Age Groups

Gyllyngvase SLSC members train and compete in the following 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)

Gylly 3

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.


At the elite end, every year a Great Britain Lifesaving Team is selected to contest various international events including European and World Championships. Surf Life Saving GB’s Elite Team consistently performs well and has produced several European and World Champions.

Members compete in the following competitions: