SHORT PRESENTATION NOTES
WEATHER, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS, SITE SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS:
Use forecast and local knowledge to determine:
- Wind direction/strength (offshore wind holds up faces but may increase as you move offshore, onshore tends to collapse)
- Temperature and likelihood of rain (potential for hypothermia)
- TIde Tables to determine time of low vs high tide
- Predicted swell size/type/direction from NOAA buoy reports, web sites (magicseaweed/stormsurf)
- Weather Radio is a key tool
Site Specific (use on-site observation to evaluate above as well as):
- Current weather
- Swell size/type/direction
- Current and tide conditions
- Beach shape, obstacles and hazards
- Direction of potential swims (against tide, current or wind?), into rocks?
- Distance from assistance in the event of rescue difficulty?
- Availability of suitable medical services?
- Is this site above my personal skill level or the skill level of my group? Be conservative!
ASSESSING SURF CONDITIONS, SURF ZONE DANGERS, RIPS, BEACH SUITABILITY:
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, environmental conditions (tide, wind, swell height)
- Other users (surfers in/on any craft, fishermen, beachgoers, wildlife)
- Protected areas/risks: 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 personal/group abilities that day
- Conservative approach
- Go/No-go decisions: willingness to go to the coffee shop today???
IN THE SOUP BRACING, SIDE SURFING, ROLLING ROLLING IN THE SOUP:
Bracing in the soup:
- Practice - Begin practicing with low brace in small conditions with paddle horizontal and sitting sideways to the braking wave (instructor spotter as required)
- Find the balance point
- Once comfortable with the low brace, practice high brace (Paddler’s Box)
- Practice in bigger breaking waves until comfortable
- Once comfortable with bracing positions, ready to practice side surfing
- Expect aeration and “bouncyness” to decrease boat’s stability and paddle effectiveness
- Practice steering (leaning back with high brace toward the stern (maintain Paddler’s Box)
- Weight forward and paddle brace forward will allow backsurf (maintain SA)
Rolling in the soup:
- Spotter helps initially
- Discuss psychological issues associated with combat roll (dark, turbulent, cold)
- Practice in slightly more than waist deep water and preferably sandy bottom (no rocks)
- Always begin from good position (tuck forward for protection)
- Expect aeration and “bouncyness” to decrease boat’s stability and paddle effectiveness here too
- If possible, wait until the the wave releases you (motion has stopped) - usually just a second or two but will seem longer
- Easiest to begin roll into wave as wave lifts you
- roll down-current/wind is easier
- Practice EVERY session!!!