Surf Sports

Surf sports play a pivotal role in the surf life saving community. First introduced by the movement as a tool to develop and retain surf lifesavers, the intent is to aid in the advancement of skills necessary to carry out Surf Life Saving’s core purpose, saving lives on our beaches. These outcomes remain true of surf sports today with members participating in a variety of events that promote a healthy lifestyle, comradery and sportsmanship – ensuring members are fit, skilled and experienced to patrol our beaches.

Competition begins in U8’s with the number and distance of events increasing as participants progress through the Nippers program until the U14’s season is completed. Junior athletes must gain a relevant award every year and pass a competition skills evaluation test in order to compete every season. Once an athlete has turned 15 and attained the Bronze Medallion Award they can compete as an Open competitor with many more events available to them including ski and surfboat competition. Competitions are held at Club, Branch, State, National and International levels.

The North Coast Branch delivers surf sports carnivals catering for Nippers, Opens, Masters and Surf Boat competitors with thanks to our local surf clubs who host these events. The Branch Championships are the premier events on the annual surf sports calendar which are followed by Country, State and Aussie Championships.

Whilst competition isn’t compulsory, it is encouraged and forms an integral part of Surf Life Saving. Competition is based on individual and team events. It includes a broad range of events and disciplines such as surf swimming, board paddling, surf ski, beach flags, beach sprint, Ironman and surf boat rowing. For more information about each of these events, click here. It’s not just the athletes who have the opportunity to participate and develop skills. Coaches, officials, managers and administrators are all vital to the successful functioning of carnivals.

Surf Sports are there for our lifesavers to have fun, develop better surf skills, keep active and provide great social networks within the sport.


Surf sports carnival officials play an important role in our organisation and are integral to the success of all surf carnivals. Without officials, we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver carnivals through the season. A good official can positively influence a competitor’s experience and enjoyment of sport by ensuring their approach is in line with the aims of the competition.

Local carnivals along with the Branch, Country and State Championships require clubs wishing to participate in competition to fulfill a quota of officials in order to compete at the carnival. To officiate at competitions, individuals must nominate to the relevant club, branch, state or national representative.

There are four levels of officials within Surf Life Saving: Core Official, Technical Official, Senior Official and Performance Official.

There are online courses available for anyone wishing to become accredited as an official. These courses can be taken at any stage during the year and are accessible via the SLSA members Portal.

For more information on becoming an official and details of the available courses including how to enroll, visit the SLSNSW Technical Officials resource page.

Surf Sports officiating is a fantastic social avenue and a great way for members to meet new friends from other clubs throughout Australia.


Click below to view the latest manuals.