Surf, Safety, Whanau, Fun is the club motto and no where is it better represented than the Bethells Beach Junior Surf programme. 
Our programme is designed to develop surf knowledge and skills, water safety, fitness, rescue information and basic first aid, 
all within  a safe, fun and friendly environment. Good fun and building confidence underpins everything we do!

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Our Junior Surf sessions are held every Sunday at Bethells Beach with assembly time at the Surf Club House at 10.15am and the sessions starting at 10.30am through to approximately 12.00pm for AAs and A Group and 12.30-1.00pm for B and C Groups.


Every Monday there is a swim fitness session at Kelston Girls High School Pool from 6 to 7pm, kicking off  October 12th 2020.  The sessions are facilitated and the aim is to improve overall swimming fitness. It is important to note that the sessions are not swimming lessons and it is a base requirement that our Junior Surf members are able to swim at least 50 metres in the pool unaided (no parents in the pool). 

On Fridays, we hold additional trainings at Mairangi Bay beach from 6-7pm for Junior Surf members who are serious about participating in the surf sports competitions.



Our junior surf sessions are split into the following age groups, based on the child's date of birth on the 1st of October.

Under 7s (AA Group)

5 and 6 years old as of 30 September

Under 10s (A Group)

7, 8 and 9 years old as of 30 September

Under 12s (B Group)

10 and 11 years old as of 30 September

Under 14s (C Group)

12 and 13 years old as of 30 September



To apply for membership with the Bethells Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, firstly complete an application form through the Surf Lifesaving NZ website, link below. Please complete one form for each member of the family that are joining.


Once the application forms have been completed and submitted, then return to this page and pay the membership fees

Junior Membership
One child & 1-2 parents $100
Two Children & 1-2 parents $140
Three children & 1-2 parents $180

Four+ children & 1-2 parents $220

One of our team will then be in touch to welcome you to our club.

If you have any questions regarding membership, please contact Jeanette Kennedy  membership@bethellsbeach.org.nz


During the Sunday and  Friday training sessions, children must wear the club beanie and yellow High Visibility (Hi Vis) Vest over their wetsuits or togs. 


This is a safety requirement which helps coaches and lifeguards identify those participating in our activities at a glance. 


The beanie and vest can be purchase from our online shop seperately or together as a 'starter pack'.  


All other club gear is optional, though we do recommend the towel ponchos as a way to keep warm and dry when walking back to the club from the beach.


We highly recommend a well fitted wetsuit for the start and end of the season when the water is much cooler.  We want to ensure the children remain warm and happy throughout the training session.



For all Sunday training sessions, our Junior Members and Parents assemble at 10.30am sharp.


Our Sunday timetable is:


Junior Surf Coordinator and Coaches plan the day’s session

(in liaison with the Patrol Captain to ensure the planned sessions are in-keeping with the surf conditions)



Junior Surf Members and parents assemble.

10.30am to 10.40am 

Junior Surf Briefing and Notices


Coaching briefing, role taken and Theory questions


Groups head to the session locations (beach, lake)


Group sessions (AAs & A groups normally 1 – 1.5 hours)


Sausage sizzle at Club House



Your safety is our top priority at the beach and in the water and there are some hard and fast rules that we have to adhere to and they are:

No Drop Offs

All parents must remain on the beach and close by while the Sunday training sessions are taking place, no drop offs.

This is both for safety reasons and also consistent with our values of family fun.

5:1 Supervision Ratio

As another STRICT mandatory safety requirement, we require a minimum supervision ratio of 1 adult in the water per 5 children.

(we hold a Surf Safety 101 session for parents who are new to surf lifesaving).

On rough days, we may increase this number. If we cannot reach the required ratio, the water events will be cancelled.

1:20 Lifeguard Ratio

In addition to the ‘in-water’ 5:1 ratio we must also have 1 qualified guard per 20 children in the water.


You must wear a beanie and Hi vis rash vest at all times in the water – no beanie or vest, no water activities.

Surf Fins

For B & C Groups, they must have surf fins for swimming


Any parents helping with B & C Group in the water, must have surf fins for swimming.

200m Badge

Children wishing to compete in carnivals and use paddle boards, must complete a 200m swim in 7 minutes, followed immediately by 1 minute of treading water.

Leaving Early

If you have to have to leave a Sunday session early, the coach is the person you have to let know … coaches will regularly do head counts so they need to know if anyone is leaving the group


Club Vehicles

Lifeguard operations will be in place while Junior Surf is underway, please help keep your children away from the vehicles. Under no circumstances are there to be Juniors riding on Club vehicles down to or back from the beach … unless in the case of an injury. 

In addition to all the above, it is important for safety reasons that children listen to and follow the coaches instructions. The coach’s word is final! 



Junior Surf offers all children an opportunity to develop and test surf lifesaving knowledge and skills in various events based in the water (board, swimming and rescues) and on land (sprints and flags) in both individual and team events. The focus of these events is on applying newly acquired skills, building confidence and competence and resilience and responsiveness in different conditions.


We believe this is an important part of the development of our junior members.  All children 7 years and older are encouraged to take part in the Interclub participation carnivals.  Carnivals are a fun way to reinforce the skills the children are learning whilst creating bonds of friendships that can span a lifetime. 

Junior Surf events are a great opportunity to participate in competition, meet other clubs and see other beaches.

While competitive to some, the emphasis is always on safety, sportsmanship, and fun.

It is important that you always remember to bring;

  • Food and plenty of water to drink

  • Club uniform

  • Sunscreen

  • Swim goggles

  • Towel

  • A warm change of clothing

  • A positive attitude



12 October 2020 - Monday  Swim fitness commences at Kelston Girls High Sunday

1 November 2020 - Sunday   First day of Junior Surf Life Saving sessions at Bethells Beach

6 November 2020 - Friday  Marirangi Bay Board and Competitorsors training's start 

28 November 2020 - Saturday 1st Junior Surf Carnival Omaha (A,B and C group kids)

13 December 2020 - Sunday  Last Junior surf Sunday session before Christmas

4 - 10 January 2021 - Monday Junior Surf Camp at Ruakaka beach ( all welcome)

9 January 2021 - Saturday  2nd Junior Surf Carnival Ruakaka beach (A, B and C group kids)

17 January 2021 - Sunday  Junior Surf Sessions resume at Bethells Beach

23 January 2021 - Saturday  West coast Experience Bethells Beach (C group kids)  

6 & 7 February 2021 - Saturday & Sunday   Northern region Champs, (B and C group kids) 

25 - 28 February 2021 - Thursday - Sunday Oceans National Junior Surf Lifesaving Champs

Bethells Community Day - Date TBC   Our biggest fundraising day, all hands on deck to help toll bridge, BBQ and apparel sales.

28 March 2021 - Sunday  Last session for Junior Surf 2020/21 and Junior Surf Prizegiving.



Every year we host a family junior surf camp, so that families can get to know each other, make lasting friendships, and allow children to familiarise themselves with the surf and conditions at another beach.

Each day starts with a morning junior surf session for approximately 2.5 hours,

then a combination of free time in the afternoon with optional group activities.

We usually camp in the week before the January JR Surf participation Carnival.

This years carnival is that Ruakaka on Saturday, 9 January 2021.

We will be camping from 4 January 2021 to 10 January 2021 at the Ruakaka Camp Ground.

For info about the camp, email Damo at juniorsurf@bethellsbeach.org.nz


This season, the Rookie programme will once again be run in alignment

with the Bethells Junior Surf programme.

The programme is designed for our 13 year olds who are aiming for their lifeguard award the following year.

The Rookie programme has been developed to assist our up and coming lifeguards

in developing the following skills through participating and socially engaging;

• Lifesaving education  • Beach management  • Patrol experience

In addition, through the Rookie programme we aim to;
• Promote practical lifesaving to the Rookie members
• Increase & develop lifesaving skills
• Outline & describe the career pathways in lifesaving
• Develop strong camaraderie between junior & senior club members

Get in Touch

Frequently Asked Questions

My son turns 5 in December, can he join?
Because of the huge developmental and emotional range within these younger years it can be
difficult to accommodate younger children. If your child turns 5 during the October - February
period of the season and wishes to join in, they will be considered for inclusion on a case by case
basis. The parent will need to attest that the child is confident/mature enough to handle being
in a group situation with children up to 6.5 years old and be 100% responsible and in attendance
with them at all times.

My child is currently 6 (7 in January), what age group will he be in?
The age group that your child is, is the age they are as at the 30th September, therefore your
child was 6 on the 30th Sept  (turning 7 in January) and is classed as being in the 6 year old
age group (even though they turn 7 during the season). Children must compete at carnivals, and
the Club Champs, in their correct age group. Children may train “up” or “down” an age on
Sundays if agreed to, which will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Can I drop my children at JR Surf and leave?
No, it is absolutely necessary that a parent or designated guardian is at the beach during the
entire duration of Junior Surf activity.

Who will be coaching the children?
Most of our coaches are parent helpers. We are always on the lookout to enlist more parents
into the role of assisting with Coaching. Please talk with any of the parents currently involved or
our Junior Surf Coordinator if you’d like to help, but are not sure how to start.

I have 3 children and can’t be with all groups at the same time?
That is fine. Parents of 5 & 6yr old children need to be with their group at all times. Parents of 7s
and up just need to inform the Age Manager of where they will be.

My friends birthday puts him in a different age group. Can they be together?
Children are put into groups where their birthday falls - they will need to compete at carnivals in the appropriate age group, however, should ability or other reasons suggest children may benefit moving “up” or “down” an age on Sundays, this may be agreed to and assessed on a case by case basis.

How often do I need to bring my child to the beach?
Our junior surf sessions are held most weeks (with two weeks off over Christmas/New Year). We
understand that families are busy so the programme doesn’t require 100% participation, but
your child will benefit from regular attendance. If your child is interested in attending carnivals, Friday night sessions at Mairangi Bay are a good idea to get used to the paddle boards.

What do we need to bring?
High visibility rash shirts, beanie, togs, water bottle, snack, towel, sunscreen.

(a wetsuit is recommended prior to Christmas and late in the season)

Still Wanting More Information?