Apnea and Surf Survival Course, June 22-23
Ricardo Taveira is a Brazilian big wave surfer who has made the North Shore of Oahu his home. He runs Hawaii Eco Divers, a scuba and snorkel outfit that takes people out for underwater adventures here on Oahu. But Ricardo is equally an adept rider on the ocean’s surface, and is a standout surfer whenever Waimea Bay jumps into the XXL range. In fact, he even flew over to California in early April for his first session at Maverick’s, where he ended up scoring some bombs!
Part of the reason Ricardo is so comfortable in big waves is that he is incredibly well prepared for emergency rescues—and for the hold downs that happen numerous times per session when the waves get large. And for the past few years, he has shared his experience and preparation with the public through an apnea and big wave preparedness class.
Many of Hawaii’s best big wave surfers and watermen/women have taken this class, as he has groups in California, Brazil, Chile, and elsewhere. In fact, Ricardo has even trained the staff at the World Surf League! Pro surfers and lifeguards also take the class regularly (with lifeguards getting to do the course for free). But the course isn’t just for pros, or even aspiring big wave surfers. Everyone can benefit from the course, as it provides confidence in the water and competence when it comes to water rescue skills, first aid, and CPR.
The course also helps you learn to control your breathing, which is great both in the water and out. It even assists in stress relief for those who have lots of work- and life-related stress built up! But perhaps, most noticeable is how the course teaches you to hold your breath. Most people assume they can’t hold their breath for more than 30 seconds or a minute, but most people who take the class end up holding their breaths for more than three minutes, and some as long as five minutes! Local surfer, Roger Seibel, recently turned 58, but he isn’t close to hanging up his board shorts. Last year, he took Ricardo’s class, ended up holding his breath for over four minutes, and developed the confidence to start exploring bigger waves. This season, he paddled XL days on the outer reefs and at Waimea Bay, and can be seen out at Sunset anytime it’s cranking.
As an added bonus to the class, anyone who has done the course with Ricardo is welcomed to join future training for free, as many times as they want. And since this is something that Ricardo is passionate about, there end up being a lot of training on Oahu every year!
We will be hosting one of Ricardo’s courses here at Hawaiian South Shore on June 22 and 23. If you are interested in checking out the course, follow this link: http://bit.ly/breathhold