PURPOSE: To describe time delay during surf rescue and compare the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before and after exertion in surf lifeguards. METHODS: A total of 40 surf lifeguards at the Tylösand Surf Lifesaving Club in Sweden (65% men; age, 19-43 years) performed single-rescuer CPR for 10 minutes on a Laerdal SkillmeteÔ Resusci Anne manikin. The test was repeated with an initial simulated surf rescue on an unconscious 80-kg victim 100 m from the shore. The time to victim, to first ventilation, and to the start of CPR was documented. RESULTS: The mean time in seconds to the start of ventilations in the water was 155 ± 31 (mean ± SD) and to the start of CPR, 258 ± 44. Men were significantly faster during rescue (mean difference, 43 seconds) than women (P = .002). The mean compression depth (millimeters) at rest decreased significantly from 0-2 minutes (42.6 ± 7.8) to 8-10 minutes (40.8 ± 9.3; P = .02). The mean compression depth after exertion decreased significantly (44.2 ± 8.7 at 0-2 minutes to 41.5 ± 9.1 at 8-10 minutes; P = .0008). The compression rate per minute decreased after rescue from 117.2 ±14.3 at 0 to 2 minutes to 114.1 ± 16.1 after 8 to 10 minutes (P = .002). The percentage of correct compressions at 8 to 10 minutes was identical before and after rescue (62%). CONCLUSION: In a simulated drowning, 100 m from shore, it took twice as long to bring the patient back to shore as to reach him; and men were significantly faster. Half the participants delivered continuous chest compressions of more than 38 mm during 10 minutes of single-rescuer CPR. The quality was identical before and after surf rescue.