Nippers are aged between 5 and 14 years. They follow a SLS Australia program that covers both surf sports and surf education on Sunday mornings at Cabarita Beach (October-March). Come and join us to:

  • Learn about surf awareness and safety – respect, read and use the surf to their advantage.
  • Gain a better understanding of our beach environment.
  • Train in basic CPR skills.
  • Enjoy fitness in a fun & healthy outdoor activity with friends: swimming, dolphin diving, body surfing, and board paddling and beach sprints.
  • Progress through the Surf Education program from basic surf lifesaving skills to the completion of the Surf Rescue Certificate.
  • Compete for our Club on the beach and in the ocean against other clubs on the Far North Coast and across NSW.
  • Become surf lifesavers of the future.

While competition is an important element, surf awareness and education are our primary aims. One of the best features of Nippers is seeing young children overcome their fear of the ocean and through encouragement, education and training develop confidence in the surf.

Children are not taught to swim at Nippers.  We strongly recommend that children attend regular swimming lessons until at least squad level. Pool swimming is essential to develop the strength, fitness and confidence that Nippers require to negotiate surf conditions. Surf swim training focuses on negotiating waves, rips and sweeps and using them to the swimmers advantage. Children who swim regularly prove to be the most capable in the surf and ultimately gain the most from participating in a Nippers program.

  • Nippers is always on rain, hail or shine and during school holidays although activities will be modified to suit conditions. The only exceptions are when events are being run on Cabarita beach as noted in the Calendar. These dates will also be flagged on Facebook.
  • For safety reasons you must be wearing your Nipper cap (all ages) and pink high-vis vest (not faded)
  • Advise your Age managers if leaving early.
  • Your Nipper cap must be removed at the end of Nippers.
  • Don’t forget sun protection.
  • Bring googles (if your child needs them), a towel and water bottle (labelled).
  • Each child must be supervised by a parent or carer.

Age Managers direct activities so please support them where you can

Time: 8.45am
Location: Grassed area in front of pub

On Sundays when competitions are held Age Managers & Committee are at carnivals. As a result regular Sunday activities may be altered and a combined Nipper program may be run.
Additional parental involvement on these Sundays is essential and these dates are flagged in the Calendar

Cabarita Nippers delivers Surf Life Saving Australia’s Junior Development Program. It includes instruction on surf awareness, surf safety and surf skills.  Lessons are tailored to each of the Nipper age groups, ensuring the content is relevant, in line with lifesaving and surf sports most up to date training standards.  The Surf Education program is dependent on attendance and must be completed before the end of December so please make sure you sign on with your Age Manager each Sunday or you may not be eligible for awards.

For an overview of the program by age group click here

There is a significant transition from U8 to U9 in terms of proficiency requirements and activities undertaken i.e. greater time spent in the water. Click here  for tips on getting your Nipper ready for U9s.

There is a significant transition from U13 to U14 in terms of training, competition opportunities, involvement in the Club and completion of the Surf Rescue Certificate.  Click here for tips on getting your Nipper ready for U14s

In U14s Nippers are encouraged to complete their Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC).  This course provides participants with the skills for basic patrolling and surf awareness.
The SRC course is normally completed over 6 weeks with dry training for a couple of hours one evening and wet training for a couple of hours at the weekend


Candidates must meet the following conditions:

  • be at least 13 years of age on the date of final assessment; and
  • have passed the U14 swim proficiency.

Nippers who complete the SRC can act as water safety for younger age groups and join patrols on Cabarita Beach.

To find out more talk to your Age Manager.

March Past is an iconic event within the surf lifesaving movement and has been part of surf carnivals from the earliest days.  Nippers (U9-U14) can take part and it is a great way for those that are not necessarily interested in competing to be part of a surf carnival with their friends. Many of the more competitive Nippers also enjoy being part of the March past team.  Anyone can come to a training session and try it out.

It is traditionally one of the first events held at a Nippers carnival and competition is stopped where necessary to allow as many as possible to participate. The team of 12 Nippers march around a rectangle and are judged on areas such as arm swing, leg action, body carriage and the team’s ability to hold their formation throughout the march which is normally set to the sound of bagpipes. The winning team scores the lowest number of errors.

Cabarita Beach SLSC has a proud history of winning medals at Carnivals & Branch Titles over the years.

Every year we need to recruit new marchers from all age groups to replace the members of the team moving into the U15’s.

Further information will be posted on Facebook or you can contact your Age Manager or vicepresident@cabaslsc.org.au

A few times a season the Club runs an internal competition for U8s and above.  This gives our Nippers a chance to practice their skills and get a taste of competition.


U6/U7s No Club Champs
U8 Wade Race, Beach Sprint, Beach Flags
U9-U14s Surf Race (swim), Board Race, Beach Sprint, Beach Flags


  • This is also an opportunity for Volunteer Carnival Officials to practice their skills!
$15  Nipper cap
$30  Hi Vis singlet
$40  Rash shirt
$40  Girls shorties
$65  Girls 1 piece swimmers
$66  Ladies 2 piece swimmers
$65  Boys Nix shorties