When you are dealing with a group in the surf zone it is important to coordinate your efforts. Here are some suggested discussion items.
Days itinerary, answer questions, review touring protocols, review paddle signals, radio checks, capsize options in the zone, shoulder safety, designate the staging area, pick the DL (designated leader), set launching order, look at wave sets, discuss special needs, what to do if one or more cannot make it out, is there enough drinking water for the group, equipment check, who has: radios, gps, flares, extra paddles, tow ropes, sunscreen.
Considerations for deciding the group launching order:
Who are your strongest paddlers?
Who is experienced in towing?
Who is proficient in assisted & solo capsize recoveries?
Who are strong swimmers?
Who is good in wave timing?
Who is prone to motion sickness?
Who is new to the surf zone?
Who is showing signs of anxiety?
My Launching order:
#1 -Whoever can do the most good out in the staging area should a need arise. They are proficient in recoveries, experienced in towing and wearing the tow belt, good in the surf zone and has the second radio.
#2 -The best person to assist #1.
#3 -Get paddlers of the beach
#4 -Those who are prone to motion sickness or very anxious
#5 - Next to last A good swimmer that could have helped during the launching in the event of a capsize in the surf zone.
#6 - Last to launch is the DL. (Ready to go and so not to hold up the group)
Staging area after launching
Adjust equipment, adjust/change clothes, keep group together, no one leaves until all are ready, look at the beach from water view point, helmets off (personal choice), deploy rudders & skegs as needed.
Staging area before landing
Pick landing spot, watch the wave sets, lift rudders & skegs, helmets on, DL chosen, paddle signal review, stow loose equipment, what if a capsize, who wants to land with signals, special needs for landing first, DL goes in first and the rest follow one at a time.
List taken from USK video "ABC's of the Surf Zone"
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