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 Manly 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, 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 Northern Beaches 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. The Nipper Program does not teach your child to swim.  Nippers should be encouraged to do regular swimming lessons so that they can enjoy ocean activities. The skills gained in Nippers will be carried for life.


  • Subject to COVID restrictions Nippers runs from 8.30am until 10.30am and 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 Manly beach as noted in the Calendar. These dates will also be flagged on Facebook and Team App.
  •  For safety reasons you must be wearing your Sky Blue Nipper cap (all ages) and pink high-vis vest (not faded) if U8 and above.
  • 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 you child needs them), a towel and water bottle (labelled).
  • Nippers are not permitted to wear jewellery or watches.
  • Each child must be supervised by a parent or carer.
  • Age Managers direct activities so please support them where you can.


Manly 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. An overview of the program by age group is in the flyer below. Manly Nippers Surf Education Flyer


The flyer below gives  an overview of your Nipper’s journey including a summary of the key elements at each stage, training, and competition opportunities. Manly Nippers My Nipper Journey


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. The flyer below has further information & tips on getting your Nipper ready for U9s. Manly Nippers U8 to U9 Transition 


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. Further details are in the flyer below. Manly Nippers U14 Transition


In U14s Nippers are encouraged to complete their Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC).  It is not a pre-requisite to be a Nipper to complete the 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. Requirements Candidates must meet the following conditions:

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

Nippers who complete the SRC can act as water safety for younger age groups and join patrols on Manly 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. Manly LSC has a proud history of winning medals at all branch titles over the years and was crowned NSW State champions in 2017. 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 and Team App or you can contact your Age Manager.


Subject to COVID three 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. At the end of the Season Club Champion Awards (Gold, Silver, Bronze) are given for Water and Beach, based on the results of these days.

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


Non-competing Nippers may participate in a Ripper Nipper program on Sundays when Carnivals are held, subject to sufficient volunteers being available.  Further information will be posted on Facebook and Team App.

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