IRB Pathways

We pride ourselves in training competent and skilful IRB operators. Our instructors have developed a comprehensive course with plenty of one-on-one instructing and group training sessions.

Operating in a safe and friendly environment is key to developing great IRB crew and drivers. We encourage lifeguards who are interested in the power-craft area to get in contact with our club instructors to get started.

IRB Crewpersons Module

The IRB Crewpersons Module is for lifeguards who would like to start their IRB pathway. This course gives lifeguards the skills and knowledge required to setup an IRB and respond as crew in a rescue situation.

The course typically operates for 2 - 4 lessons and concludes with a theory and practical examination.

Lifeguards will need to complete an online pre-learning module, attend the lessons and demonstrate crew skills to complete the course and examination.

Topics covered include setting up an IRB, health & safety around the boats, fuel, single person rescues and theory work.

Pre-requisites for the course: 14 years of age, Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed), a current member of the Pāpāmoa SLSC, completed online module (see below for details of how to complete the course).

Next course: the next course starts on Sunday 8th May at 9am at the Papamoa SLSC. Visit the Lifeguard Facebook page for ongoing updates.

Online Module for Crewperson Course

This needs to be completed prior to starting the practical course. To complete the course:

  • Open a web browser and go to
  • Click the blue ‘Sign in’ button at the top right
  • In the username field enter your SLS user. It’s in the format of sls_yournumber, i.e. sls_123450
  • Enter your password (if you have not accessed this before or have forgotten your password please get in touch with Ryan Hohneck)
  • Click on the blue ‘Online Learning’ button at the top right and select ‘Sport Tutor’
  • In the menu click on ‘Search Learning’ and select ‘SLSNZ Catalogue’
  • In the list of courses there should be ‘IRB Crew person Pre-learning online module’
  • Follow the instructions to complete the module.
IRB Drivers Award

The IRB Drivers award is the next step on your IRB pathway. This course is run by club instructors and is designed to develop competent and skilled drivers who can respond to rescue situations in challenging surf conditions.

The course operates throughout the winter months with lessons each weekend. The aim is to build up drivers’ confidence and experience while driving in surf.

We aim to complete at least 10 hours driving time in surf before sitting a driver’s exam. Drivers will also need to complete the Marine VHF Operators Certificate and complete the IRB Drivers Workbook theory.

Topics covered include IRB engine setup, engine reinstatement, engine closedown, health and safety, developing driving skills in surf, solo driving, rescues, maritime rules and regulations, fuel, etc.


Pre-requisites for the course: 16 years of age, Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed), IRB Crewpersons module and a current member of the Pāpāmoa SLSC.

Next course: the next 2022 course will follow the crewpersons award starting on 8th May. Keep an eye out on the Lifeguards Facebook page for ongoing details and dates.

Rescue Water Craft (RWC Jet Ski) Operators

Information to come.