|Enjoying the water during AccessSurf programs|
This non-profit corporation encourages those with any type of disability to come out and experience the benefits of surfing. Physical or mental impairments, cerebral palsy or blindness, all are welcome as long as they come with an open mind and an affinity for getting wet!
AccesSurf educates the community in the 'Day at the Beach' program. After attending 'Day at the Beach', which takes place the first Saturday of every month, one will walk away with more knowledge about adaptive water equipment including wave skis, specialized surf boards and other flotation devices. A special training by staff and volunteers familiarizes the attendees with each adaptive piece of equipment, which allows attendees to better choose which way they want to ride the waves. Based on the student surfer's needs and goals, the 'Day at the Beach' program prepares and educates the individuals with disabilities as well as their families on what to expect when he or she goes into the water with the adaptive equipment.
When a member of the adaptive community is ready to hit the waves, he or she may make a reservation through AccesSurf for surf instruction. Through this program, the participant is actively led into the ocean by a certified instructor where he or she can try snorkeling, surfing, stand-up paddling or swimming. The participant may choose to enter the water 'tandem', which is the term used when two people go in and surf together on the same aquatic device. The surf instruction program equips the adaptive surfer with the experience of therapeutic aquatic recreation and a new-found knowledge of what his or her own personal independence feels like when riding the waves off the coast of Kaneohe, HI.
AccesSurf also hosts a 'challenged Athlete's division' in their annual Duke's Oceanfest, an ocean games competition. There are two heats and a final competition for adaptive athletes at these aquatic ocean games, as well as a celebration reception at the end of the night for all the athletes.
For more information about AccesSurf and the awe-inspiring programs and competitions they offer for people with disabilities go to their website: http://www.accessurfhawaii.org/.