Mayday Mayday. The past couple of months have seen some nasty brushes with death for a few big names in the sport.

Sure, we all laugh it off in the name of the game, but as the level of performance soars so do the risks. But even for us mere Mortals, sailing confidently is often the key to avoiding disaster, so the main thing is to sail in a group if you can - not only to push each other, but also to look out for your friends on the water. In Boujmaa Guilloul's case it was an heroic rescue and lightning-fast reaction by Klaas Voget that saved his life at Ho'okipa one busy April photo-shoot day. Meanwhile, up at Peahi, Polakow ducked-out from under a jetski and Robby Naish reportedly nearly drowned. You can read about those incidents and more, plus view an awesome clip by umi pictures in our exclusive lead feature JAWS March 15th 2011.

These near-death experiences can help us put things in perspective. Which is exactly what do by taking stock of the sport in a White House-style State of the Union Address. German Pro Peter Garzke also got his worldview in line by starting a stoked-fuelled project for disadvantaged South African children. Read all about his most perfect gift in Township Kids Project.

Cover and this Page: Congratulations to Belgian Freestyler Steven Van Broeckhoven (B-72) on his first PWA Event win at the 2011 PWA Surf World Cup in Podersdorf, Austria. Steven beat reigning world champ Gollito, as well as Kiri Thode and Davy Scheffers (inset)
Loving Life: Boujmaa Guilloul in good spirits back at home Morocco as his face and arm injuries heal thanks to Klaas Voget's heroic rescue action at Ho'okipa.
Shot: Van Broeckhoven at Langebaan SA by Tim Hendrics