For the sixth straight year, amidst the winter migration of the entire surf world to the North Shore of Oahu, the world’s big-wave surfing community gathered again for the year’s most important safety summit.
The Big-Wave Risk Assessment Group (BWRAG) met earlier this week at Turtle Bay Resort to educate, train and share information about the necessary safety procedures that are essential to big-wave surfing.
Founded by Danilo Couto and Kohl Christensen in 2011 after Sion Milosky’s death at Mavericks, BWRAG aimed “to address the lack of risk management that was evident in big wave lineups around the world.”
BWRAG’s annual safety summits offer surfers, lifeguards and others the chance to learn jet ski protocol, proper breath holding techniques, tactics for survival scenarios, to break down big-wave surf spots, and even share survival stories.
On-hand this year were big-wave icons like Mark Healey, Greg Long, Aaron Gold and more, along with surfers like Dane Gudauskas, Dylan Graves and big-wave safety pioneer Brian Keaulana.
GrindTV was also on-hand for the three-day course. Here are three Facebook Live videos that give you an inside look at how the big-wave elite train at the world’s seminal safety course.
Learning jet ski rescue protocol
Jet skis are now a fixture among all the famed big-wave spots when swells are hitting.
They allow for much quicker reactions in rescue situations and give rescue teams a distinct advantage. But there are extremely necessary tactics that go along with jet ski rescues to use them in and around lineups.
Sharing big-wave rescue experiences
Sharing experiences is one of the most important ways to learn.
Taking notes from a success rescue story like this can mean the difference between life and death in future rescue situations.
Breaking down a big-wave spot like Jaws
When the big-wave surfing mentality was born on the North Shore back in the late 1940s and 50s, pioneers like Greg Noll would go diving in the summer on the reefs they intended to ride.
Knowing the intricacies of any spot you surf, let alone one that churns out some of the biggest surf in the world, is just smart.
Here, the Skullbase water rescue crew breaks down the nuances of Jaws.
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