Traditionally, Surf Boats were wooden boats that were used by Surf Life Guards to rescue stranded swimmers before the present-day IRB’s (Inflatable Rescue Boats) were around and lifeguards would compete against each other to make sure they were well-trained for a rescue. Fast forward 100 years take away the rescues and add some fibreglass boats and you have today’s Surf Boat Rowing.
Surf Boat Rowing consists of one boat, four rowers with an oar each and a sweep with his own ‘sweep oar’ who stands at the back and directs the boat. Each race starts at the water’s edge, ideally with water just above knee height. The gun goes off and your crew jumps into the boat locking on to that first stroke together. You start rowing and listen to your sweep who’s directing you through the surf, the aim of the game is to get out through the surf, turn your buoy and catch a wave back home. But it doesn’t always go to plan and your game plan can change from coming first to completing the race unscathed.