Hawaii’s surfing community gained a new crew of CPR-savvy ocean athletes as WSL Hawaii offered a certification course at their Haleiwa Headquarters this past Saturday, in partnership with the Hawaii Heart Foundation. With the help of a grant from Volcom and 11x World Champion Kelly Slater, WSL junior members enjoyed a free, hands-on class where they learned essential life-saving skills and contemporary ways to handle emergency situations. WSL Hawaii staff were also accredited through the course and have purchased a portable AED that will be on hand at events and at the North Shore Marketplace.

Immensely important within the sport of surfing, the CPR certification broke down the proper methods for chest compressions, AED machines, advanced air bag administration and much more in a fun and technology-rich way that was accented with group activity, Q&A sessions and interactive demos.

This winter surf season saw massive waves pound the North Shore of Oahu with a fair share of traumatic incidents, most recently the near-drowning of Pipeline specialist Kalani Chapman. Thanks to the care and education of WSL Hawaii surfers Nathan Florence and Seth Moniz, plus the expertise of Hawaiian Water Patrol, Chapman was rescued, resuscitated and is now on his way to a full recovery.

Over the years, Hawaii has taken leaps toward a more educated surf community with skilled watermen and women becoming icons of the sport. WSL Hawaii recognizes the importance of perpetuating this knowledge and with the help of Volcom and Slater, were able to provide a free Junior Development Day that focused on CPR certification.

Pamela Foster, Founder and Executive Director of the 501c3 non-profit Hawaii Heart Foundation, led the course and engaged the teens in fresh, innovative ways that related back to their everyday time spent at the beach and in the water. With over 30 years in the healthcare industry and 20 as a medical educator, Foster has helped teach over 100,000 students, teachers, parents and friends to be CPR-informed members of the community.

Alongside the juniors sat coaches, parents and WSL staff who all joined the Junior Development Day and helped spark friendly competition and camaraderie throughout the afternoon. A big mahalo to Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican for providing lunch to fuel the juniors and a sincere thank you to all the staff from Hawaii Heart Foundation, as well as Volcom and Kelly Slater.

Stay tuned for the next Junior Development Days in September and October, which will feature junior risk assessment with the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group (BWRAG) and athlete readiness (professional head shots, basic tools for members with Tour Manager Marty Thomas and brief training on the MemberPro program) for the upcoming winter surf season.