Archive for June, 2010

Competitions Add To The Reward Of Voluntary Surf Life Saving

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Come Fly With Me

Australia was the country where Voluntary Surf Life Saving was born in the year 1906. Subsequently, it has spread to other parts of the world such as Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and America.

While originally started to save lives, surf lifesaving has now become a competitive. Beaches throughout the world have lifesavers offering bathers protection on holidays, public holidays and weekends. These volunteers constantly patrol the beaches.

Members of the public appreciate what these volunteers do in order to keep them safe. Not only are they on beaches, they also service bathers at swimming pools and lakes. Some lifesavers are professionals who are paid by local government to provide these vital services on a full time basis. Besides rescue work, they are on hand to offer first aid and related advice.

A patrol captain is responsible for managing the people who volunteer their time in order to keep the beaches safe. A roster will be drawn up for the lifeguards who give their time free to keep bathers safe in any swimming environment.

Training to become a volunteer lifeguard is extensive and one cannot be a lifeguard without training and certification. The various life saving clubs offer training and certificates. The Bronze Medallion is mandatory and is also known as a Certificate II in public safety and aquatic rescue. This extensive course covers all aspects of life guarding work and includes: Patrolling in a power craft, occupational health and safety, different terrains of beaches, wave patterns, currents, resuscitation, first aid, communication, radio communication, different rescue methods and other aspects of rescue work. Once the volunteer has completed and passed the course, they are able to become a lifeguard.

A variety of equipment is used to assist with the patrolling of beaches and in life saving missions. To accommodate hazards that are part of difficult environments, many types of equipment are available to the lifesavers. The equipment includes rescue boards, oxygen equipment, wave runners (jet skis) and all terrain vehicles.

There is an ongoing need for people who are looking at performing the selfless act of becoming involved in Voluntary Surf Life Saving.

Surf Ski Paddling Technique: Are You Still Using Too Much Arms?

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Come Fly With Me

Today I was out paddling with my coach, we paddled for just under an hour and then followed up with some technique work on the ergo machine.

One of the things that my coach has been talking about recently is to not put on the brakes by paddling too hard. He says that paddling should be similar to spinning a bike wheel. (while the bike is upside down) To start, you grab it and give it a good hard spin. When it has momentum though, all you need to do is help it along with lighter surface taps. If you keep grabbing it to spin it, each time you grab it, you stop the momentum so you have to use additional energy to start it again.

My coach pointed out that this is how I paddle. I am paddling so hard that each stroke grabs the water, slowing my surf ski down, then starts to push through again.

Following my hour paddle in the ocean this morning, we went into the gym to work on this a bit. We have a surf ski ergo machine there. When my coach started paddling, he was paddling at a rate of about 105 strokes per minute and was producing about 135 watts. When it was my turn, I struggled to get my rating above 80 strokes per minute, yet I was producing about 170 watts.

I could only increase my rating to 100 strokes per minute, by really focusing on reducing the watts I was producing. And guess what I had to do to achieve that… If you guessed stop using my arms – you would have been spot on. My current stroke is still too much arms. I really dig in and try and bully my way through the water. In doing so, every catch  puts the brakes on a little, meaning every stroke is a little less efficient. By concentrating instead on core trunk rotation, a more efficient stroke ensued. I could much more easily maintain the higher stroke rating without tiring and there was much less “brake” at the catch part of the stroke.

So bringing this experience back out into the water, one thing you can do to judge whether you are using too much arm power and not enough core power, is look at your rating. Can you increase it and maintain a rating over 100 strokes per minute? If not – try lightening your stroke power and increasing your trunk rotation.