Also known as Kiama Kingfishers, our Nippers are comprised of kids age 5 -14 who wish to become more confident and skilled in the water, be more surf aware, all while having a great time with friends at the beach. As soon as your child turns 5, they are eligible to sign up for Nippers.

Run each Sunday morning from 9.45am – 11am (with some Saturday twilight Nippers), the Nipper’s program is a structured program that splits children into age groups and is coordinated by allocated and trained Age Managers. Kids are led on a variety of sand and water activities dependent on their age with the aim of increasing their knowledge and skills in a beach environment.

When signing up your child to join Nippers, we encourage adults to also consider becoming members under the ‘Family Membership’. This allows parents to assist your child on the day and be covered for insurance purposes.

Keep up-to-date with all things Nipper related

You are encouraged to join up to our ‘Kiama Kingfishers’ Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram.

Any changes will be emailed to members and posted via social media.

General information

All Nippers are required to attend a proficiency swim each year prior to the commencement of the Nippers season. These are conducted by the club usually in late September or early October each year.  Dates will be advised via email, on social media, and through the website.

Details on swim distances for each age group can be found in the table below.

Age groupEvaluation
Under 6From a standing position in waist-deep water, perform a front glide and recover to a secure position. Perform a back or front float holding a buoyant aid and recover to a secure position.
Under 7From a standing position in waist-deep water, perform a front glide, kick for 3m and recover to a secure position. Perform a back or front float for a few seconds and recover to a secure position.
Under 825m swim (any recognised stroke). 1-minute survival float.
Under 925m swim (any recognised stroke). 1-minute survival float.
Under 1025m swim (any recognised stroke). 1.5 minute survival float.
Under 1150m swim (any recognised stroke). 2 minute survival float.
Under 12100m swim (any recognised stroke). 2 minute survival float.
Under 13150m swim (any recognised stroke). 3 minute survival float.
Under 14200m swim (any recognised stroke, in less than 5 minutes). 3 minute survival float.

Age Groups for the 2023/24 season are listed below. These age groups are determined by the age of the nippers as at midnight 30 September 2023.

Birthdate between these datesAge Group
1 Oct 2017 – 30 Sep 2018U/6 (Surf Play One)
1 Oct 2016 – 30 Sep 2017U/7 (Surf Play Two)
1 Oct 2015 – 30 Sep 2016U/8 (Surf Aware One)
1 Oct 2014 – 30 Sep 2015U/9 (Surf Aware Two)
1 Oct 2013 – 30 Sep 2014U/10 (Surf Safe One)
1 Oct 2012 – 30 Sep 2013U/11 (Surf Safe Two)
1 Oct 2011 – 30 Sep 2012U/12 (Surf Smart One)
1 Oct 2010 – 30 Sep 2011U/13 (Surf Smart Two)
1 Oct 2009 – 30 Sep 2010U/14 (SRC)

Age Managers and members who assist with water safety are required to hold a current Working with Children Check number. These will need to be provided to the club Registrar by the commencement of the Nippers season.

For further information please refer to the SLSNSW Working with Children Check Members requirements.

At a minimum, all nippers are required to purchase a nippers age coloured cap ($10 each), and for ages U8 and above a water safety high-vis vest is also required ($20 each).  The cap is mandatory is wear during nippers and for safety reasons, it allows the child to be identified as participating in nipper activities. The high-vis vest is required for any nipper participating in a water activity for ages U8 and above.

A nipper will keep the same cap colour throughout nippers (see below).

Other items such as swimwear, shirts, and towels are also available for purchase from our Uniform Officer but are not mandatory.

Alternatively, a child can wear their own swimwear and rashie, as long as cap & vest can be worn over the top. Wetsuits are also welcome on those colder days.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and bring along a water bottle.

For those Nippers who are interested in competing, we do attend a number of carnivals such as the South Coast Branch carnival, Country Carnival, and the Sydney Water Series. For further information on Competition please refer to our Surf Sports page.

Our surf club is entirely run by volunteers. If your child is keen to join nippers, consider joining up as a member and volunteering your time. This could be as simple as helping to set up and clean up the beach before and after nippers, assisting with events during nippers, becoming an Age Manager, or Officiating at a carnival. It is a rewarding way to give back to the club and very much appreciated by our nipper group.

The Junior Activities (Nippers) page on has additional information.

Some of our Nippers in action

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Upcoming events

There are no upcoming events at this time.