by Michelle Michalak August 18, 2017

Slyde Handboards crew of team riders are some of the most skilled waterman & woman on the planet. 

Here we interview 3 members from the OC crew, who are seasoned junior lifeguards (as of summer 2017 senior lifeguards) at some of the most dangerous beaches in Orange County. 

Tell us how you about when & why you joined the Junior Lifeguard Program?

Chapin Page who’s now 17, was self motivated, he started when he was 8 and is going into his 9th year in the program.

Dylan Biggerstaff who is 16 started when he was 10 years old, mainly because his friends were a part of it, and his mom wanted him to do it because she did it and so did all her brothers. He saw first hand how the prestigious position, opened up so many outlets for them in life & how fun it was.

Joe Nickerson who’s 16 stared at 9 years old. However, after 4 years he had a knee injury, so he stopped for a bit but is now back into it. His main motivation for getting involved his parents wanted him to do it. As he got older, they wanted to trust him to go to the beach by himself. Plus all his friends were doing it, and he loved it hanging out at the beach every day  

What does the try out process look like for Junior Lifeguards?

Some of the main points of the try out process are:
  • 100 yard swim if you’re new to the program under 1:50min if you’re older min 1:40
  • 10 yards under water without coming up for a breath
  • Tread water 2mins
  • Then you’re into the program & the 1st week = tryout week placed in different divisions based on skill level 

Fav thing about being a junior lifeguard? 

Dylan “being a part of kids 1st pier swim. It’s being a safety aid for kids that are swimming the pier.  Seeing the stoke on their face for finishing it and helping them accomplish such a cool feat.”

Joey “hanging out at the beach everyday and doing something I know would benefit me later in life, which opened up a ton of doors.”

Chapin “spending summers with all my friends that are there, and pushing personal limits.” 

How were you chosen for the New Zealand Lifeguard training trip?

The trip was from Dec 18th-Jan 7 2017 and included 36 junior lifeguards chosen to go 18boys +18 girls and their coaches. The main goal of the trip to experience NZ lifeguard style and get bronze medallions in order to be certified to lifeguard over there.

The general requirements to apply were, you have to be 3years in the program and be in the A division. The process was basically like an intense job interview with 2 in person screenings.

Obviously the 3 of you made it thru the grueling application process, what’d the trip itself look like? 

The trip was action packed and the Kiwis are so chill and laidback.

We flew into Auckland then flew to Queenstown (stayed 1 night).
The 1st week was spent touring the south island, hiking thru the glacier valley, whitewater rafting and exploring.Then we were off to France Joseph Glacier (2 days) and drove to Christ Church for Christmas.  We also flew to North Island to watch sheep being sheared. 

Best lesson from the experience?

It’s awesome the level of camaraderie and how everyone looks up to the lifeguards. The best lesson was how the lifeguards in NZ use their inflatable rescue boats & do things differently, like driving on opposite side of the road.


Cheers to the Dylan, Chapin, and Joey for their commitment, dedication, and stoke in making the ocean a safe an enjoyable adventure for us all.
Watch the Epic Video Version of this Interview Below:

view More on The Oc Crew

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Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.


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