Swim & Craft


Surf swimming is one the most essential skills to the surf lifeguard, being able to swim out through the surf as efficiently as possible by diving under waves and negotiating the currents in the ocean to create a strait line to get to a victim as fast as possible 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 can not 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 life saving 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 skillful lifeguard. Essentially the event aims to simulate what a lifeguard may have to do in the case of a mass rescue.


The original surf canoes were single hull wooden framed craft used for patrolling, rescues and racing. before IRBs were invented, 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 similar to Dragon Boating, Waka Ama and Out-rigging except in surf canoe is always a team of 4.