Top 5 Big Wave Rescue Courses In The World.

 

 

1) Big Wave Risk Assessment Group -  Hawaii, USA

On top of the Olympus | In Memory of Sion Milosky.

The best of the best: legendary big wave surfers cover ocean safety, breath-holds, CPR and jetski pick-ups during their annual gathering on the North Shore of Oahu.

After the tragic loss of Sion Milosky during a double wave hold down at Mavericks in 2011, some of his fellow big wave surfing friends came together to organize a safety training to share ocean safety knowledge and CPR training.  This event initially started as an "invite-only" for the top big wave chargers in the world. 

Every year the annual training curriculum grew and brought together expert knowledge on:

  • Ocean safety (Brian Keaulana - legendary Hawaiian lifeguard)

  • CPR & First Aid (Pamela Foster from Hawaiian Heart Foundation)

  • Forecasting history with:

  • Breathold techniques with Freedive International

  • Safety details on Big Wave Surf spots around the globe (Danilo Couto & Kohl Christensen + other participants)

Best of all... crazy amount of significant wave expertise coming from all the participants, all highly skilled, seasoned big wave surfers from around the world.

Over the years the annual course, traditionally held every December on the North Shore of Oahu, has now opened up to surfers of all levels and has traveled to Chile, Portugal, and California on different times of the year.

This is the course you'll need to complete to even qualify for a Patagonia PSI or Quicksilver AirLift vest.

 
  • Where: Oahu, HI, U.S.A.

  • When: Early December

  • Who: B.W.R.A.G

  • Big wave surfers?  Yes.

    • Danilo Couto

    • Kohl Christensen

  • Water practice: Yes

  • Breath-hold training: Yes

  • PWC technical: No

  • Booklets: No

  • Training schedules: No

  • Online community: No

Cost: & Duration


 

2) The Ocean Warrior -  Online course

Digital but extremely high quality  |  Just add water

Big wave surfer Mark Visser has been sharing big wave surfing tips online for years. His original "Vistips" on his youtube channel are hands-on, constructive tips that can be implemented right away. 

Mark knows how to create high-quality content. From surfing Jaws at night to showing his underwater skills in a straightforward youtube video, he creates highly inspiring content.

In early 2017, Mark launched "The Ocean Warrior": an online course that brings together expertise from the best of the best in:

  • Freediving: Ant Williams, William Trubridge

  • Big wave surfing: Shane Dorian, Tyler Wright, Garrett McNamara,

  • Ocean safety (Brian Kealana)

Although it is only online, this course is stuffed with high-quality content that will help any surfer be smarter in larger waves.

  • Where: Online

  • When: 24/7 x 365

  • Who: The Ocean Warrior Course

  • Big wave surfers? Yes.

    • Mark Visser

    • Garrett McNamara

    • Shane Dorian

    Cost: & Duration

  • Water practice: No

  • Breath-hold training: Yes

  • PWC technical info: No

  • Booklets: yes (Print PDF)

  • Training schedules: Yes

  • Online Community: Sort of.

    Cost


3) The Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club - Ireland

 Proven & Tested Ocean Survival Skills  | Welcome to Die-Hard Camp.

The Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club was created by underground big wave chargers in Ireland who needed to turn legislation around so that they could provide their own safety with PWC.  These guys surf harsh, brutal condition in raw, north Atlantic blistering storms. The big waves here are cold and hallucinating shallow. The big wave surf community here is self-reliant. 

Their Big Wave Survival Course is by demand only. Three days of practical training: A lot of water time combined with a deep understanding of the PWC top of with medical advice from firefighter and EMT Peter Conroy.

Although this course is newer than K38 and not as tropical as the B.W.R.A.G. in Hawaii, the lads here really know their shit, and they will make sure you do too by the time you leave.

  • Where: Ireland

  • When: By Booking Only

  • Who: The Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club

  • Big wave surfers? Yes.

    • Peter Conroy

  • Water practice: Yes

  • Breath-hold training: No

  • PWC technical info: Yes

  • Booklets: No

  • Training schedules: No

  • Online Community: No

Cost


4) Step Up To Bigger Waves - South Africa

Extreme Knowledge | Focussed around 3 Big Wave spots in South Africa.

Step Up Into Bigger Surf Workshop Having seen a desperate need to equip surfers with the ability to tackle some of the largest and heaviest waves on this planet.- Chris Bertish

Chris Bertish is one of a kind. Besides winning Mavericks in the most brutal contest conditions ever (2010, when set waves washed spectators off the beach) Chris has spent a lifetime chasing big waves as is doing things previously considered impossible. In 2017 he paddled across the Atlantic Ocean on an S.U.P. Die-hard beyond believe.

Chris used to offer a 3-hour training course based on 3 big wave spots outside of Cape Town South Africa. Covering training, preparation, currents, swell directions, emergency protocol, first aid etc.

If you ever have a chance to take this course do it! It will be a class taught by one of the most unique and seasoned watermen that ever paddled the oceans.

  • Where: South Africa

  • When: By Booking Only

    • Who: Chris Bertish

    • Big wave surfers? Yes.

      • Chris Bertish

    • Water practice: No

    • Breath-hold training: No

    • PWC technical info: No

    • Booklets: Yes

    • Training schedules: Yes

    • Online Community: No

  • Cost:?


5) K38 Rescue - Global Network

Where it all started -  Professional P.W.C. focussed training.

K38 Water Safety USA has been providing water safety coverage since 1998-1999 ISA@Reef Todos Santos event and at other big wave surfing venues around the world. Instructor Shawn Alladio has trained several teams for the purpose of event big wave safety management at the request of promoters or surfing associations to provide coverage using Rescue Water Craft (RWC).
  • Where: Global

  • When: By Booking Only

  • Who: Shaun Adillo

  • Big wave surfers? Unknown

  • Water practice: Yes

  • Breath-hold training: No

  • PWC technical info: Yes

  • Booklets: Yes

  • Training schedules: No

  • Online Community: No

  • Cost:?

Looking at the top big wave surfers in the world and the rescue teams that support them, it is almost impossible to find anyone who did not go through K38 training at some point in their career. This organization has laid the foundation and continues to lead the way in training the world's elite operators. \

Shawn Alladio founded Personal Water Craft training in 1989, added military training in 1996 and created big wave surfing Personal Water Craft training in 1998.

This is also the only organization that has an established affiliate network that spans the globe:

  • K38 USA

  • K38 Italy

  • K38 UK

  • K38 Japan

  • K38 Poland

  • K38 Oceania ( Australia + New Zealand and Oceania)

  • K38 Canary Islands

  • K38 Scandinavia

  • K38 Latin America

The above K38 video comes with an awesome disclaimer urging everyone to take a certified course. We hear you K38, so here's the disclaimer in full.

"Disclaimer: K38 USA does not endorse viewers to use K38 videos as training aids. K38 endorses viewers to register for a certified course, come prepared to train, test your capability, if you succeed, you earn the rewards of vetting through professional development. Take a certified course that represents the area of expertise. Then practice and develop your skill sets. An RWC course alone does not prepare a student for real-world pressures and realities, it is merely the first step in a long process. You must be prepared, proper PPE, physical and mental conditioning equipment. You must stay current in the standards and best practices. This video in no way represents training aids. There may be actions in this video that are corrected during training that are not covered by the viewer and misinterpreted. View at your own discretion but do not use and place yourself and others at risk for common training standards, this is not a training aid."

 

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