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City Nippers

City Nippers

This Auckland based programme will introduce your child(ren) to the open water environment and build your children's confidence in the sea, teaching them fundamental water safety skills so they can safely enjoy New Zealand's favourite playground.


About City Nippers
The courses consist of 5 vibrant fun-filled, 2-hour beach sessions in which qualified Surf Lifeguards teach your children Water Safety rules, coaching surf sports on the beach and water safety skills in the sea. Specific activities include:

  • wading and duck diving in the water
  • how to use a body board correctly
  • going around buoys
  • running races on sand, beach flags
  • education on surf safety, sun smart, rips and waves

All City Nippers 5 session courses entail the same programme and content (there is a slight difference in the programmes for the different age groups). Every year about 10-15% of the children enjoy the course that much that they want to attend the same course again. We think that reinforcing  the important lifesaving messages and skills that we teach your children is a great thing but if you would like your child to progress, we recommend that you contact a Surf Life Saving Club and ask for information about their Junior Surf programme that runs throughout the surf season (Labour Day until Easter). Some clubs start from 5 years old with the tadpoles and all the clubs start from 7 years old with a Junior Surf programme.

For information about Junior Surf at the 17 clubs in the Northern Region please click here.

Wet Weather and cancellations
We almost never cancel a City Nippers session; we're always there, rain, hail or shine. There are a few exceptions: in case of severe weather warnings, tornado or tsunami warnings, SLSNR reserves the right to cancel a session. In the situation that Surf Life Saving Northern Region cancels a City Nippers session, there will be a make-up session, organised by the Surf Education Manager.  You will receive an email about the make-up session asap after the cancellation of the session. Please make sure that the email address that you register is an email address that you have access to during weekends and holidays.

In the event that your child is not able to attend one of the 5 sessions in the course, SLSNR cannot organise a make-up session for you. Every season between 300 and 400 children attend the City Nippers courses. It's different for children that can't attend because of an injury

Where is City Nippers held?
Courses are run at St Heliers, Takapuna, Mission Bay, Onehunga, Maraetai, Eastern Beach and Oneroa.
The price for the 5 sessions is $115.00.  The courses run during School Terms 4 and 1 and are spread out over 5 weeks. In the summer holidays the courses run from Monday to Friday. 

To view our City Nippers Course Calendar please click here.

To view our course locations  click here.

Jan2014 Citynippers Stheliers 194Crop

FREE Have  Go sessions There are FREE Have A Go sessions will be running in 5 locations,  To register your child(ren), please email Clare Cotter at providing the following information: your child's name, surname, birthdate, if there are any medical or behavioural issues, your cell phone number and at which location you want your child to attend.

City Nippers Age Groups

We divide the group into three different age groups: blue caps are 5-6 year olds, red caps are 7-8 year olds and yellow caps are 9-11 year olds. The minimum age is 5 years old. This programme particularly suits Primary School aged children.


Checklist for a City Nipper
What to wear during the session:

  • Togs
  • City Nipper Beanie (free in registration pack)
  • City Nipper Rash vest (free in registration pack)
  • Wetsuit (optional, but definitely recommended)
  • Reef shoes (optional, but recommended for St Heliers)

What to have with you at the beach:

  • Towel
  • Drink bottle with water
  • Snack foods (e.g. fruit, muesli bar) or lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Change of warm clothes

Parents can choose to assist with the water activities (which really helps to get more done), stay and watch their children or just drop them off. If you are dropping off your children we ask you to come back to the beach half an hour before the session ends as some children get cold in the water and want to get out earlier.

City Nippers sessions are almost never cancelled except in case of severe weather forecast. In the situation that Surf Life Saving Northern Region cancels a City Nippers session, there will be a make-up session.


 To Register please click here.