Surf Education


The Junior Development Program (Surf Education) is the formal educational aspect of Junior Surf Lifesaving and must be completed by all participants in Junior Activities every season. Our nippers learn basic skills such as checking out the patrol members of the club and understanding their duties, knowing what is in the surf club premises, understanding the importance of resuscitation and life saving skills. Each age group has a number of topics to learn and results in appropriate certificates.

U6 Surf Play 1

Focus is on play, participation and fun.  Basic safety pratices during activities, beach environment, sun smart guidlines, 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.

U7 Surf Play 2

Continued focus is on play, participation and fun. Introduction to Surf Life Saving, personal safety, Ecosurf, Sun Safety (Slip, Slop, Slap and Slide), surf conditions and hazards, surf safety, patrols/flags, wading confidence, beach flags, beach sprints/relays.

U8 Surf Aware 1

Focus is on understanding, identifying and demonstrating sunsmart 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; bodyboarding, wading, dolphin-diving, beach sprint starts and beach flags.

U9 Surf Aware 2

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 1

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 2

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 1

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 2

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.