Monday, 2 July 2012


At the risk of being controversial........ I've never quite seen the point of surf lifesaving clubs. It all seems a lot too much like a serious proper sport to me with all the effort of paddling out without the earnt fun of riding waves afterwards. In fact there never seems to be much fun involved. Of course that's probably me being curmudgeonly and cynical in my (approaching) old age.

I always thought it might be a good thing for my daughter to get involved with when she was old enough, teach her confidence in the sea etc but my limited experience so far hasn't done much to temper my initial misgivings. It's all taken very seriously and competitively even at 7 it seems and that doesn't fit with us. I'm thinking i'll just keep taking her surfing myself where i can make sure she's having fun and not worrying about how fast she can race round a flag.


Thos said...

We took Matilda. She got mown down by a big kid in a running race within five mins, he carried on running immediately just determined to win, left her shocked, badly bitten tongue, blood all over the place, without even stopping and saying sorry. Her experience of Nippers lasted 10 minutes and she never wants to go back again!

Had a super stoke fun filled boogie board session with her at Puts the other weekend and she keeps asking when we can go next. So, right with you on the feeling, by experience, at the moment I'm afraid.

Wheardo said...

Here's my view, for what it's worth. I started surf life saving when I was 12 and am still loosely involved. It's an odd sport, pretty multi disciplinary, but unlike many, with a basis in something useful. It gave me huge amounts of water confidence I might not ever have got had I not been doing the sport. I started as a kid as a pretty crap swimmer and it gave me the skills and fitness to become a lifeguard, something I know you can get from surfing and other sports but I might not have got there via another route, and that was a flipping good fun lifestyle for a few years. It's what got me into surfing, and taught me surf skills long before I picked up a surfboard. I've travelled the world racing and earned a living off competition in Australia, made some great mates along the way.
I can see if you love riding waves you might just think what's the point, but some people get just as much of a thrill from racing.
Now where I think it can fall down is for the younger ones. There are some clubs out there whose attitude is quite frankly, awful. It's all about go hard or go home and if you're not winning medals you're not worth the time of day. There's too many pushy parents living their dreams through their kids and it's all a bit sad. Any sport for kids should be about having fun, that's what keeps them interested. If whichever club you guys took your daughters to are failing to provide that then it's unfortunate but they're doing something really wrong and it's a real shame its coloured your opinion of something I feel can be quite worthwhile.

Tom said...

On the plus side, you get 50% off the car park season ticket................after the first year that is.

Anonymous said...

It a funny thing these life savers, I feel I have saved way more people than, any life savers I know just by being out surfing and being aware of what is going on around me.
I once had to single handedly rescued 2 girls in trouble in a rip, with my longboard and struggled to get then to shore for about 5 of the most intense mins of my life while there was a very large surf carnival 50 metres down the beach, and no one blinked an eye.
Last summer rescued an Italian guy in distress, while all the lifeguards were having a party on the balcony of there club house over looking the beach, no help came and I really struggled to get this guy to shore as I was on a short board and the current was strong.
I would say take them surfing, teach them to swim, and learn CPR.
Surf without a leash great way to learn the moods of the water and keep body surfing skills in tact.

CP said...

valid points from all of you and i take your points wheardo. I've never been into racing anything and i don't think my little one is going to be either.

Bottom line is that despite the "lifesaving" in the title, it's a sport much like athletics or triathalon which is either your bag or not. For me things that are that serious and regimented have never appealed much and the more creative activities like skating, surfing etc have always seemed like more fun with a bit of excercise and fitness as an added bonus

Anonymous said...

Was googling for Surf Life saving Pics and your picture caught my eye as its from Saunton, the Club me & my family are members of. Really interesting to read your thoughts and the comments of others. I joined the Club as a teenager many years ago and not being a great athelete myself never excelled but learnt a great deal about the sea, got a bit fitter and even got my lifeguard qualification. More importantly for me at the time though the social side was fab and it kept me from being a bored kid on the streets getting into trouble. Years later and I have rejoined with my girls & husband and now we go as a family. There aren't a great many clubs / sports that you can do as a family, lots of our members have started by bringing their children and then joining & competing themselves. Competition is a part of what we do and we try to encourage the nippers to be the best they can be. I've been a proud mum on many occasions just watching how awesome my kids can be just by their taking part. Winning is not the main aim, more important is their teamwork, sportmanship & continued learning in a safe, fun environment. After all The main point of Surf Lifesaving is to learn lifesaving skills. The majority of the RNLI Lifeguards you see on the beaches have come through the clubs so it does give the opportunity of a career skill which you take around the world with you. Hope this doesn't come across as too preachy - its not meant to, I just want to promote the merits of the sport that I and lots of others are quite passionate about. If you ever feel like coming down to Saunton for a go you would, im sure, be made to feel very welcome. PS Tom - 50% off is for all members new or old, worth joining for that alone!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...