SURF ZONE DANGERS, RIPS, BEACH SUITABILITY
Train Surf Boat Instructor Candidates in Surf Zone dangers, Rips (rip evaluation) and beach suitability (for instruction).
Specific Training Objectives:
Surf Zone Dangers - teach instructors to recognize and plan for variables of beach shape, beach/water hazards, swell size/type, and risk mitigation.
Rips and Rip Evaluation - teach students how to look for rips, evaluate size and strength, use of rips and rip hazards.
Beach suitability for instruction - teach instructors to evaluate a beach’s usefulness for instruction considering above factors as well as student abilities and other environmental conditions.
Discussion and use of visual aids, on-site practice evaluation using leading questions
Equipment required: Surf specific or WW kayak, personal paddling gear for season, binoculars (helpful), weather radio, tide table or other suitable tide prediction source
Suggested skill level: Advanced to expert skills in surf specific kayaks (closed or open deck, waveski), Duration of Instruction: 15 minutes
Surf Zone Dangers:
Beach Type: point or beach break, jetties, river mouth
Bottom topography: steep beach = short/steep, gentle slope = longer, spilling, sandbars, channels at reef breaks
Swell arrival direction: direct or angled
Beach condition: rocky or sandy
Hazards: logs/rocks on beach, logs/rocks in the water, current movement/tide state, environmental conditions (tide, wind, swell height), other users (surfers, etc)
Protected sections / risk management: protection from point/jetty based on swell/wind direction? Will swim away from danger be into the wind or current?
Typical locations: ends of bays, along jetties/rocks, at intervals down beach
Recognition: visible outflow, foam line, break and/or more chaotic swell section
Use of Rips: aid in return to lineup, riding rip shoulders/seams
Hazard of Rips: risk of paddling out to conditions bigger than anticipated, speed of current, impact on swimmers (strategies to help manage the current)
Patience in assessment: typical swell cycle can be 20 or more minutes
Objective assessment of swell, wind, beach conditions/hazards, environmental factors
Realistic assessment of group abilities
Realistic assessment of instructor abilities that day
Conservative approach as instructional experience level builds
Go/No-go decisions: willingness to change venue or reschedule if required, reduced class size?