Fitness Tests of the UK's Special Boat Service (SBS)

The Special Boat Service Unit of the U.K. is one of the most secretive units globally, often mistaken for the S.A.S. They specialize in Special Reconnaissance, Counter-terrorism, and Unconventional Warfare. Renowned for their expertise with canoes, they excel in swift sea infiltrations.

  • Motto: "By Strength and Guile"
  • Established in: 1940

To join, candidates must spend at least 2 years in the British Military before undergoing pre-selection. Most recruits come from the ranks of the Royal Marines, and only a select few make it through the demanding selection process.

S.B.S. Former Fitness Test

  1. Run

    • Pass: 1 Mile within 5 minutes.

  2. Underwater Swim

    • Pass: 75 meters nonstop

  3. Water Test

    • Pass: At the bottom of a pool, share a rebreather with others

*Don't attempt the water portions of the test without proper medical support.

Former British SBS Workout

The fitness regimen, as detailed in the book by former SBS Operator Duncan Falconer, "First Into Action," is exceptionally challenging. While current candidates may not undergo the same scrutiny, the water test involves sharing a rebreather in hollow water between team members without surfacing.

Selection SBS Course

Currently, SBS and SAS Selections are combined. Candidates undergo long ruck marches with weights up to 175 lbs, wear gear, and carry canoes on their backs. The selection process includes field training, lack of sleep, mental agility tests, canoe paddling, communication training, weapons training, and theoretical knowledge. Candidates face cold temperatures and swim through half-frozen lakes.

Attributes of an SBS Operator

SBS looks for candidates with patience, self-motivation, high physical and mental stamina, technical awareness, and a willingness to endure challenging conditions. Successful candidates exhibit tenacity, willpower, and strong team player capabilities.

British SBS Reserve Workout

To join the British SBS Reserve, candidates must complete a ruck run of 13 KM with 25 KG in 1 hour and 50 minutes, followed by a 500-meter non-stop swim and a water retrieval exercise. The reserve pre-selection test spans 4 days.

SBS Swimmer Canoeist Course

All SBS candidates must endure the Swimmer Canoeist Course (SC3), a specialization course.

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