About the Nelson Surf Life Saving Club

Surf Life Saving Clubs have a long tradition on New Zealand beaches, more than 100 years in fact, of being focused on service first, by making the beaches safer and then celebrating and competing in the skills they have refined during their training.

Nelson has always had a busy water sport lifestyle, and the club has a long history of responding to the water safety needs of the region. The club provides Saturday afternoon and Sunday patrols at Tahunanui Beach over the summer period; and operate a 24 hour, 7 day a week, search and rescue squad for fast response to emergencies in the inshore areas of Tasman Bay and estuaries.

To develop our member's lifeguarding skills; we offer training and courses for their skills and fitness. Training programs include sea swims, surf ski paddling and Nippers. Courses offered include first aid, radio use, and IRB Crew and Driver.

Sealord Marine Rescue Centre

Nelson Surf Life Saving Club History

The Tahunanui Surf and Life Saving Club was formed in 1958 by New Zealand champion, captain and legend Joe Clark to continue his service and pass on his skills when he moved to Nelson from Maranui; his achievements saw him inducted into the SLSNZ Hall of Fame in 2007. The 60’s and 70’s saw the club have a prominent club base on the beach to the west of the canteen/change rooms. There were annual carnivals and events; King Neptune Festival and Beauty Contests.

The club folded due to low lifeguard numbers after more than twenty years’ service. In the early 80’s the building was removed. The Nelson Surf Life Saving Club, as it is now, has been in existence since 1989 when the inshore rescue arm of Coastguard afiliated with SLSNZ. We are currently based in The Sealord Marine Rescue Centre on Wakefield Quay along the Nelson waterfront which ideal for Marine Rescue. A base at Tahunanui base is needed for growth of beach activities.

Club News

New Website

The Nelson Surf Life Saving Club originated as a Marine Search & Rescue Services, this function continues, now operating from the Sealord Marine Rescue Centre in conjunction with Coastguard

Nippers season starting soon
Autumn Training Schedule

Nelson SLSC completed water safety, event life guarding for the Sea Swims and kayak races last year. Organisers of water events have to meet increased requirements to satisfy their Risk Assessments and Event Safety Plans.

Club Projects - Tahunanui Beach Clubrooms

A new surf life saving clubhouse could be erected on the dunes of Tahunanui Beach within five years if the Nelson Surf Life Saving Club's proposal goes to plan. Nelson City Council has supported club's request for land to build a clubhouse in its long-term plan , saying it will work with the club to develop new clubrooms on the dunes at Tahunanui Beach. This is despite building on the dunes being inconsistent with a council reserve management plan.

Club president Marcus Gardner said the club had been using the old Tahunanui police base for the past couple of seasons, but it needed more storage and better facilities to see out its role. "The club struggles because we've got no core focal point to revolve around. "The club house is the soul of a surf life saving club and it's quite hard to carry on the activities without it."

He said the new base had been a goal for more than five years and over the past couple it had started to gain traction with the council. During that time the club has experienced a growth in numbers, which Gardner said had put the pressure on. "We've been quite successful at growing the club but seeing as we don't have the facilities we can't support the members to do the activities to the same degree and we tend to lose them." He said although the club was hopeful of getting some funding due to the public good role it served, it didn't expect the council "to foot the bill" for the new building.

Club Projects - More to come

More to come.

Surf Lifesaving

Nelson Surf SAR
Nelson Surf SAR

The Nelson Surf Life Saving Club originated as a Marine Search & Rescue Services, this function continues, now operating from the Sealord Marine Rescue Centre in conjunction with Coastguard

The club operates 3 rescue vessels & performs over 70% of all the marine search & rescue callouts in the region covering inshore waters. Examples of where emergencies may occur are cases where people may be lost at sea, personal water craft, boat fires, kite surfers, sea kayakers in distress, river rescues such as missing trampers, and cars in rivers.

Environmental emergencies, we assist & provide craft & crews for: whale stranding, oil spill response, fires on Haulashore Island, bounder bank, and civil defence events such as flooding. 24 hour on call emergency assistance in collaboration with other emergency providers such as Police, Fire, Ambulance, Department of Conservation. 24 hour on call rescue swimmers with the Summit Rescue Helicopter Service. Involvement in the Nelson Surf Search and Rescue squad is by invitation; depending on qualifications, skills and experience.

Tahuna Beach Patrol
Tahunanui Beach Patrol
Event lifeguarding
Event Lifeguarding

Nelson SLSC completed water safety, event life guarding for the Sea Swims and kayak races last year.

Organisers of water events have to meet increased requirements to satisfy their Risk Assessments and Event Safety Plans. During winter we have been working with the Triathlon club for the events they have planned for the coming season.

Event Life Guarding creates opportunities for the club to earn funds for the ongoing expenses and maintenance of our equipment and valuable lifeguarding practice in a controlled environment.

For the Nelson SLSC to be engaged in Event Lifeguarding there is a lengthy process; to gain approval of Event Safety Plan by SLSNZ and a Service Agreement with Nelson SLSC to be signed. This can take up to six weeks if everything that is submitted correctly and approved.

"Surf Sport Training "

Nelson Surf Life Saving Club has an active squad of athletes who train and compete in surf sport and pool surf events to a national level. Weekly training is conducted by experienced coaches. Schedules include training and competition with a Club Calendar.

Become a lifeguard and come join us

Surf Sport Information

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Get Surf Fit

For more information about Surf Sports and how to join in contact the Club Sports Officer

U14 Surf Nippers

    Nippers, is held on Sunday mornings for most of the Surf Season. The emphasis for the Junior Club is 'serious fun' while gaining confidence in and around the water. In addition all nippers will learn valuable skills that lead on to Lifeguard Services, they will also be educated on safety at the beach, and taught Surf Sport Skills in the following: Beach Sprints, Beach flags, Surf Swim & Board Race.

    While we do focus on improving swimming abilities, we do not teach swimming. (Swim Magic have swim lessons at Riverside Pool and ASB Pool, there are also local swim clubs for squad training). All water activities will be conducted by club surf lifeguards with the assistance of parents on a roster to help out with the beach and water activities. Parents are encouraged to become surf lifeguards to take advantage of the family fee discounts.

    • Increase Beach safety and awareness
    • Develop Surf Sport skills for surf carnival competitions
    • Learn Lifeguard skills leading to the Junior Surf Lifeguard Program
    • Ability to swim comfortably at the beach and pass the pool swim competency assessment
    • Use of firm fitting wetsuit (short arm and short leg) for beach sessions
    • Enthusiasm and Energy
    • Parent/Guardian to assist as rostered on the program sessions
    • Parents/Guardian must remain on the beach for the duration of the session
    • As with all kids’ water activities, we are required to have a ratio of qualified supervision.
    • We have structured our membership and equipment use rules to recognize this family involvement for maximum benefits from their efforts within the club.
    • Complete the Club Annual Membership Application Form with Nipper and Parent/Guardian contact information.
    • Note: at times Nippers will be photographed for club use only. If you have any objections, please see the Nipper Coordinator.
    • Training on Sunday Mornings (Nov – Mar) 9.45am start
    • Rain, Hail and Shine; most of Nelson's good beach conditions come with a change of weather.
    • Nippers are not permitted to leave the beach during the session unless signed out and accompanied by their parent/guardian.
    • Parents are expected to assist with the running of the Nipper Program; coaching, life guarding, water safety, beach clean-up, beach sprints, beach flags etc

    An annual fee of $120 for each 7-13 year old is required. This includes both the programme and club membership fees. Discounts will be given for family membership with a senior lifeguard qualification.

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Surf Nippers

We are looking forward to a fantastic season with an enthusiastic, energetic and committed group of Children (affectionately known as Clubbies or Nippers) Coordinators, Coaches, Managers, Beach Helpers and supporters!!

For more information click Here .

Surf Life Saving Pool Champs

Pool Champs training will begin in May and continue through till the National Pool Champs in August. Competitions include the Tasman Pool Champs, the Southern Pool Champs in Dunedin and the National Pool Champs in Auckland.

We are running two Sunday skills training sessions:

  • Nippers/Juniors and any others, TBC Sundays at ASB Pool, Richmond
  • Lifeguards/Seniors and any others, TBC Sundays at Riverside Pool, Nelson

BYO swimmers, goggles, swim fins and towel! You don’t need to be a surf lifeguard, just a registered financial Club member. Age groupings start at under 10 years of age up to Masters. Nippers under 10 can still compete but in the U12 age group.

These include races in the pool that are related to Surf Life Saving:

  • Obstacle swim
  • Fin swim
  • Manikin/Patient tow with fins
  • Brick/Manikin carry
  • Rescue Medely
  • Rope throw
  • Also Obstacle and Rescue relays

Club member Training Fees for Pool Champs Training to cover lane hire charges and competition entry is TBC per person with a maximum family fee of TBC.

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SLS Pool Champs

Note: We do not teach swimming techniques, we only train in the techniques and skills of the events. We recommend further swim training and instruction/lessons.

Download SLSNZ 50m Pool Champ Rule book click Here .
Download SLSNZ 25m Pool Champ Rule book click Here .

International Support

The International Life Saving Federation is the world authority for drowning prevention, lifesaving and lifesaving sport and support SLS organisations around the world.

National Leadership

Surf Life Saving New Zealand is the charity representing 74 Surf Life Saving Clubs in New Zealand. Around 17,000 people are members of SLSNZ.

Local Expertise

Nelson has always had a busy water sport lifestyle, and the club has a long history of responding to the water safety needs of the region.

Become a Member

Welcome. Thanks for either becoming a member or considering joining the Nelson Surf Life Saving Club Inc.

To join you must first click the following link and sign up with the Surf Life Saving New Zealand website at https://webportal.surflifesaving.org.nz/new-membership/

Once you have signed up at SLSNZ you then need to download the Nelson Surf Life Saving Club Annual Membership Application, fill it in and email or post it back to us. You need to fill out one form per person. Click Here to download the Application form.

The Annual Membership fees have been structured on a user pay basis. So, qualifications and training programs are payable on a participation rate. The committe has resolved to reward patrol service efforts with discounts on a family rate and contributions to qualification training for committed lifeguard members.

This flow chart of Membership Pathways is to show how you can progress through the award scheme and all the activities within the club. Click Here to download a PDF version.

As you will see in the Membership Pathways document on the Membership Page, there are many opportunities to be a part of the club including Surf Sport Coaching and Carnival Officials. Courses are held to upskill members to contribute to the training programs and events offered.

For more information about Surf Sport Coaching click Here.
For more information about becoming a Surf Sport Official click Here.

If you have any questions related to becoming a member feel free to contact the club by telephone on 021 598 853 or by email at nelsonslsc@gmail.com

Nelson Surf Life Saving Club

To develop our member's lifeguarding skills; we offer training and courses for their skills and fitness. Training programs include sea swims, surf ski paddling and Nippers. Courses offered include first aid, radio use, and IRB Crew and Driver.

Supporting Sponsors

Thanks to our nationwide and local sponsors for all their support. If you would like to make a donation to the club please click here.

Contact Details

Address

Sealord Marine Rescue Centre
Wakefield Quay, Nelson

PO Box 7057, Nelson 7040

Phone

Phone: 021 598 853

E-mail Address

nelsonslsc@gmail.com