Shawn Alladio pioneered big wave safety techniques


Words by Neil Pearlberg • Photos by David F. Pu’u


Shawn Alladio is a hero that few have heard of. A soft-spoken mother of two, her company K38 Water Safety
has been responsible for saving the lives of big wave surfing competitors for over 20 years. In that time she has developed and taught cutting-edge techniques for personal watercraft (PWC) rescue for both big wave and tow-in surfing.

All twenty-four surfers awaiting the 2013/2014 big wave surf contest at Mavericks acknowledge that if they get burned by some of the world’s meanest waves, K38 Water Safety may be the only hope they have. K38’s use of the rescue board attached to the stern section of the jetski has proven to be the standard of the industry in extricating victims in big, potentially deadly surf.

It was after the death of Mark Foo …