About Nippers

The Inverloch SLSC Nippers Program is an intensive program run over two weeks after Christmas at the Inverloch Surf Beach. The short length of our program means that our main focus is on surf education and having fun.

The Nipper program aims to teach children surf-safety awareness, surf skills, lifesaving skills, teamwork and limited competition skills. Nippers will learn to identify beach hazards such as rips and gain a basic knowledge of resuscitation and first aid skills. We follow the LSV Junior Development Awards for our programs.

Nipper Preliminary Skills Evaluation

Note: For 2023/24 Season we will be running an assessment on the 27th of December at the club.

Times are as follows:

Age Group Start Time
U6/7 10:00am
U8 10:30am
U9 11:00am
U10 11:30am
U11 12:00pm
U12 12:30pm
U13 1:00pm

If you plan on attending this assessment you do not need to complete a form.

Upcoming Seasons

Dates for the coming seasons*:

  • 2023/24: Dec 27–30, Jan 2–6

*Subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Inverloch SLSC is one of the youngest surf lifesaving clubs in Victoria, established by a handful of volunteers in 1998 that saw a need to provide a safe patrolled beach. Nippers at Inverloch SLSC commenced in 2002 with 20 children. The program rapidly grew in popularity to become the well-regarded program it is today with 250 Nippers and 70 age managers and water safety involved in the program.

A committee of club members manage Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club. We are all volunteers.

Below are Frequently Asked Questions, we hope will help with preparing for the season ahead. Any other questions, please contact the nipper coordinator Lucy Chambers on

What does Club Membership give my family?

Inverloch SLSC membership gives you access to the clubhouse, facilities & programs. A ‘fob’ to unlock doors is available for $10. Please note the clubhouse is alarmed when not in use, so fobs should only be used when Clubhouse is open.

  • You can use showers & toilets in the clubhouse
  • You can borrow nipper boards. Rules for this are:
    • take care of boards – use sign in & out book to record use and any repairs needed;
    • ensure you only use the board size of your age group & capabilities;
    • Carry, don’t drag or drop or leave on the beach and return to board rack in clubhouse clean.
What do your children do at Nippers?

The Nipper Program aims to teach children surf safety awareness, surf skills, lifesaving skills, teamwork & limited competition skills. Nippers will learn to identify beach hazards such as rips and gain a basic knowledge of resuscitation and first aid skills. We follow the LSV Junior Development Awards for our programs.

What do I have to do prior to attending Nippers?

Prior to participating all Nippers every season, you must complete a “Preliminary Skills Assessment” for your child. This is a prescribed swim and survival float that must be completed and signed off before nippers starts on the 28th Dec. This assessment ensures safety of the program and enables Age Managers to run the program with confidence in the ability of each child in their group. You can have it signed off by your swimming teacher or lifeguard or we can sign them off on the prelim swim day on the 27th Dec.

When is Nippers?

The Inverloch SLSC Nippers Program is an intensive program run over the two weeks after Christmas, at the Inverloch Surf Beach. The short length of our program means that our focus is on surf education and having fun. Dates change every year depending on the dates of public holidays. This year our program starts on 28th of Dec and ends on 8th Jan.

Who runs Nippers?

All age managers wear a red age manager club shirt during Nippers, this will help you identify them. If you need to discuss your child’s needs or have any queries please see your Age Manager or speak to the Nipper coordinator Lucy Chambers or the Nipper committee members who will be wearing hi vis tops!

What time do we have to be there?

Be on the beach in your age group flagged off area for 9am. This will give you time to sign your child in and listen to the daily news/ instructions before the program begins. The nippers program runs from 9.00am – 11.30am for U6-U8s and 9.00am-12pm for U9-U14s.

The sign up sheet is being sent out along with this email, so please take note of what you are signing up for and when you need to be there. Please come and help – more hands make less work. We don’t like to force jobs on people!

Do I have to sign my child in and out?

Yes! You must sign your child in and out of their flagged age group area. We cannot let your child leave unless they have been signed out. Please note the different finishing time between the younger and older age groups.

Do I need to supervise my child while they are at nippers?

Yes! All Nippers need to be supervised during Nipper Sessions. This is a legal requirement.

What age group is your child in?

The Nipper Program is for children aged 5 to 12 (U6-U13). Your child’s age group is calculated by the age they are at 30 September each year. For example, if your child is aged 10 at 30 September, they will be in under 11 age group. Age groups have colour coded feather flags to make it easier to find them on the beach.

Are Nipper parents required to help during Nippers?

YES! There are 200 nippers and over 200 jobs to do. All Nipper families are required to help with running the program in some way, there are a wide variety of jobs! Please see the volunteer sign-up sheet and sign up for 2 jobs. Leftover jobs will be allocated to families who do not volunteer for a job.

What happens in inclement weather?

Nippers will run, rain or shine but if there is a chance of lightning, we won’t let the nippers into the sea!

What must my child bring to Nipper sessions?

We are a Sun Smart Club and all Nippers must:

  • Arrive with Sunscreen applied
  • Wear a Pink Vest when in water
  • Wear a Nippers cap (red& yellow club lifesaving cap)
  • Wear a wide brimmed sun hat (preferably a club hat) when doing beach activities
  • Wear a rash vest (preferably a Club rashie)
  • Bring a water bottle and towel
  • Bring a wetsuit (highly recommended)
What Club apparel should I get?

Nipper caps and pink vests are mandatory for all activities and a broad brimmed hat is mandatory for the beach activities. Club rash vests are recommended for Nippers. For a nipper to go in the water they must be wearing a pink vest. No vest no water activities.

A variety of club apparel is available to members, including wide brimmed hats, bathers and rashies, tshirts, shorts, tracksuit tops & bottoms can be ordered on the pre order form or at the uniform shop.

For those joining the competition team, our Competition uniform can be purchased from the uniform shop.

When and where do I pick up my pink vest and cap?

The Uniform shop is open from 10am – 1.30pm on 27th Dec and then 8.30- 12.30 during nippers days. You can also order online.

Who are the Water Safety?

These are our wonderful volunteer bronze medallion holders and surf rescue certificate holders, usually aged 15+ who have given up their time to help look after the Nippers when they are in the water. They can be identified by their orange rashies. The ratios of water safety to nippers is 1:5 when the Nippers are in the water and if required, we can arrange for one to swim 1:1 with a less confident child.

Do we need to bring lollies this year?

Yes please! To assist our Cupcake fundraiser project, we request that each family brings 1 bag of your favourite (unwrapped) lollies which will then be used to decorate the cupcakes sold at Nippers each day. Thank you for your contribution to this vital fundraising initiative.

What is an “S badge”?

To maintain safety and lifesaving standards, Surf Life Saving Australia has a set of standards of competency that Nippers must achieve before being eligible to compete in water events at carnivals. Called the S badge, Club representatives will assess the child’s swimming Proficiency during the Nippers program. Once your child obtains their S Badge their results will be entered on the Surf Life Saving Australia database and it will be valid until 31 December the following season.

Nippers will not be able to participate in water events at carnivals if they have not completed their S badge and had their result entered on the SLSA database.

Is there a Competition Team?

Yes! We run a Nipper Competition Team for Nippers who are interested in developing lifesaving competition skills, training and competing in multiple nipper carnivals over the season. To compete, children must complete their ‘S badge.’

Participation is voluntary & will require additional training & costs outside the normal Nipper Program & travel around the state to Nipper Carnivals.

There are also Senior Competition Teams — Summer Comp Team, IRB Racing Team & Surfboat Team.

For more information speak to the Competition Director (for contact details see who’s who) or email

What can we do when my child is too old for nippers?

When your child turns 13, they can still be involved in Nippers and do their Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) – the first formal step to lifesaving. If they complete their SRC they can patrol the beach. For more information on the SRC please contact the Chief Instructor – email

Our Nippers go on to become active members in our club in a variety of ways, including:

  • Surf Rescue Certificate, SRC (minimum age 13 years)
  • Bronze Medallion (minimum age 15 years.)
  • Patrolling the beach as an active patrol member.
  • Helping run Nippers as either junior leaders or water safety!
  • YIPS (Youth Involvement Program) once SRC has been achieved.
  • U13, U15 and 18-25 Development Camps through LSV.
How do we raise funds for the club?

We are constantly looking at attracting sponsorship, fundraising and donations to cover the costs of running our club.

At Nippers level, we fundraise during our program to buy our equipment, e.g. Boards cost $500 – $1200 each. Nipper parents contribute significantly to the club finances in a wide variety of creative ways, ranging from becoming Major Sponsors through to donating boards or volunteering in club fundraising events.

At a club level we actively look for sponsorship, fundraising and donations to sustain and develop the club. If you can help in any way big or small, it is appreciated. Contact our community relations Director or email

How do I give you feedback?

If you have feedback, a complaint or another issue with something going on at the club, please let us know. All board members contact details are on the team app under the who’s who tab. We appreciate all feedback!