Lesson 7 – 40 minutes

Learning outcomes

  • Attempt or perform positioning on a nipper board
  • Attempt or perform paddling on a nipper board


  • Nipper Boards
  • Water Safety Personnel (1:5).


  • If you are not confident coaching the skills in this lesson, bring in a surf sports athlete or coach to help deliver the lesson.

Coaching Points


  • Lying in the centre of the board.
  • Chin slightly raised.
  • Feet in water (act as training wheels).

  • Paddle in a slow freestyle action.
  • Reach out past the nose of the board.
  • Pull through along the board and exit hand when it is level with the hip.


  • Draw the shape of a board in the sand or lay a board on the sand (digging a hole where the fin is so the board lies flat).
  • Demonstrate to the participants the correct body positioning on the board.
  • Demonstrate and discuss what will happen if too far forward or too far back on a board (too far forward you will nose dive, too far back, and you will find it hard to catch waves).

Activity 1

  • Position the participants in a semi-circle and ask them to draw the shape of a board in the sand, each with a board, or lay a board on the sand (digging a hole where the fin is so the board lies flat).
  • Ask participants to position themselves on their board correctly.
  • Walk around the semi-circle and check to see all participants are in the correct position, making adjustments as necessary.


  • Using your demonstration ‘board’, demonstrate the correct paddling technique on the board to the participants

Activity 2

  • Ask participants to practice the correct paddling technique on their ‘boards’.
  • Walk around the semi-circle and check to see all participants demonstrate the correct paddling technique, making adjustments as necessary.

Activity 3

  • Make your way down to knee-depth water with participants and water safety personnel.
  • Ask the participants to get onto their board in the correct position.
  • Walk around the group and check the position of each of the participants.
  • Play some games such as:
    • Who can balance on their board without falling off in 1 minute.
    • Have one participant lying on a board and a partner (or water safety personnel) holding the back of the board trying to shake them off.
    • Finish by getting the participants to practice their paddling in knee-to-hip depth water in an area determined by water safety personnel (at this level it is best to keep participants close to shore as they won’t have the total skills needed to negotiate waves etc).
    • You can set up a course using the water safety personnel that the participants have to paddle around.


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