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Taking participants out into the ocean day after day all summer long is no joke and requires serious physical conditioning. In order to earn a Green Shirt and spot on the team, an instructor must pass a demanding physical fitness test.

Here’s how we outline it:

  • .5 mile beach jog
  • 1 mile beach run
  • 1 mile ocean paddle
  • 0.5 mile ocean swim

The jog serves as a warmup and the rest must be completed in under 1 hour.  S.U.P. instructors use Stand Up boards.  Surf Instructors use 8 foot soft boards on a first come, first serve, basis. Anyone late to tryout will be forced to paddle their shortboard.

This image from Google Earth shows the area of the tryout, with the Belmar Fishing pier to the North (left) and the 8th Ave Jetty to the South.  (right).  The yellow line is exactly 1/2 mile long.

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The entire group warms up together, and we place the boards near the Belmar fishing pier.  The current is usually slack or lightly running from the south, so we do a light warmup jog to the 8th ave jetty (.5 Miles) as a group.  We line up and start the time.  We run the .5 miles back to the boards, grab a board, and paddle out near the fishing pier.  We complete the 1.0 mile paddle to the jetty and back, and exit the water where we entered.  We then run the .5 miles back to the jetty, and enter the water and swim the .5 miles back to the starting position.


The course needs to be completed in under 60 minutes to be considered a pass.

 Tryout Winners and their Times  (keep in mind year to year comparisons are apples to oranges due to the varying conditions).

2013   Matt Markman, 43:15

2014   Matt Markman, 44:37

2015   TBD June 6th and 13th 9AM!!

Check out how this stacks up to U.S.L.A. (Lifeguards) standard tryout and the US NAVY SEALS Physical Screening Test.  The most demanding standard for each requirement is highlighted in Red:

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The Summertime run portion is 150% of the USLA requirement and equal to the NAVY SEALS in distance.  SEALS do it in boots, we do it in sand.  We gave them the edge in difficulty because there is a hard time limit on that specific portion and it is performed last in the test- after all of the other requirements.

The swim portion is roughly 160% of both organizations’ distance AND it is completed in the ocean, where candidates have deal with additional factors of waves and currents, plus visibility and navigation- it’s not that easy to swim in a straight line when you can’t see the bottom! Only Summertime Surf requires a paddle component, and only the SEALS have calisthenics requirements.

Each organization obviously has additional requirements and training standards, but this gives a general idea of the fitness level required of our instructors.

This year’s tryouts are scheduled for JUNE 6th and JUNE 13th at 9 AM 3rd Ave. in Belmar.

Mark your calendars if you want to join the team, or just come down and see an impressive display of physical fitness in the ocean!