Competitions have a long and proud history within the Surf Life Saving movement and continue to play a significant role in ensuring that our members have the ability and passion to meet the challenging environments within which Surf Life Saving delivers its essential lifesaving service.

From local surf carnivals to our National Championships, competition brings the membership together and provides opportunities for Juniors through to Masters to develop and compete across huge range of disciplines.


Originally named the Royal Lifesaving Society Championships 'Nationals' were first held in 1915 in Napier, representing the pinnacle competition of the season with over 1000 athletes anticipated to attend each summer. From Masters who have lost track of the number of Nationals they have attended to 14 year olds experiencing the competition for the first time, Nationals caters to all levels of participation and almost all aspects of Surf Life Saving. You will see New Zealand representatives, canoes, surf boat crews, surf swimmers, beach sprinters, ski and board paddlers all having a crack at being the next National Champion!



The New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships take place around October each season, making it the first of our many National Championship competitions for the season.  This event serves as an important development competition for our Surf Lifeguards and aspiring Surf Lifeguards, as they continue to develop important lifesaving skills for the season ahead.  The New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships is iconic for being the only competition that includes our junior, senior and masters age groups in the same venue over three epic days of competition.


Oceans: Festival of Junior Surf Lifesaving, is the biggest junior carnival of the season and aims to provide an opportunity for junior members to compete, challenge themselves and celebrate the camaraderie of surf lifesaving in a fun, exciting and safe beach and surf environment.  

Since its inception in 2000, Oceans has had a proud history of being the largest, most competitive, exciting and fun Junior Surf Life Saving Event in New Zealand! The competition celebrates the very best of our future Surf Life Savers as our junior members compete with their friends and against their fellow clubs.



The bp Surf Rescue New Zealand IRB Championships has a proud history of being filled with hard, fast, and action-packed racing. The largest Inflatable Rescue Boat racing competition on the Surf Life Saving calendar, crews from throughout the country will line up to showcase their lifesaving skills, fitness and experience in IRBs.

The competition includes several events, requiring varying levels of technical skill and physical fitness. With surf and weather conditions constantly changing, the competition has proved to be one of the most exciting competitions of the Surf Life Saving calendar.


The New Zealand Surf Boat Series is an action packed series of events held at key competitions throughout the season and is designed to celebrate the comradery and competition of Surf Boats while finding the most committed and consistent crews.

Crews fight for series points across five competitions, with the highest number of points accrued from their best three determining the overall rankings.


New Zealand is a powerhouse of life saving sport, competing and winning internationally across pool, beach, Surf Boat and IRB events. Our high performance teams include the Black Fins, Junior Black Fins (pool & beach), Black Props (IRBs) and Oar Blacks (Boats). The pinnacle event is the Life Saving World Championships, held every two years. We are the current IRB World Champions and have previously won the both the Open & Youth championships and many of our athletes also represent New Zealand in Commonwealth and Olympic level. 

Find out more here

    Follow our competitions through Waves Results Live.

    Check out New Zealand's Pool Rescue Records.

    View the action from Competitions on our YouTube Channel.

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