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Children who join Surf Club can look forward to having fun, meeting friends and learning surf skills that will enable them to progress to competent Surf Life Savers.

Age groups remain a minimum age of 5 years (Green Caps) up to a maximum age of 13 years (U/14) on a seasonal basis. The age group for the season is determined as at midnight on the 30th September at the commencement of that season

Listed below are the age groups members will be in for the 2023/2024 season if they are born between the following dates.

1st October 2017 to 30th September 2018 U6 (Surf Play One)
1st October 2016 to 30th September 2017 U7 (Surf Play Two)
1st October 2015 to 30th September 2016 U8 (Surf Aware One)
1st October 2014 to 30th September 2015 U9 (Surf Aware Two)
1st October 2013 to 30th September 2014 U10 (Surf Safe One)
1st October 2012 to 30th September 2013 U11 (Surf Safe Two)
1st October 2011 to 30th September 2012 U12 (Surf Smart One)
1st October 2010 to 30th September 2011 U13 (Surf Smart Two)
1st October 2009 to 30th September 2010 U14 (SRC)


Please note: Proof of age/birth certificate must be shown for all new children joining a Surf Club or for any child that has not produced a birth certificate.

U/6 and U/7 members may participate in activities on an educational basis only.

U9 and U10 nippers are required to use a foam nipper board.

U11 – U13 nippers are required to use a short fibreglass board with the U14’s progressing to long fibreglass boards.

  • U6-7's - Green caps

  • U8's - Royal blue caps

  • U9's - Flouro Pink caps

  • U10's - Purple caps

  • U11's - Bright Blue caps

  • U12's - Gold caps

  • U13's - Citrus caps

  • U 14's - Red caps


The age manager will instruct the children through the appropriate theory. It is here the children learn surf safety skills, resuscitation, basic first aid and the concept of surf life saving. These awards must be achieved before any member can compete at Branch, Country or State Championships.

Age Managers often utilize ‘wet weather’ days for those learning sessions, and quite often parents attending also benefit from the lessons. Upon successful completion of the relevant program an appropriate SLSA Surf Education Certificate is awarded.

Surf Education is a program designed to improve children’s knowledge and skills in a number of areas relating to surf awareness and safety. Year by year the children will be introduced to simple concepts such as recognising patrolled areas through to the more advanced resuscitation and life saving skills. After completion children will be awarded a certificate. The modules learnt by each age group are as follows


U6 & U7 – Surf Play
Surf Play Focus is on play, participation and fun. Basic safety practices during activities, beach environment, sun smart guidelines, the importance of having an adult with them at the beach, what a lifesaver is and what they do, wading, beach sprinting and beach flags 

U8 – Surf Aware
One Focus is on understanding, identifying and demonstrating sun smart guidelines and dangers that relate to themselves, as well as what it means to feel safe, recognising emergency situations and how to get help, the beach environment and communities surf lifesavers operate in, surf sports skills focus on; body boarding, wading, dolphin-diving, beach sprint starts and beach flags.

U9 – Surf Aware
Two Personal Safety Networks are introduced so participants are comfortable asking for help; impact of surf lifesavers on the beach, introduction to safety tips and the ability to identify hazardous surf conditions, begin to use a nipper board, basic board positioning and paddling, body surfing, sand running technique and diving for a beach flag.

U10 – Surf Safe
One Identify surf club officials, water conservation, sun safety consequences of skin damage, learn about rips, recognising unsafe behaviours and relating these areas to preventative actions, introduction to resuscitation and CPR on a manikin, introduction to rescue techniques using body boards to assist distressed swimmers and experience rescue tubes, surf sports skills focusing on; entering and negotiating the surf on a board and beach relay baton changes.

U11 – Surf Safe
Two Participants are encouraged to persist when needing help, energy conservation, recognising ‘at risk’ people and recognising and managing patients suffering from a range of basic first aid cases, how to perform CPR working towards a Resuscitation Certificate, interpersonal and beach signage communication, surf sports skills focusing on; board dismounts, catching waves on a board, board relay, surf swimming techniques, crouching beach sprint starts and ironman/ ironwoman and cameron relay transitions.

U12  – Surf Smart
One Learn about rights and responsibilities as a member of SLSA, how weather impacts the beach environment, on skin cancer and staying fit and healthy, the role of patrols, managing rips and using them to assist in rescues, work towards a Basic Emergency Care Certificate (as well as a Resuscitation Certificate), more signals, board rescue, rolling under a wave on a board, diving under large waves, beach sprint arm and leg drive and beach flags race strategies.

U13 – Surf Smart Two
SLSA Member Safety and Wellbeing Policy, global warming and climate change impact on surf life saving, 10 surf safety tips, communicating with beach users, professional emergency services, tube rescue, Basic Emergency Care Certificate (as well as a Resuscitation Certificate), complete basic first aid and resuscitation, participate in an event for each of the disciplines: board race, board rescue, surf race, run-swim-run, beach sprint, beach relay, beach flags, ironman/ ironwoman and cameron relay.

U14 – Surf Life Saving Cert (SRC) *
The Under 14 age group is perhaps the most important age group for juniors. It is the last year of structured junior activities and the first where the junior can start to participate in regular surf lifesaving activities – patrols, open carnivals, etc. A number of skills and knowledge lessons are provided through the structured junior development program that pathway towards the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC). The SRC is the introductory award for patrolling surf lifesavers and allows the recipient to take part in beach patrols. A member must be 13 years of age to sit the examination for this award. Completion of this award is a minimum requirement for participation in surf sports competition as an Under 15 (and in some instances as an Under 14).

Most Under 14 members will complete this award as part of their regular junior activities. 
(* Assessment of SRC can only be completed by an approved Assessor)

All members are required to gain their respective Surf Education award for their age group every season prior to 31 December.

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