We are a club that allows everyone from seven to seventy-seven to get involved in surf life saving, based at Gyllyngvase Beach in Southwest Cornwall. We are a friendly club in a beautiful location, with a focus on encouraging sporting goals and saving lives.


Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving Club (or ‘Gylly’ for short) was created by a small group of people in October 2008, with an interest in teaching their life saving skills to the local community. They also had a passion for the fitness that goes along side surf life saving, and sports that relate closely to it. The club has a strong Triathlon background, with an extensive training schedule and a growing squad of competing members.

Through training with the club, you will learn how to save lives in the sea. We will teach you the skills needed to qualify as a NaRS Beach Lifeguard. From CPR and resuscitation, to board paddling, signals and rescue techniques. Once qualified, there is an opportunity to volunteer on local beaches in the summer seasons with the RNLI Lifeguard service.


You will also be able to train in many other sporting disciplines, to improve fitness and development. There are various run, swim and triathlon sessions that the club provides, as well as the Sunday club morning on the beach throughout the summer. The club is lucky to have a number of great runs nearby, including the Pendenis Castle point run, and the coastal path to the neighbouring beach of Maenporth. Also, the calm waters of the Falmouth Bay offer perfect open water swimming conditions.

We are open to anyone, no matter what ability or goal. From those who want to try something new to those hoping to qualify as a beach lifeguard. From those wanting to train with friends to those competing in Ironman triathlons.

Age groups

Sandhoppers (age 5 – 6)

Introducing younger children to sea safety and the sport of surf life saving. This programme is only in the summer season (as there isn’t enough access to swimming pools in Cornwall). We will be launching Sandhoppers as a club in 2016, watch this space…

Nipper (age 7 – 13)

In ‘Nipper’ competitions the events are largely modified to cater for the athlete’s size and experience with an emphasis more on fun and learning. We teach children how to be safe and confident in the sea, and how to negotiate surf and rips. Events include sea swiming, nipper board (soft board) paddling and rescues, beach spirnts and runs and flags – a game to test the reactions of our members. We also focus our attention on swim technique and tows in the pool during the winter season.

Youth (age 13-19)

The youth age groups are more competitive but with just as much focus on participation. Youth members move onto hard racing boards and surf skis. Additonal events include tube rescue, board rescue, ski and double ski races and ocean man/lady  (swim/board/ski). Junior members can attend additional training sessions alongside senior members such as open water swimming and turbo training. They can also enter the annual lifeguard challenge event. Like nippers, there is pool training throughout the winter season.

Alongside the sporting elements, junior members can begin their lifeguarding career with courses in lifesaving and first aid. Once they turn 16, all junior members are encouraged to take their SLSGB Surf Lifeguard Award and volunteer with the club and/or the RNLI charity.

Seniors Open (age 16+) and Masters (age 30+)

The seniors open competition is the most competitive, where outstanding athletes are created. The Masters category allows new and existing sport competitors an opportunity to continue to participate in the sport. There are several sessions a week for senior and masters members. These include early morning ski and swim training in the summer and a Sunday cycle in the winter. There is also a pool training session in the winter season. Members can also take their SLSGB Surf Lifeguard Award and qualify as a coach through the club if they show dedication. We try to put on as many social events as possible in this age group.

Affiliated to

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The Benefits To The Area


The club will bring together all sorts of people in the community. In particular, it is a chance for children to learn life saving techniques in a safe environment. They can build their confidence in the calmer seas of Falmouth, before negotiating larger waves on the north coast of Cornwall. Our nippers (7-12) train at Gyllyngvase beach during the summer months and in the pool during the winter. Juniors (13-19) and adults have the opportunity to train on surf beaches as well as Gylly. Twice a month we take our equipment to a local north coast beach to develop the surf skills and knowledge of our older members.

The Environment

Gylly Masters SLS 2012

The club will try to leave a very small ecological footprint throughout all of its operations. Here are some examples:

• Sustainable/recycled paper will be used where possible.
• We will recycle all paper and equipment that is used.
• The club will leave no trace of litter behind, once we have left the beach.
• When driving to training/contests we will car share as much as possible.
• The club will help to keep the local area clean and the water sewage free.

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