Tower Talk ( Developing Focus As A Skill )

Some tactical strength and conditioning programs focus on the physical development of the athlete, but neglect to utilize fitness evolutions as an opportunity to train their fine motor skills and focus during training.  When lives are on the line, water rescue athletes must exert large sums of energy prior to reaching and assessing the survivor for the appropriate rescue technique. Elevated heart rate, adrenalin pumping, and labored breathing can all influence the decision-making ability of the rescuer.

It is possible to simulate this in training by integrating movements that force the participant to slow down and conduct fine motor behaviors such as the Turkish getup or sandbag lifts.  The longer you expose the athlete to cardiovascular duress, the more difficult it will be to manage shifting weight unevenly distributed away from the body. This training approach will result in increased kinetic awareness.

The following workout was conducted at CrossFit Monterey and was supervised by coach Scheppler.

6 Rounds For Time (45 Min Time Cap)

20 kb swings (light to medium, you will use the same weight for the Turkish get ups)

400m run

6 Turkish getups (see above)

8 man makers (35-40/20-25)


So You Want To Work A Surf Beach?

Designed for coastal lifeguards working in low to medium wave zones with a 70 to 150 yard offshore swim zone.

5 rounds with 2-3 minutes recovery between rounds

200m run

16 walking lunges

150m freestyle

15 wide push ups

15 diamond push ups

150m buddy tow

200m run

5 pull-ups


500m freestyle/css

400m buddy tow

Water Rescue Professional

Tower Talk ( Medkit )

Today’s tower talk topic is the med kit and how you should prepare to use it and how to maintain them.  It is important to recognize your site’s most common first aid needs when design the med kits each season.  Yes that’s right, you should reevaluate what you are stocking prior to each new season and make sure the things you need most are most plentiful.

For example, if you have had high jellyfish sting counts in recent years, it would be prudent to purchase excess meat tenderiser to treat wounds on station in the event of a severe encounter.  While it is wise to refer stings to the bathhouse on days when bathers are present in large numbers, many facilities will have sufficient tower coverage to allow for onsite treatment.

In the case of how kits are laid out, it is important to drill moulage with all the gear you will have at your disposal in a response scenario.  Most of the times you hop down from the tower you will have run of the mill first aid, but on some occasions, some really gory stuff will be waiting.

One time at a shallow water no surf beach I hoped down to respond to a young woman who asked for a band-aid.  She had slit her foot open from the ball of the foot to the heel about a quarter inch wide on a broken bottle, and it was bleeding heavily.  She was in shock, and her friends were to drunk to realize what had happened or be of any assistance.  I was clumsy and slow in my treatment initially due to an understocked kit that had one thing pad of gauze and a quarter bottle of hydrogen peroxide.  Making matter worse I had never needed to use my kit in a situation like this so I must of have searched it ten times looking for more of what I needed.  My training eventually set in and I radioed for more supplies from the bathhouse, but in hindsight, I could have performed better.

Having what you need on hand is only half the battle, you must be familiar with the tools in your tool bag to ensure you can be a professional when it counts.  Be prepared.  See you on the next rotation.


014 – Major Mike Harris, USMC Harrier Pilot &…

Major Mike Harris, USMC, sat down with Schep recently to discuss ultra athletics, training methodology, heart rate zones, and balance.

Marine Ultra Runners Club of America


We will be updating and adding to this post over time. Make sure to check back for more photos and intel.

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Tower Talk ( Jellyfish )

Tower Talk is a series of articles designed to impart information or talk story about life in the water rescue professional community.  Today’s topic is jellyfish and how you can best spread awareness about their current population density and the hazards they present.

Most oceanfront beaches have jellyfish present to one degree or another during the year, and you should be aware of any venomous jellies that have been spotted recently.  Portuguese Man-O-Wars and Box jellyfish present the greatest danger to swimmers, but beachgoers can be stung along the high tide line by stranded jellies.  Stings from can result in paralysis and/or death in a very short period of time. Hazards this dangerous must be monitored with vigilance but it is also important to educate patrons as well. It is easier to prevent a sting than to treat one.
Portuguese Man of War Photo: Island Water Sports

Get to know this hazard for yourself, be a professional and dedicate time each week to personal development.  Utilize resources like this to learn about bloom patterns so that you can get out in front to educate the population.  Keep anti-venom on hand specific to your local threat, and make sure all members of the response team know how to administer it.  You never know when you will take a sting providing assistance, it could save your life if the beach aid knows what to do in a pinch even if they are not a certified lifeguard.
Box Jellyfish Photo: Alert Diver

Work with all beach staff to warn of blooms when they arrive on your shores to limit the number of stings.  You can also post signage, add patrols to your rotation passing the word along the beach, and make regular announcements over the PA. Elderly populations and children are particularly vulnerable to these potent venoms. Better to annoy the public with knowledge then suffer a casualty.


One final thought.  Dogs are particularly vulnerable to being stung while investigating the strange quivering blob on the beach.  My advice is to keep them off the beach completely.


Run – Swim – Run

Since this will be the first workout of the Coastal Athlete Program Summer WOD Series it seems only fitting that we refer to the old time test of general work-related fitness.  The run-swim-run can be completed in a pond, pool, or in the surf zones (SZ).

Run – Swim – Run

(For Time)

  • Run 1/4 mile
  • Swim 1/2 mile
  • Run 1/4 mile

Post Scores in the comments with date and training conditions to share with our community.

Alternative Surf Craft

Kpaloa Swim Fin OnGoing Review v1.0

Swim Fin Category:


Quiver Comp:



Super comfy
Soft foot pocket, firm tip
Great all day bodyboarding fin
Nice wide foot pocket


At 5’11 220 they felt a little underpowered in 4-6ft swell on a bodyboard

Where can I get them?



From Kpaloa’s website

“Founded in 1983 by Augusto Conti, son of a prominent rubber industrialist, KPALOA is a 100% Brazilian company specialized in the production of high performance surface swimfins made of high quality vulcanized rubber, for bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming and rescue.  Due to his know-how in rubber technology and his great love of sports, besides being focused, painstaking, and highly artistic, Augusto idealized the project at the very beginning of bodyboarding in Brazil, was passionate about it, and, ever since, has offered athletes a state-of-the-art product. “Something new is coming up at sea”, the slogan used by Kpaloa to launch its first model of swimfins! Since its creation, KPALOA has always aimed at producing the best swimfins in the world, giving athletes and lifeguards equipment that offers excellent propulsion, comfort, durability and safety.”

And KPALOA’s concerns go beyond producing swimfins. In its history, the company has always been interested in supporting social projects, such as the Estrelas do Mar, which helps people with physical and mental deficiencies in their contact with the sea, besides the courses in bodyboarding and swimming for low-income children  all over Brazil, such as the Escolinha de Bodyboarding in Rocinha, in RJ, and the Escolinha da Neymara Carvalho, in ES.

Furthermore, worried about the environment, KPALOA neutralizes the carbon emitted by its production and logistics by planting rubber trees on national territory, thus aiding the strengthening of this activity, which today is dominated by Asian countries, in Brazil.”