
  • Unlimited shadowing hours 
  • Work experience and live group experience 
  • Opportunity to work with Bodyboard Holidays, Newquay Activity Centre and Women + Waves
  • One-to-one skills clinics when required 
  • Final assessment & employment planning 
  • Access to an exchange programme in New Zealand and other international surf camps and activity centres
  • Discounts with Rip Curl, other leading outdoor brands and local businesses

Why become an Outdoor Activity Instructor?

Do you spend your weekends searching for the best barrels only to return to the office again every Monday morning? Does your annual two-week bodyboarding holiday feel like it’s over before it’s even begun? If you love spending time with the sand between your toes and the fresh air in your lungs, then qualifying as an outdoor instructor could take you down the new career path you’ve been dreaming of.

Here at Bodyboard Holidays we know first-hand the benefits of living that laid-back lifestyle year-round. The sun on your face and the ocean breeze in your hair; there aren’t many jobs that come close to providing you with such a high degree of lifestyle happiness. And you don’t have to miss out…

Join us as we team up with Newquay Activity Centre  & the Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy to bring you a one-way ticket towards total career fulfilment. Why should you only get to enjoy your passions during your free time? Who says you can’t make a living doing what you love? Become qualified in the outdoors this year and live your own adventure every single day.

What to expect?

If you like the idea of being surrounded by oceans, mountains, good people and good times, then it’s probable that life as an outdoor instructor is for you. Our Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course is a three-month long adventure programme that ultimately equips you with the skills you need to become an effective outdoor instructor.

You’ll learn how to coach, guide, instruct and save lives at sea using the Newquay coastline as your very fun but very real training ground. During the course you could get the opportunity to shadow our existing instructors during weekend retreats, as well as the opportunity for paid work with our local business partnerships. We’re here to help shape your future in the industry however we can, no matter your desired job role.

During the programme you will gain a wide range of qualifications readying you for a life of enjoyable work in the great outdoors. These will include your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Award, British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award (this will allow you to guide kayak and SUP tours), a Beach Lifeguard Qualification and an award in Outdoor First Aid.

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£5399 per person



Sunset Views Apartment – £600 per person per month

Newquay Bay Apartment – £600 per person per month

  • ISA/Surfing England Level 1 Surf Coach

  • RLSS National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)

  • SLSGB Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award

  • BC Paddlesport leader award (SUP & Kayak)

  • Safeguarding Qualification


  • Level 1 Bodyboard Coach  (In-house)
  • Coasteering Guide Award in accordance with the National Coasteer Charter Syllabus
  • Super Stand Up Paddleboard leader
  • Bushcraft & Foraging
  • Snorkelling and wildlife awareness
  • Incident management, safety and rescue


  • Risk Assessing (including COVID-19 measures)
  • Longevity in the industry & personal development
  • Interview & CV writing skills
  • Coaching barriers and adaptations
  • Team Building and icebreakers
  • Housekeeping (invoicing, time management, professionalism)


  • Purpose-designed pre-course fitness regime
  • Equipment use in and outside of course hours (Surfboards, Stand Up Paddleboards, Super SUP, Bodyboards, Fins etc)
  • Discounts with Rip Curl, leading outdoor brands and local businesses
  • Regular surfing and swimming coaching sessions
  • Unlimited shadowing hours
  • Work experience and live group experience
  • Opportunity to work with Newquay Activity Centre, Women + Waves and Bodyboard Holidays
  • One-on-one skills clinics when required
  • Final assessment & employment planning
  • Guaranteed interview for a lead instructor role at Newquay Activity Centre, Women + Waves or Bodyboard-Holidays
  • Discounted kit package
  • Opportunities for paid flexible work alongside the training course (please ask for details)
  • Access to an exchange program in New Zealand and other international surf camps and activity centres.



  • A video call with trip leader – Here we’ll discuss how to book your flights, insurance and where you will be met on arrival. We’ll cover your objectives, pre-trip planning, dietary requirements, physical preparation, kit list, trip expectations and you’ll have the chance to ask any burning questions about the holiday or bodyboarding in general.
  • Upon completion of the call you will receive the trip leaders direct contact number so that you have a personal, immediate line of communication until arrival in the destination.
  • Bespoke Bodyboard-Holiday preparation fitness video.
  • Bespoke Bodyboard-Holiday preparation Yoga video geared toward bodyboarding flexibility and cramp reduction.
  • If you have footage of your riding, we can offer a pre-trip analysis.


  • A member of our team will be waiting for you in arrivals at the airport, having tracked your flight. Your transfer to our accommodation will include an explanation of the weather and waves forecast for the week, a guide to the local area, useful Portuguese language and complimentary drinks. After a surf stoked week we will return you to the airport in good time for a stress-free check-in.


Our Portuguese bodyboard week comprises 7 nights accommodation in a handpicked, luxury villa in the historic seaside town of Lagos.  Think MTV Cribs… that’s the vibe. 

  • Private room for each guest, some with en-suite or balcony.
  • Swimming pool, large outdoor spaces for chilling out + barbeque area.
  • Spacious, airy living area with pool table, table football, ping pong and 2 x large screen TVs hooked up to Wi-Fi and Netflix.
  • Daily cleaning
  • Quality towels and bed linen
  • Use of washing machine, dryer
  • Self-catering cooking facilities
  • Board/fin storage and wetsuit wash and hang facilities


  • A continental breakfast of cereals, toast, fruit, yoghurts, cheeses, hams, fruit juice, tea and coffee. All dietary requirements catered for.
  • Lunch included – grab bag ‘sack lunch’ to keep you fuelled between breakfast, dinner and your surf sessions.
  • Water refills for your drinking bottles each day.


One of the advantages of visiting Portugal is the excellent yet affordable restaurant options. We take pride in choosing the best coastal eateries for us to enjoy on a nightly basis. Evening meal price not included. Budget 15 euro per day.  This flexibility allows us to eat at a vast selection of coastal locations, near to the surf spots that we will visit, allowing a full flavour of Portugal. Full self-catering option available at the villa.


  • Free use of a varied selection of hand-picked bodyboards that include a broad size range, materials, tail shapes, contours, and channel systems. These will be introduced to some sessions to help expand your knowledge of equipment.
  • A variety of fins to try throughout the trip to establish if you can benefit from a different shape, style, or brand.


  • Every day throughout the week our expert trip leaders will draw upon their collective 40+ years of experience to find the best waves for your ability. This includes all fuel, tolls and parking.
  • Each day we’ll have one long 3 to 4-hour session or this may be split in to two shorter sessions. We work around the tides and daily conditions to guarantee the best waves for our guests.


  • With a such a small group we can ensure personalised one-to-one coaching
  • We will find the waves that suit your objectives discussed in pre-trip zoom call
  • Using the Bodyboard-Holidays Tree of Knowledge, for those with the desire to really improve their riding, we will plot your progression and sign post you through each stage of your bodyboarding development
  • Using our bespoke resource bank of explainer videos we will help you to overcome your bodyboarding challenges
  • Coaching can be optional, if it’s not for you we can focus more on free surfing, photography and good times. It’s your trip, we will facilitate your fun!
  • Max of 6 pupils on the course


  • Land and in water photo and video package to take home with you
  • Daily analysis sessions of the footage to see you improve fast
  • New split screen analysis to break down your riding step by step


Throughout the week we will run several bodyboarding related workshops that are optional to attend.

  • Surf forecasting & travel
  • Equipment latest tech
  • Duck diving and paddling efficiency
  • The secret to dropknee
  • 360 and roll workshop
  • Yoga, stretching and nutrition session
  • Ask Me Anything session (a workshop tailored to your burning questions)


We spend a lot of time bodyboarding, but when it is finished for the day, people’s time is then their own to visit local tourist attractions, surf shops, walk to one of the many beachside cafes or explore Lagos’ old town and marina. We guide you to the areas of local interest.


The evenings are for kicking back, hanging out and eating together.  Watching a stunning sunset at the beach with some cool drinks, or playing pool, table tennis, using the swimming pool or catching the latest bodyboarding film on the TV.

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We Offer 3 Easy Ways To Pay!

  1. Pay In Full – Pay the full amount in one, that’s it your done! (Available online)
  2. 50/50 – Pay 50% deposit and the remaining 50% 8 weeks before the course starts. (Available online)
  3. Payment Plan – Pay an initial deposit and the rest in instalments! (Contact us to set up a plan.  Please note there is a 3% surcharge for this option.)


We can’t guarantee your place until we have received a payment from you.

Once you have made a payment, you’ll then be sent a confirmation email with all details on.

The course is run by our sister companies Newquay Activity Centre and the Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy

Yes definitely! We pride ourselves on being super welcoming and friendly. Most of our guests arrive solo and leave with friends for life.

Due to this course being in high demand, we have very limited availability. However, we can hold your space for 24 hours without payment.

As you can imagine you will be learning lots of technical skills from our team. Some are harder than others and we think surfing may be the most difficult to learn from scratch. However, we have proved this to be achievable for first-time surfers during the course.

If you think you may benefit from a few extra sessions before or during the course, please check out our surf lessons and get in touch, we will discuss how this works. Please bear this in mind for any other technical skill that you think could need improvement.

To work at Newquay Activity Centre as a surf instructor, you need to gain an SLSGB Surf Coach Safety and Rescue Award. In order to complete this award, you need to be able to swim 200 metres in under 5 minutes. This is quite achievable for most standards of swimmers. Please note: at many activity centres you do not need this qualification in order to deliver kayaking, coasteering or stand up paddleboarding sessions.

To help you achieve the right swimming standard, there will be both sea and pool sessions built into the course. 

We also strongly advise you to train in the swimming pool prior to the course.

If you are looking for a career in lifeguarding, you will need to pass the RLSS National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification. To do this you will need to complete 400 metres in an indoor pool in under 8 minutes. Although the NVBLQ is an excellent qualification to achieve, this is only necessary if you are interested in becoming a beach lifeguard. This assessment can be quite tough and will require most people to undertake prior swimming training to achieve the targeted time.

Both assessments are towards the end of the course so you will have a decent amount of time to train in the lead up. If you are currently wildly out on those swim times, you may need additional sessions in your own time and/or consider getting some coaching or joining the swim fit sessions at our local swimming pool.

The National Governing Bodies (NGBs): British Canoeing (BC), Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), Surf Life Saving Great Britain (SLSGB) and International Surfing Association (ISA) are all recognised worldwide.

Because of the UK’s internationally recognised standard of quality, many countries including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Middle-East, Canada and most European countries all look favourably at qualifications gained by award-winning British providers like ourselves. Trainees also use their NGBs to get employment with UK companies operating abroad.

Start time: 09:00 – Finish time: 16:00. Please note that these times are approximate and will be subject to change. For example, we may need to start earlier to catch a tide or we may finish later due to sessions overrunning. We will inform you about this when possible so you can plan ahead. Please let us know on a week by week basis if you won’t be available outside the hours of 09:00- 16:00.


We try our utmost to make our instructor courses enjoyable and informative. We hope that our students want to gain as much knowledge as possible during this time of learning and that hopefully flexibility will come from the passion to learn. You will get out of this course whatever you put into it and we appreciate your enthusiasm for making the most of the available resources.

The outdoor activity industry is a sector that is growing both here in the UK and in many countries around the world. Having the correct qualifications and experience could potentially see you outdoor instructing in all four corners of the world! This is your chance to change your life for the better and bag yourself a healthy, active and fulfilling career on the coast.

After the successful completion of the Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course, you will be offered an interview for the chance to become part of the team at Newquay Activity Centre, Bodyboard-Holidays or Women + Waves. This will be a paid role and you will form part of our instructor team.

Newquay Activity Centre holds an instructor exchange programme with an incredible surfing company in New Zealand. This makes it entirely possible to live the endless summer, moving from one side of the world to the other. There are also other international surf schools and centres that we share staff with so we can help you to build a career of international work if that’s the path you wish to explore.

If you’ve set your sights elsewhere, there are many other options including contract and freelance careers. The beauty of this course is that it gives you the tools to make ‘work’ work for you! We suggest spending as much time experiencing as many different activities as you can; this is a great way of finding out where your passion lies.

Is there one particular area that you wish to explore more? Do you want to work abroad and travel the world? Are you happy just being outside as much as possible? Do you want to head down the management route? Maybe you want to open your own centre? Our course is designed to help you explore the options and guide you into making the right decision.

It is for you to answer the question: What do you want to do?

Due to the nature of the job we can appreciate there’s some pretty specialist equipment that not everybody will own. If you already have some of your own equipment (such as a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet etc) we recommend bringing it with you to use on the course. However, don’t worry if this is all totally new to you; we’ll help you to order the best equipment at the best price.

We can also appreciate that costs add up and that you may need to delay investing in your equipment until a little later on. If this is the case, our helpful instructors will be able to sign over Newquay Activity Centre equipment for you to borrow during the course. This is to be kept safe and taken care of until the time comes to return it. Any loss or damage to the kit will be charged accordingly.

Leading up to the end of the course and beyond, we do advise that students begin building their own selection of good quality outdoor gear appropriate for professional use. If you are well equipped to start work straight away you will feel more comfortable and confident in your ability. In addition, we have close links with some of the top outdoor equipment brands with pro equipment deals available to trainees.

Our HQ is situated within walking distance to many of the sites we will be using throughout the course. We are located in Newquay town centre with lots of paid and unpaid parking options close to us. We are also just a short walk to both Towan and Fistral beaches, with many surf shops and cafés nearby.

On some days it will be necessary to venture further afield to make use of the conditions and the environment. On these days we encourage our students to car share as much as possible (please note our Covid guidelines). This helps to lower our carbon footprint and to split the cost of fuel. If you are happy to take fellow students in your vehicle then please let our instructors know. Travelling won’t be necessary every day but widening our activity net on the odd day will help to expose you to new surroundings and landscapes.

Our Newquay Activity Centre van will be fully loaded to supply these trips with the equipment they need. However, if you are struggling for space in your vehicle please let us know and it may be possible to arrange something in advance.

You’ll need :

  • Patience and the ability to work well with others
  • Enthusiasm to learn and train
  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • Leadership skills
  • To be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • The ability to work on your own
  • Knowledge of the English language
  • To be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • The ability to retain important information
  • The ability to remain calm when faced with new situations

Cover for public liability will be in place whilst you partake in activities with Newquay Activity Centre, this is to a limit of £5 million. Personal accident cover is available, similar to travel insurance (injuries due to accidents etc), this is something participants can acquire themselves by looking online if they wish to purchase. Insurance is a topic covered during the course Q and A sessions so that everyone is clear of how this works in the outdoor industry.

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Travel costs (We may occasionally travel further afield to seek out the best conditions. However, our centre is within walking distances to most sites so this will be kept to a minimum.)
  • Personal equipment
  • Retake fees incurred should they be necessary if you do not pass the initial assessment; you will be given training and support to prepare for each activity’s initial assessment whilst on the course, so please do not be concerned.

We will do our best to place you with people of similar ages, backgrounds and interests. This will vary depending on course participants. You will be sharing a same-sex twin room.

There will generally be ratios of 1:8 (instructor to pupil) for all activity training. However, theory classes may have larger ratios. You’ll often be broken down into smaller groups and all learning will observe the correct social distancing guidelines.

You need to be over 18 to join the course. If you are 65 or over we’d love to chat to you about the course before you book. Please email us to arrange a time and we’ll contact you. Or you can call us on 01637 879571

If you can’t join the course, please let us know as soon as possible via email. Your cancellation notice will start from the date we receive it.

Cancellation charges for the Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy, courses and modules are payable as follows:

  • Over 12 weeks – deposit only
  • 36 days to 12 weeks – 50% of total cost
  • 21-35 days – 75% of total cost
  • Under 20 days – 100% of total cost


Cancellation may fall under the terms and conditions of your holiday insurance policy and you may be able to claim.

Find out more under our terms and conditions.