Iron Person + Training Info

What is Ironman and Ironwoman racing?

The Surf IronMan and Surf IronWoman events are the ultimate test of speed, skill, courage and endurance.

The athletes who take part are the elite of surf sports. They compete in a grueling event that combines swimming, running, surf ski paddling and board paddling. This combination of disciplines is also known as a Taplin event, and a ballot is held at the start of the carnival to determine the sequence of legs.

A race typically lasts for 40-50 minutes in total. To compete at the top level, IronMan and IronWoman competitors must excel in all four disciplines. A single weak leg can leave an athlete so far behind that it becomes impossible to catch up.

IronMan racing originated in the 1950s in Australia and the United States. In 1956, competitors from Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, New Zealand and the USA competed in a series of swim, board and ski races at Collaroy Beach in New South Wales. But the competition really took off in 1966, when the IronMan event was first included in the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.

Women were first permitted to compete in IronWoman events in the early 1990s, at first competing in only the swim, run and board legs, with the female ski leg being added several years later.


Training over the cooler months is conducted at the Burnie Aquatic Centre's indoor 25m pool and in the ocean mostly on the ski but some board is introduced as the warmer weather kicks in. As we move into the warmer months training moves to the 50m outdoor pool, alternating between open water swims and pool work and the board and ski sessions are incorporated around the swimming programme.

Contact Information

If you are interested in becoming a member and trying a surf sport, email or send us a message via the online form provided.

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