Junior Surf

Junior surf, or nippers as it’s commonly known, is for kids ages 7-13. Once they turn 14 they are considered a senior and able to sit their lifeguard award and begin patrolling.


Got questions? Have a read of this page first. Then give us a bell on pslnippers@gmail.com


Please complete a membership form on the Surf Life Saving NZ website here. 


Subscription fees are set by the committee at the beginning of each season. To see the fees for this season please see our Fees page.

If you have more than one nipper or club member in your family then you may also be eligible for a Family Subscription.

Fees can be paid direct to our account 03-0502-0593096-00

Nipper Open Days

Our Nipper Open Day will be confirmed closer to October. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and newsletter for updates. This is a good day to get registered, meet other surf families, buy uniforms and equipment, and to just generally get a feel for the club.

About Nippers at Paekakariki

From the age of 7 to 14 years children can participate in Junior Surf at Paekakariki. We encourage children to have fun and develop their skills, so they can enjoy the beach and one day might be able to save someone else too.  It’s about developing tomorrow’s lifeguards and opening up a whole new world to children.

Training Sessions

Our Nipper programme takes place every Sunday at 1.45pm during the surf season.  All Nippers gather upstairs in the clubhouse for roll call, latest news and some beach education, they then the head out to the beach.

What happens at Beach Training is very much age and weather related.  Nippers are split into groups determined by age and ability.  Generally our younger age groups: (7, 8 and 9 years old) will do land activities first and then weather dependant get into the water.

The older age groups (10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 yrs) will spend more time in the water and their trainings will be more focused on water and surf skills.

Children wear whatever they feel comfortable in at the beach, however board shorts, T Shirts etc are not appropriate for any water activity.  They can wear wet suits if they have them. They only pieces of uniform they must wear is their beanie (Nipper Hat), and a high-vis rash top. We sell both of these these at beach sessions and have a few spares for new comers to wear.

Parent help required

An adult from each family must stay with each child while they are at the beach, this is a safety requirement plus your child may need one on one care from their guardian. (i.e. keeping them warm, getting them dry, cleaning sand from eyes……all the joys of a summer at the beach!) Coaches cannot give that level of care when dealing with a group.  Once Nippers have finished they will be released back into the care of their guardians, if they wish to continue playing in the surf you must stay with them.

Training cancellations

Beach Training does not take place when Nipper Surf Carnivals are on. If we have to cancel a session we will put a notice up on our Facebook page.

Gear and equipment

All gear used by the kids on the beach does need to be washed off prior to being returned to our clubhouse and the gear shed.  We try to encourage our kids to do this but a bit of adult help is always great!

Ensure your child is prepared for the beach and that they bring their wetsuit, nipper hat (beach beanie), sun screen and goggles each week, along with warm clothes including polar fleeces for changing into.  We do encourage kids to use the showers after training and we will also sell sausages and cans of drinks. Proceeds from these sales go back towards the Nippers especially for end of season prize giving.

Nipper Pool Training

These take place on Thursday evenings, 7pm at the Coastlands Aquatic Centre during the surf season.  These are not learn to swim lessons but are stamina training sessions particularly good for our Nippers who are currently not in swim squads.


Nippers have the opportunity to compete in Carnivals throughout the season, these are held at various Surf Clubs within the Wellington region. They are a great way for kids to interact with other Nippers, and enjoy SLS at other beaches.

The final competition for the season is ‘Oceans’ (U14 Nationals). This is held in Mount Maunganui, its fantastic event for everyone who attends. Ages U11, U12, U13 & U14 can compete at this event. It’s a great way to meet new friends, develop skills and be involved in a positive team environment.

All events are optional, however we encourage you to get involved.

Extra Training for Nippers

We will be holding extra training sessions for Nippers attending National Champs (Ocean Athletes). More information will be made available as it comes to hand.