About Nippers

Hunter Surf Lifesaving Branch Junior Activities (Nippers) caters for more than 3000 young “surf lifesavers in training”, delivered via our thirteen surf clubs from Tea Garden Hawks Nest SLSC to Catherine Hill Bay SLSC.

Hunter SLS is proudly Sponsored by Newcastle Permanent Building Society and this season celebrates 40 years of working together.

Commonly known as “nippers”, these young SLS members learn the following skills during their time at their local surf club.

  • Lifesaving skills, CPR, and Surf Rescue skills
  • Surf safety and awareness, including how to identify rips, waves and different beach types
  • Surf Sports skills, such as how to catch a wave when swimming, paddling a board, board rescue, sprints and flags
  • Personal development and leadership skills, including teamwork and improving self confidence

Making up over 40% of our membership, nippers are not only our future, but they are our “young lifesavers in training”. 

Graduation at Nippers takes place in the U14’s, when they achieve their SLS Surf Rescue Certificate and then join a SLS Patrol Team at their Club.

Nippers covers the age groups from 5 to 13 years of age (need to be a minimum of 5 years of age as at October 1st to join) and is run between October and March at each of our Clubs. This activity usually occurs at individual clubs on a Sunday morning. 

Nippers is about having fun while learning new skills and making new friends. You do not need to be an awesome swimmer to start, but some skill level will be required.


How to Become a Nipper

Children aged 5-13 as at 1 October each year are eligible to join.

To find out how to become a nipper, check the website of any of our Hunter Surf Clubs and contact a club near you  or if you know who you would like to join, you can Join a Surf Club.  We recommend contacting clubs in July/August to check their registrations processes & fee's for the season head.  Nippers programs start each year in October (term 4).


Whats required to join?

For new members a copy of your Birth Certificate or passport will be required for verification. The fee structure and clothing requirements is available on registration days which are advertised on Club Websites and social media pages.

A parent must also join as part of the nipper program, for insurance, parents will also need to provide a copy of their ID and Volunteer Working with Children number - if they are going to be actively participanting as an Age Manager.