The Program

Rookies are Trainee Lifeguards of any age. They must complete skills in the water, first aid, and radio competently to be eligible to sit the Lifeguard Award. Rookies must have a 200m badge to participate in water activities and training.

There are 5 Lifeguard Awards in Christchurch each season. One each month from November to March. The Lifeguard Captain (Helena) and the Rookie Coordinator assess your abilities and put you foward for an award when they know your skills are string enough to pass the award. If your abilities are not shown competently you will not be put on the next award. Note that your training doesn't stop once you gain your award, there is so many things to do once youre a lifeguard! The opportunities are endless!

Pre-season training begins on the 3rd of July at Dudley Pool, led by Tania. The sessions start at 6pm and consist of workbook theory then some time in the pool learning water based skills. This is great to get a basic understanding of lifeguarding and some free swim coaching before we enter the surf in October. You can sit your 200m badge here also.

See the Rookie Pathway and Information below for more detailed information.


As a Rookie and future Lifeguard you will need to provide your own wetsuit, fins and togs. The lifeguard uniform is provided by the club once you sit your award.

We recommend a 4/3mm Wetsuit as the beginning and end of the season at Waikuku is rather chilly! However a 3/2mm is okay too! 3/2mm and 4/3mm refers to the thickness of the wetcuit in the torso and limb areas. Any brand is okay.

You can choose any type of fins. There are pool fins which are more flexible however, they are harder to put on and hold in the surf. Fins that have an open ankle are easier to hold when wading through the surf, and to put on when in the wave zone (Shown below). It is up to you!

Investing in a good pair of fins helps immensely. We recommend 'DaFin' or 'Redback' fins (both pictured below).

Any questions about uniform, contact Helena.


For any questions regarding the Rookie Program contact Helena, who oversees it.


Message the WBSLSC Facebook Page.

Rookie Skill Matrix

All Rookies must complete all the items on the Skills Matrix to be eligible for an exam. They are as follows:

  • Complete Workbook
  • Competent at CPR and DRSABC
  • Competent at basic First Aid
  • Completed minimum 2 beach Patrols (12 Hours)
  • Competent on the VHF Radios
  • Perform a perfect tube rescue with fins
  • Complete a Run-Swim-Run without fins (set to conditions)
  • 400m Pool Swim in under 9 Minutes
  • Perform Hold and Releases
  • Demonstrate cross chest-tow and double armpit tow
  • Perform a Board Rescue
  • Complete Rip training at Ashley River Mouth