The following attributes are required to be a Body Board Guide:
What to expect as a Body
Commitment - Above all other things, the body board guide
must be committed to a fun and safe outing. Body boarding experience
is a plus, but not absolutely necessary. Desire to be there and help
out is more important. The rewards of being a body board guides are
huge: pages full of huge, drippy grins and gobs of wet hugs to fill their
book of memories.
Patience - There will be periods of down time when the lulls seem to last
forever. The guide needs to demonstrate patience with their charges during these
times. The participant may become restless and fidgety.
Spontaneity and Resourcefulness - The guides will need to demonstrate
spontaneity during these lulls to ensure that the participant stays entertained.
A resourceful guide will provide imaginative alternatives of fun, i.e. water fights,
tag, and interpersonal bonding during the day to maintain a level of fun. Be
creative and use common sense.
Compassion - Without this, the guides wouldn't even be there. Enough said.
Ocean Awareness - BB guides will need and demonstrate a working understanding
of shore pound dynamics. Currents, rips, wave sets, sand bars and water temperature
effects all need to be studied and understood. Even a one-foot wave can send an
unsuspecting guide and participant tumbling under water. The experience of trying
to support another person in an unstable water area is akin to wrestling with a drunk.
Strength and Stamina - Big swell days are physically demanding. The wrestling
analogy above is an indication of the physical challenge. A little cross training to
build stamina will go a long way in giving all guides an edge.
Technique and Safety - The weekend training days will be used to demonstrate
and train all BB guides in the proper technique of assisting the participants in catching
and riding waves using a bodyboard. The method created by John Park, one of the BB coordinators,
will be used exclusively. John's method ensures body closeness and security during crucial stages
of the wave's actions, resulting in a combination of wave riding enjoyment and safety.
Timing - Knowledge of when the wave will break and when to push or not to push the
participant into the wave is a must. Much of this comes from experience and repetition.
Teamwork - The BB guides must work well within a team dynamic, yet implement
spontaneity. Flexibility within the unit is a must. If conditions warrant the change
of participants due to inappropriate physical match ups, personality conflicts or injury,
the BB guides must be able to facilitate change.
Communication - Constant eye contact with participants and other BB teams is
needed to maintain safety levels. The BB coordinator will be in visual contact all
times for added support. All BB guides must have a working knowledge of the RAW hand signals.
The Fun Equation -
This could be #1. Remember our mission statement. The BB guides must think of
themselves as a variable in the participant's fun equation. The BB guide can be
the one factor that determines the participant's enjoyment for the day. Be safe and HAVE FUN.
Big waves mean a physically demanding day and frayed nerves
Small waves mean unexpected power and a surprise rinsing
No waves mean lulls, boredom, fussing and fidgeting
Hesitant guests mean psych games
Avid guests mean extended water time
Gagging on Cowell water
Kicks to the groin
Knowledge that you have made a difference.
Tons of wet hugs, loads of dripping smiles and uninhibited laughter.
Satisfaction in receiving the guests' unconditional trust in the morning....
and still having it at the end of the day!
Being totally wiped out at the end of the day and still sporting a huge grin on your face.
Going to sleep at night with the sound of your guests' laughter still ringing in your ears.
Realizing that this could be the greatest thing you have ever done.
REMEMBER - THERE IS NOTHING STRONGER THAN THE HEART OF A VOLUNTEER.
Safety Policy for Body Board Guides
The following guidelines are for the safety of our guests and for
RAW members. Remember to always use your common sense to ensure that
everybody has a safe and wonderful day at the beach.
The bodyboard demonstration area will be set up directly in front of the
RAW tent bordered by the tandem surfing area to the west and the kayaking
area to the east. Visible boundary markers will be set in position on the
sand, supplemented by a RAW guide on a surfboard in the water outside the BB
area. Their task is to keep all bodyboards inside the designated BB area and
all other activities out.
All participants must have on:
a. a wetsuit
b. a life vest
c. a helmet
All three of these articles must be worn to be eligible for the activity.
BB participants are encouraged to paddle and kick if they are able.
Procedures for the day's event are as follows:
a. The BB coordinator will review and advise all guides as to the
day's wave conditions and any other variables.
b. The BB coordinator will designate guides to supervise the east a
nd west boundaries and 1 guide to patrol on a surfboard acting as lookout
for incoming wave sets and unusual conditions.
c. If there are enough guides to facilitate 2 guides per guest, one
guide will enter the water with the guest while the other guide
stays ashore acting in support.
d. Water guides assist the guest in catching waves while the ashore
guide assists guest in regaining their feet and retrieving the board
after the wave has broken.
e. Each guide will be in constant visual contact with BB coordinator
and be able to relay any need or status at that time.
f. BB guides need to be alert to lookout warnings of incoming waves
and unusual conditions and be able to pass on all communications
to other BB guides.
g. BB guides must keep guests in designated BB areas only. If guest
wants to expand the limits, notify the BB coordinator or other guides
h. BB guides will be advised of any and all special needs of their guests.
If guide is uncomfortable with their guest, the guide needs to notify
the coordinator and request a change. This should be done with discretion.
Wipeouts happen to the best of us. The "John Park Method" works well in
eliminating most wipeouts. When they do occur there is a chance of a
spinal injury to the guest. The BB guide needs to remain calm and implement
the first steps of life saving. Get the guests face out of the water and
stabilize them. These techniques will be gone over during training. It's
important that remaining guides secure their guests and remove them from
the emergency area. Use common sense and your own discretion in doing so.
Wait for the "all clear" signal prior to returning to the day's activities.
All guides need to be aware of sun damage and water dehydration. The
coordinator will check all guides throughout the day for these precautions.
All guides should wear booties for foot protection while in the water.
Back to top.
Sign Up or Go Back to Volunteer page.