become a lifeguard

Whether setting up patrol areas or rescuing in heavy surf every Lifeguard knows the powerful motivation of saving or protecting a life.  It is a motivation that marks Surf Life Saving as more than just 'something to do' at the weekend.

When you turn 14 you can sit your Surf Lifeguard Award and once you have your Award there are a range of programmes and other Awards you can participate in to develop your skills further.

It differs at each club but generally, training takes about twenty six hours, and covers modules in surf skills, basic first aid, rescue techniques, and risk management. Some of the skills are taught theoretically, but most are taught in a practical environment.

Once your training is completed, you will be examined. The exam will assess your key lifeguarding skills, and involves;

  • 400m timed pool swim (completed in under 9 minutes)
  • Tube rescue in a pool environment
  • Theory Test CPR and first aid
  • Radio set up and use Hand signals
  • 200m run-swim-run, in the surf environment
  • Tube rescue in the surf environment
  • Once you've passed all the exam components, you'll be issued with your Surf Lifeguard Award and a Surf Lifeguard Uniform and be assigned to a patrol.

After completing the Surf Lifeguard Award, members may choose to take courses in driving IRBs or becoming a Patrol Captain. Over time members can work their way towards achieving the top lifeguard qualification - the Advanced Surf Lifeguard Award.

Members also interested in the Surf Sport area of Surf Life Saving have the opportunity to move through the Surf Sport pathway. This includes a number of surf official and coaching awards.

Check out the SLSNZ Lifeguard Education page for more information..