Competition / Carnivals

Carnivals are great fun! They are a chance to pit your skills against athletes in the same age group from a number of other Canterbury Clubs in a range of beach, water, team and individual events. They also allow the children to experience conditions at different beaches and to meet up with friends in other clubs. We strongly recommend Juniors try at least one carnival in the season.

Carnivals run from approximately 8.30am to 1pm and although there is usually a planned programme of events, timings and order may change due to the conditions. Come prepared for all weather conditions and remember that even warm days can feel very cold for athletes as they are in and out of the water many times. Bring several towels, warm / windproof jacket, dry warm clothes and lots of food and water. Don’t forget your club beanie and hi viz vest! If you have never been to a carnival before and want to know a bit more about what to expect, check out our FAQs page.

At Junior level, there are a number of local ‘participation’ carnivals held in December and January that give all children (from U8 to U14) the opportunity to try a competition. A range of different events including beach flags, beach sprints, beach relays, board races, run-wade-run / run-swim-run races may be offered.

In February and March, there are three competitive carnivals where individual and team medals and trophies are at stake:

  • The Canterbury Championships – one day event (all age groups)
  • The Southern Regional Championships (Alternates each year between Christchurch and Otago – Otago in 2019) – two day event (all age groups)
  • The New Zealand U14 Surf Life Saving Championships (also called ‘Oceans’) for U11,U12,U13 and U14 athletes only

More information will be provided about each event nearer the time.

When travelling out of town for carnivals, we try and stay together as a team, either camping or in large shared accommodation. This is a great experience for the children and lots of fun for the adults as well.

There is no cost to families for children entering local carnivals as this is covered by the club. For National carnivals and carnivals outside the Christchurch area, entry fees are again covered by the club but travel, food and accommodation costs will be met by the family. In previous years we have had several successful fundraising events to allow costs to be kept to a minimum and we ask all our junior surf families to help support these. We are looking for one or two parents / caregivers to coordinate the fundraising for our junior programme. Please let Kathryn know if this is something you would be interested in.

Twilight Series

During February, there is a local ‘Twilight Series’ held at Taylors Mistake. These Tuesday evening competitions are designed to provide additional training and racing experience for U11 to U14 athletes who are traveling up to Mt Maunganui for ‘Oceans’. They are attended by a number of Canterbury Surf Lifesaving clubs. Registration for Twilights is at 6pm, start at 6.30pm. Events contested will be Swim, Board, Diamond.

New Zealand U14 Surf Life Saving Championships (‘Oceans 19’) – Mt Maunganui, March 7-10 2019

This is the Big One – A National carnival for junior surf competitors aged 10-14 years (U11, U12, U13, U14). We are planning to take a small group of athletes to this event once again. Please register your interest with the Junior Surf Co-ordinators early in the season. There is a form to be completed by all juniors wishing to be considered for this event. The selection of the team for this event will take place in December / January 2019 and will be based on competence at local carnivals and at training sessions at the beach. Athletes attending Nationals will be expected to have had local carnival experience earlier in the season, competed in Southern Regional Championships and/or Canterbury Championships and regularly attend the additional Monday and Thursday training sessions provided for this age group.

For more information about events coming up this season, please see:

Events Calendar – Junior Surf events 2018/2019

Or, the relevant SLSNZ calendar at either  or