Lesson 8 – 15 minutes

Learning outcomes

  • Attempt or perform catching a wave on a nipper board


  • Nipper Boards
  • Water Safety Personnel (1:5)


  • If you are not confident coaching the skills in this lesson, bring in a surf sports athlete or coach to help deliver the lesson.
  • Discuss the surf conditions and safety considerations before entering the water.

Coaching Points


  • Look behind to watch for waves.
  • Increase your speed as wave approaches.
  • When on the wave paddle for at least two more strokes.
  • Grab hold of the back handle and slide your body back enough to prevent nose diving.
  • Keep feet apart for balance.


  • Draw the shape of a board in the sand or lay a board on the sand (digging a hole where the fin is so the board lies flat).
  • Demonstrate to the participants the correct body technique for catching a wave while talking them through the steps.

Activity 1

  • Position the participants in a semi-circle and ask them to draw the shape of a board in the sand each with a board or lay a board on the sand (digging a hole where the fin is so the board lies flat).
  • Ask participants to position themselves on their board as if they were paddling.
  • Talk the participants through catching a wave and ask them to demonstrate what they should do.
  • Tell them that a wave is approaching (they need to paddle faster).
  • Tell them that they are on the wave (they take 2 more strokes and then pretend to grab the back handles while sliding their body back on the board keeping their feet apart).
  • Walk around the semi-circle and check to see all participants are in the correct position, making adjustments as necessary.


  • Line up the participants on the water’s edge and demonstrate how to catch a wave.

Activity 2

  • Have participants practice their skills in small waves in an area close to shore and marked out by Water Safety Personnel.

Activity 3

  • Finish the lesson by playing games such as ‘party waves’ where everyone tries to catch the same wave.
  • Mix this up by seeing who can make it furthest to shore on a wave.


This lesson assumes participants have acquired previous skills from earlier awards:

  • Positioning on a board and basic paddling technique.
  • Entering the surf and bunny-hopping with a board.
  • Sitting over a wave and paddling through a wave.


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