Surf Ski

Club President, Steve Olivier, on a paddle accompanied by some experts !

Surf Ski Paddling

The surf ski has a rich history rooted in ocean paddling and lifesaving endeavours. Originating in Australia, these long, narrow kayaks were initially developed for surfing waves and navigating coastal waters.

In the context of lifeguarding, surf skis became invaluable tools for rescues in rough surf conditions. Their speed, manoeuvrability, and stability made them ideal for reaching swimmers in distress quickly and efficiently. Lifeguards around the world began to adopt surf skis as essential equipment for water safety operations, particularly in areas with challenging surf conditions.

As the sport of lifesaving evolved, surf ski racing emerged as a popular discipline. Lifesaving clubs and competitions began incorporating surf ski races into their events, challenging paddlers to navigate through surf zones and open ocean swells. Races like the famous “Miller’s Run” in South Africa became iconic tests of skill and endurance, with paddlers tackling treacherous coastal waters and strong currents.

The surf ski’s design continued to evolve, with advancements in materials and construction techniques enhancing performance and durability. Today, surf ski racing is a globally recognized sport, attracting competitors of all ages and skill levels. Open ocean races, such as the Molokai Challenge in Hawaii and the Doctor in Western Australia, showcase the pinnacle of surf ski racing, with athletes pushing the limits of speed and endurance in some of the world’s most challenging marine environments.

Our new surf ski, made possible by sponsorship from Peterson Energy Logistics

Aberdeen SLSC Surf ski paddling

Now that we have a new double ski, junior ski and lifesaving spec ski, we are exciting to reintroduce surf ski paddling into our training schedule.

All club members will be required to undertake a short induction with Steve, to get to grips with safety and basic paddling technique.

Steve has also kindly put together an excellent comprehensive guide to paddling, which every club member wanting to improve their paddling should read.

Scottburgh to Brighton with Joe Cloete
Dolphins and wreck of Jacaranda Transkei paddle 1996