Skills: Flip Rescue with Nikki Gregg

Standup paddling is pure fun. That is, until it isn’t, when someone gets injured or finds themselves in an emergency situation. In this video, Honolulu lifeguard and training officer Kurt Lager and pro paddler Nikki Gregg walk us through the flip rescue, a technique used to help save an unconscious, panicking or injured paddler.

The Steps:

1) Paddle up to injured/panicked/unconscious person.

2) Toss your paddle away.

3) Flip the board upside down and put the board between you and the person.

4) Reach across the board and grab both the victims hands and pull onto the board.

5) Use your body (knees) as leverage to flip the board.

6) At this point the person will be perpendicular to the board. Support their head to keep their mouth out of the water and spin them straight onto the board using their legs.

7) Get onto the board behind them, wave for assistance and paddle to shore or closest help.

A couple pointers: The board is a barrier between you and the victim. “Better to have them grab onto the board than onto you,” Lager says for conscious victims.

Worry about your gear later. “You can always replace a paddle or a board. You cannot replace a life,” Lager says.

As Gregg says in the video, this isn’t an extensive course in surf lifesaving so if you want to know more, check out an accredited program. Be safe out there.

More skills here.