Eric Akiskalian is leading a new global water patrol and safety program

Above: Eric Akiskalian navigates the heavy beach break of North Canyon in Nazare, Portugal while assisting Garrett McNamara / Photo: Jorge ‘Jesus’ Leal

April 3, 2017
Green Collar Technologies

Professional big wave surfer, Eric Akiskalian is leading a new global water patrol and safety program to help ensure that big wave surfers are safer in the future.

With Green Collar Technologies support, Eric’s safety crews will be running water safety during the big wave seasons at well recognized big wave locations throughout the world. This program will also assist in providing safety equipment to other safety crews that are in need of support. Water rescues and assists during big swells are critical in today’s world of extreme big wave surfing.

Eric’s personal big wave surfing experience of 25 years, has lead him to create an ideal program for the sport. His water rescue expertise, international logistics and training provides the necessary components to mitigate the inherit dangers involved. His public speaking and global outreach capabilities make Eric an ideal facilitator. The primary goal is to allow surfers to more safely push the limits of big wave surfing around the world. With the assurance that there will be ample safety crews in the waters to assist with rescue and pick ups the level of surfing will continue to be pushed above all current levels. This is the evolution of our sport and all safety measures have to be in place.

“With more then 50 guys in the lineup during every big Mavericks swell and only 2-4 water safety personnel assisting, it is not possible to watch over everyone when things go wrong.We need to change this ratio so riders without their own safety team can surf safely.” – Eric Akiskalian, towsurfer.com, Logistics/Safety – Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Finalist 2011

With the help from professional PWC safety drivers, spotters on shore and on the cliffs with advanced technologies,  Eric’s global team will increase the ratio of “safety personnel to riders” and reduce the odds of drowning at selected big wave locations during big swells.

“As surfers we understand the dangers. Surfers will continue to push the limits of riding giant waves but additional precautions are necessary to make the sport safe. We play a supporting role by partnering with others to ensure this program achieves it’s desired result to save lives.” – Brent Norris, Green Collar Technologies

Nazare, Portugal has been selected as the ultimate location for this program during the 2017/2018 big wave season from October thru February. Known for producing the largest waves in the world during the North Atlantic Hemisphere big wave season. Nazare holds the most challenging and heaviest beach break conditions making water safety very mentally and physically draining. More support is needed at this location and our goal is to make this happen. Internationally known big wave surfer, Garrett McNamara currently holds the Guinness World record for riding the biggest wave measured at 78’ in Nazare.

Green Collar Technologies, in addition will help set a new standard in big wave surfing safety at selected big wave surfing locations. Our intention is to increase our ability to serve big wave surfing venues around the world.

“I have known Eric Akiskalian of Towsurfer.com for over 15 years and I have traveled to many global big wave destinations with him as well. Over the years, he has demonstrated his dedication, expertise, time and passion to promoting our sport and keeping surfers safe with assisting in water safety and rescue. As of recent, I have personally had him work with me in Nazare, Portugal and Mavericks, CA for water safety, assist and rescue for our crew. I trust his abilities and level of experience with my life in any situation that he is willing to put himself in. He’s very calculated and confident, but he also knows that mistakes and bad situations will happen to the best. He’s mentally and physically prepared for the worst case scenarios. He’s a great friend with a big heart and very easy to work with.” – Garrett McNamara / Current Guinness World Record Holder for Biggest Wave Surfed

Another GCT partner leading the effort is the Iron Men of Surfing.

The Iron Men of Surfing is an elite group of legendary surfers keenly focused on ocean safety and awareness. Their dedication to those in the pursuit of the art of big wave surfing is unparalleled. During their careers they have experienced more than their share of losses surfing big waves. Making the sport safer is a great way for us to honor their efforts to make the sport possible.

Some of these legendary surfers are already supporting ocean safety efforts at local beaches and we want to help. We want to further support their efforts to help children become aware of the safety issues and mitigating those issues. The hope is the next generation of big wave surfers will be safe as the sport continues to grow. Getting more people involved at the local level is a key step and has been the cornerstone of our sustainability efforts.

Green Collar Technologies will support local efforts with standardized, downloadable, easy to deploy, measurable programs. Local educators and subject matter experts will share these programs with local fire, lifeguard and public safety decision makers in their communities.

For more information on how you can get involved and or support this program contact:

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