I`ve just completed One Ocean International`s Surf Survival course and feel like shouting from the rooftops just how rad I feel. Founder, Joe Knight, puts you at ease right away with his relaxed, confident manner and obvious passion for what he is teaching. I loved the structure of the course: combining comprehensive (but not overwhelming) medical, scientific and holistic theory followed by practical exercises and pool training.
Living with Long QT Syndrome, a congenital heart arrhythmia that can cause sudden death, means serious thought every time I throw myself in the ocean.* Having been told to 'never surf again' by my family`s cardiologist at the age of 22, for the last 10 years I have constantly battled with my fear of hold-downs and big waves. Joe espouses that knowledge removes fear, something he repeats throughout the training. I have gained more understanding of what happens to our bodies physiologically when submersed under water and pressure, and feel far more confident in my mental and physical abilities. I have more knowledge, less fear, and the motivation to keep training, stay fit and be happy!
Joe was adaptable and able to teach the course multi-level. I was instructed on alternative, safer practices relevant to my medical condition and understand the theory behind it. We gently pushed ourselves within controlled environments (I more than doubled my static breath hold!) and thus begin to experience the physiology, and potential, of our own bodies. Practical surf/sea rescue techniques, swim training, pranayama breath practices, and holistic health advice rounds off the course.
As water-men and -women, I think it`s important to take personal responsibility and continually educate and train ourselves for being in the ocean. When things go pear-shaped - and they do, I would rather have the relaxed confidence that comes from knowledge and training to help both myself and other people, than freak out and flap around cluelessly.
We wholeheartedly recommend this course, are stoked to have met and worked with Joe, and look forward to the evolution of One Ocean International!
*PLEASE NOTE: I have personally chosen to pursue and enjoy my passion for surfing despite conventional medical advice and try to reduce my risks as much as possible in several ways. We do not advise for anyone living with a serious illness to follow suit, and highly recommend and urge you to seek proper medical consultation and advice before partaking in any prohibited activity particular to your condition. For more information on Long QT Syndrome, click here (http://www.sads.org/About-SADS/Long-QT-Syndrome). For heart arrythmias in general, click here.
Founder of Salt Gypsy (www.saltgypsy.com)
Maldives Surf Guide (www.liquiddestination.com)