Lifeguards on Cliffhanger

Lifeguards assisting guest on Cliffhanger

Lifeguards are the first line of safety for our guests at Schlitterbahn. From helping guests on a rapid on the Raging River to watching over the little ones at Kiddie Coast, our lifeguards are always looking out for every guest who comes to the hottest, coolest time in Texas. We take pride in keeping our lifeguards at Schlitterbahn up to date on water safety and safety procedures. For example, guards are required to have at least four hours of in-service training once a month.

My name is Ryan Nobles and I have been in the aquatic industry for six years working as a head lifeguard for the City of Houston and The University of Texas at San Antonio. I have had the opportunity to optimize guest safety in and out of the water by creating a safe environment for families by skillfully watching patrons and maintaining aquatic centers throughout south Texas. After gaining much experience in the aquatic industry, I would like to share how much passion and effort goes into equipping our lifeguards at Schlitterbahn with the skills they need to make sure every guest has fun while being safe.

Think you know someone who has what it takes to be a lifeguard? Check out a lifeguard’s average day at the Bahn.

Let the Day Begin 

Our amazing lifeguards begin every day with a safety meeting where they discuss safety procedures and regulations that every guard must follow. Guards practice skills such as whistle calls and CPR during these meetings to make sure that everyone is prepared for a busy day at the waterpark. Guards also make sure that they have every piece of equipment they need for a successful day. This includes a rescue tube, hat, sunglasses, whistle, fanny pack, rescue mask, gloves, water bottle, and last but not least, a bottle of sunscreen. Guards also play wake up games- interactive games that energize them for a hard working day in the sun. Once guards have completed their meetings, they report to their designated sections where they make sure areas are cleaned and prepared for park guests.

Lifeguard in Hillside Tube Chute

Lifeguard assisting in Hillside Tube Chute

During Shift

Once the workday has started, guards head to their positions where they effectively scan and operate our rivers, tube chutes, and rides. Guards actively watch waterways by “scanning” their sections in a head-bobbing motion. This is done to make sure every guest in sight is accounted for and to keep the lifeguard attentive. Lifeguards also use certain signals to let other guards in their section know if something is going on through a system called whistle calls. Lifeguards at Schlitterbahn typically works six to ten positions a day and changes locations every 30 minutes. They begin taking lunch breaks around 11:00 o’clock and receive breaks throughout the day to rehydrate and catch a break from the Texas heat.

Lifeguard in Raging River

Lifeguard in Raging River

Ending the Day 

Once the waterpark closes, guards begin doing a sweep to make sure every guest is out of the water safely, and all rides and rivers are clear. They then gather tubes out of attractions, collect life jackets, and make sure their section is clean of trash or debris that might have accumulated during the day. Guards also assist in cleaning the parking lot and stacking tubes before they head home for the day.

The Golden Guard award is one of the highest awards a lifeguard can earn for showing exemplary skills in water safety. Kendry Guzman and Jeremiah Jensen, some of the best lifeguards Schlitterbahn has to offer, recently were honored with the Golden Guard Award by Ellis & Associates. There are less than one hundred lifeguards selected around the world who receive this honor.

Our lifeguards are some of the best in the country and most of them are hardworking high schoolers and college students who love working in our fun-filled environment. Guards also enjoy the amazing benefits that come with being a Schlitterbahn employee such as free admission into the waterpark and various discounts at other shops and eateries around Texas and Kansas. Next time you see a lifeguard walking by, make sure to say hello!


Lifeguards smiling in Gator Bowl