'Murica Part 1

Beaches, fireworks and workouts, over the last month my life has been filled with great memories with a lot of different people. After the Maui Jim Oceanfest (3-5th June) I flew across America having a quick stop over at LA and Dallas Fort Worth and arriving in Destin, Florida. For the first 2 weeks I worked with Destin Fire and Rescue as a Lifeguard, where I attended a few first aid cases as a first responder. On the 23rd June I travelled with a small group of Destin lifeguards to the 904 (Jacksonville Beach) to compete in the 23rd Annual Jax beach lifeguard challenge. The first two events of the days were the ski relay and the taplin (6-person Ironman relay) where me and my team got 1st place in both events. The next couple of events included beach relay, board rescue relay, rescue tube relay, board relay and beach flags. Overall my team from D-town got 3rd place to St Johns County and Jax beach.

(Destin Lifeguards, L-R, Cory, Myself, Cory, Ollie, Bobby, Jesse)

For the next 2 weeks I spent my time training and living in Jacksonville beach, firstly I would like to say a big thank you to Randall and Liz (my new adopted parents) for allowing me to stay at their house and putting up with me. Secondly to the Jacksonville Lifeguards for allowing me to train and use their facilities. During these two weeks I hung out with a lot of the lifeguards at the station and learnt how they worked their beaches and responded to situations, also I got to train and coach the comp team on prone paddleboards, Spec ski’s (Lifesaving Skis) and did swimming sessions.
(My Jax Family, Liz,Myself and Candy (whoops I mean Randy;)) 

Over the two weeks I also attended a few races, a Tuesday night race hosted by Blue Line Surf, I got 1st overall on what was a challenging course. I also attended the 1st South Florida Surf Craft Challenge, I did the 12 mile up and back course in 1 hour and 32 mins, with Reid Hyle in 2nd in a time of 1 hour 34 mins and Flavio Costa in 1 hour 39 mins. I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to fellow paddler David Bell and his family for the loss of a great man, while we were on the start line he came up to Randall and spoke to him, wishing him good luck. We lost a great man, David tragically suffered a cardiac event during the race and passed away. If you would like to make a donation to help support his family I have attached a link. https://www.gofundme.com/2ea3h78  

(South Florida Challenge, L-R, North Florida Waterman-Randy, Flavio, Myself and Reid)

Independence day came around quickly and it was gone with a bang and a flash, It’s one of the days in a year where American’s celebrate all things ‘Murican. This year was my second 4th of July that I celebrated state side, and my goodness it was fun, everyone rides around 1st street (1st street that runs parallel to the beach) on their pushies (bicycles) there a quite few cars on the road. While riding up and down the street there are house parties nearly every second house, that you could drop your bike off in the front yard and just dance, party and play games. I rode around with a few of the lifeguards and jumped a few parties, rode away from police barricades, but that wasn’t the greatest part of the day. As the sun started setting around 9:00pm a few of us paddled out to watch the fireworks that were being shot off the pier. I thoroughly enjoyed my 4th, and I hope I can celebrate more of them with y’all.

(Jacksonville 'A-Team', Elise, Myself, Gordy and Annie)

I would just like to say Thank you to everyone who has supported myself to get where I am at the moment, My Family and Friends for always supporting me, Clint Robinson, Randall and Liz for allowing me to stay at their house, Epic Kayaks for providing great equipment, Vaikobi, Performance Paddles, Gary Crick Noosa and Nambour, Mass Nutrition-Noosa, Benny from Rainbow Concepts Remedial Centre and Miguel for making sure I minimalize the risk of me getting injured.  

(Jacksonville Beach Pier at Sunrise)

In my next blog post, I will be wrapping up the Canadian Surf Championships and the Gorge Downwind Championships, Keep your eyes out for the next post.

Ryan Paroz


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