There are a range of surf lifeguard patrol towers currently in use throughout New Zealand, including:
· Patrol towers incorporated within clubhouse’s (e.g. Titahi Bay); these are typically rooms which protrude from the clubhouse. They are common where the clubhouse has been built on the active beach or foredune.
· Standalone fixed structures (e.g. Muriwai Beach); these are solid structures, which are often built into the foredune. They have typically been used where the clubhouse is situated a considerable distance back from the beach (as such have limited view of the beach).
· Semi-mobile structures (e.g. Takapuna Beach); these structures are placed on the beach, and are self-supporting. They have typically been used where there is a surf lifeguarding service, but no club or clubhouse. These towers are removed from the beach (via crane) and stored during the off-season.
· Mobile structures (e.g. Piha Beach); these are driven on/off the beach daily.
The key functional requirements and intended benefits differ with each type of patrol tower. The particular tower a club/surf lifeguard service choose will depend on the need of the service and the funding available.
There are a range of different designs for each type of patrol tower, with many different examples throughout New Zealand. Surf Life Saving clubs have traditionally engaged a designer and/or manufacturer to produce their tower based on their needs and requirements.