Archive for July, 2010

Paddling a Surf Ski

Friday, July 30th, 2010 If you want to learn how to paddle a surf ski, this excellent eBook will get you flying over the water (more…)

Long Distance Races and Surf Ski Paddling Technique

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Learn Surf Ski Technique

Last weekend I paddled in a 12 km ocean race at Byron Bay in Australia. It was a lot of fun – it was my first distance paddling race.

I was actually coming off 3 weeks of illness, so I was not very competitive, but I enjoyed participating and love collecting the t-shirts you get in these races.

One thing I thought was interesting though was the observations of my wife, who was watching from the beach with our 2 year old daughter. She made 2 observations:

  1. At the start of the race, my technique was terrible – I looked like I was bobbing up and down like crazy
  2. At the end of the race, so many competitors had terrible technique, they were such different paddlers to what they were at the start of the race.

I can remember the start, I tried to stay out of everyone’s way at the back of the pack, thinking I’d pick up people as I go. It is not a great strategy. All the people in front of you really churn up the water, making it super bumpy. I am sure this is what gave the “bumpy” view that my wife saw. When paddling through these bumps, you really need to rate up your stroke.

At the end of the race, people are getting fatigued and as they do, they lose correct technique, paddle inefficiently and subsequently fatigue faster. It is a great argument for the long sessions in flat water, honing technique while improving fitness. He who paddles efficiently over the course of the whole race has such an advantage over he who loses efficiency as he gets tired.

My final observation is that surf ski races are so different to running races. If you participate in a half marathon or similar distance race, you always get the non-runners participating, the punters having a go. You don’t get this in surf ski races due to the costs involved in buying equipment and the dedication involved in learning simple balance. In surf ski races, everyone competing is a paddler. So don’t be embarrassed if you find yourself down the back at the end, just work harder for the next race.

Surf Ski Technique

Friday, July 16th, 2010 Learn proper surf ski paddling technique with this excellent guide. (more…)

Surf Ski Skills

Friday, July 9th, 2010 Learn surf ski skills and proper technique with this excellent guide. (more…)

Ironman Racing In Surf Life Saving

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Surf Ski Skills Guide

The surf lifesaving sport called Ironman first got its start in Australia, 1964, when it was developed by Valentine Trainor. Ironman involves the 4 key disciplines in surf lifesaving (swimming, ski, running and paddling) all in a single gruelling race. This sport should not be compared to the widely popular Ironman endurance triathlon.

The most recognized winner of the Ironman event was a lad by the name of Grant Kenny, who made history at the tender age of 16 by winning both the the Australian Open Ironman and Australian Junior championships in 1980. What made him more incredible is that he won both of them in less than an hour. This made Grant a national hero in Australia, his face appearing in on cereal boxes and in television commercials. He was seen as the apex of all the Australian sportsmen. Until now, the Ironman event still remains as one of the most watched event in all surf carnivals.

In the 1980’s, due the popularity of the Ironman event, a movie was made in Australia called “The Coolangatta Gold”. The movie portrays an Ironman event that obligated the competing athletes to complete a tortuous 46 kilometre course that was set along Queensland’s Gold Coast. The movie in turn inspired a real Ironman circuit which totalled to a course that spans almost 46 kilometres.

The course that was plotted included skiing 23 kilometres, 15 kilometres of running, swimming for 3 and a half kilometres, and paddle boarding 5 kilometres. And the hard part of it is that the running event is divided into three legs, making the whole race seem longer and much more difficult.

In 1989, the sport was made more accessible to the public when an elite group of Ironman competitors created the whole event for showing in television. The event was referred to as the Uncle Toby’s Super Series (Uncle Toby’s is a popular cereal brand in Australia and was the major sponsor of the event). And now all the major events are being televised and shared all over the globe, contributing to the ever growing popularity of the sporting event.

Injuries are not uncommon during these events, but there are rarely any fatalities. But still, the popularity of the Ironman event does not diminish. It’s an accepted fact that injuries and the occasional casualty will happen sooner or later. But the thrill people get while watching these competitors give it their all to just even finish the course is astounding.

Voluntary Surf Life Saving Keeping The Beaches Safe

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Surf Ski Training

Dispute raged between Bronte Surf Life Saving club and Bondi Voluntary Surf Life Saving as to which club surfaced first. Historians have subsequently agreed that Bronte was the first and Bondi was the first official club. Voluntary Surf Life Saving began because of various reports of drownings around the world during 1906.

Volunteers offer their time to these clubs so that bathers could swim safely in the sea. Procedures are taken and followed to ensure safety and rescuing of bathers. This includes resuscitation if needed. A patrol captain is in charge of the divers and oversees the operation of the club.

Volunteers must complete and pass an annual life saving exam. They must also have a Surf Rescue Certificate or bronze medallion for life saving. These volunteers operate in groups and are busy on weekends, holidays and public holidays on public beaches around the world.

When on duty, volunteers wear yellow and red colored caps. When not busy with rescue work their attire will be long sleeve yellow shirts and shorts that are red. The long sleeves are for the purpose of sun protection. Rescue work requires clothing that enables them to the job of rescuing people. RWC (Rescue Water Craft) divers are clothed in wet suits. Officers on jet rescue boats and offshore rescue boats wear tabards that are highly visible. This is in order to be seen by other colleagues they collaborate with at rescue missions of a serious nature. Lifesaver helicopter crew will don aviation clothing and equipment.

The clubs also have another cap with different colors. This cap is for when clubs partake in the often held inter club competitions. These competitions keep the lifeguards in tip top shape for what they do best – saving lives.

While the competitions add stimulation to an already exciting and challenging pastime. Voluntary Surf Life Saving is a satisfying and fulfilling activity.

How To Surf Ski

Friday, July 2nd, 2010 It can be difficult for a novice surf ski paddler to find consolidated and robust information about this great sport. Finally there is a downloadable guide available. (more…)

Can Anyone Engage In Voluntary Surf Life Saving?

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Come Fly With Me

Voluntary surf life saving first began in Australia in the early twentieth century. This type of service was rendered to people that were interested in engaging in water sports, but wanted to assure that if something adverse did occur on the water that they would be protected and watched after. Even though this service first began in Australia, a lot of countries have adapted this principal around water as well.

Typically, individuals will provide lifesaving services on different beaches and pool areas throughout the week. The government will typically employ lifeguards to assist with tasks around open waters, and the lifeguards will generally offer additional opportunities to individuals on a voluntary basis.

Every lifesaver is required to learn how to swim properly, apply first aid and how to rescue people from the waters in order to avoid drowning or death. Even though this occupation does not seem strenuous, it can be rather tedious.

Training is provided to anyone that wishes to assist with lifesaving duties. There are specific clubs that individuals need to visit in order to obtain the proper training that is required for this strenuous occupation.

The training will teach lifesavers how to properly address basic things that could arise during their patrol period. For instance, the training will teach these individuals how to react to wave patterns in the water, how to apply first aid to an individual as well as how to properly rescue someone that is drowning.

Voluntary surf life saving is an intense service to get involved in. Who knows, if you are good at providing voluntary services, you may be offered a full time position as a life guard at a later date.