The New Brighton Surf Life Saving Club has a distinguished history of patrolling New Brighton beach, providing a critical service to the community as well as performing competitively in surf sports.

Surf sports command a high level of fitness, commitment and skill. This complements the core set of competencies required to obtain the Surf Lifeguard Award, and then patrol the beaches.

Surf Boat

New Brighton Surf club has a strong and proud tradition of surf boat rowing that can be traced back through the club’s history, from building our own boats in the 50’s to racing the newest and fastest boats today, along with gold medals crews through the decades to prove we are the hub for surf boat rowing in the South Island.

Surf Boats are no longer used as a type of rescue equipment but is still a big part of the surf lifesaving movement with surf boat racing being a popular spectacle at the annual national surf lifesaving championships. New Brighton has a long and proud tradition of surf boat racing. This is demonstrated by our repeated success at national competitions.

If you are keen on surf boat rowing or learning to sweep a boat please contact our boat captain James Gaskell. info@newbrightonslsc.org.nz

Training sessions

  • 10AM to 12PM

  • Sunday: 11AM to 5PM (and Show Day/Waitangi Day)

Swim & Craft


Surf swimming is one the most essential skills to the surf lifeguard. Being able to swim to a distressed swimmer quickly and efficiently through waves and currents is a fine art. For the swimmer there are many races that they can compete in, Surf Race, Run Swim Run, Tube Rescue, Surf Teams Race, Board Rescue and Ironman. For many swimmers and water polo players racing surf gives them a challenge and variety that the pool cannot offer.

Craft – Ski

This craft that has been developed is very sleek and fast, making it one of the most exciting events to race in. When used in a rescue the ski can be one of the first pieces of rescue equipment to get to a patient and support them until further lifesaving support arrives.

Ski Paddlers use a specially designed paddle for extra power and efficiency. These paddles combined with a single ski or double ski allows lifeguards to cover distances of 800 – 1000m within 4mins.

Craft – Board


Surf Ironman is an event that is made up of Board, Ski, Swim and Sprinting. During a Surf Ironman the lifeguard paddles and runs around a set course, that encompasses all elements that the ocean may throw at the lifeguard. The race covers the cumulative distance of a ski, board, swim and sprint race. The event typically takes between 15 – 18 minutes to compete and is made to test even the most skilled lifeguard. Essentially the event aims to simulate what a lifeguard may have to do in the case of a mass rescue.

  • 10AM to 12PM

  • Sunday: 11AM to 5PM (and Show Day/Waitangi Day)

Historically, surf canoes were a mono hull wooden framed craft used for patrolling, rescues and racing. Prior to the late 1960s when IRBs were invented, canoe crews could sit out the back of the surf and watch swimmers and also for umpire surf events. Although some single hulls are still used in competition today, most crews race in double hull fibreglass canoes. Canoe paddling is a similar style to Waka Ama, Out-rigger and Dragonboat, except surf canoe crews are always in teams of 4.

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