Surfing England debuts innovative training session on Adaptive Surfing

Saturday 30th June saw the debut training session for Surfing England on Adaptive Surfing. Over 30 surf coaches and volunteers travelled from all over England to participate. It was a day where perceptions were challenged, ideas and knowledge were shared, and we took a big move forward in promoting inclusivity in the English Surfing Community. Check out this awesome video and summary of what we got up to!

Arriving at The Carnmarth Hotel, 8 am, fresh faced and fueled with coffee we cracked on with some theory. We delved straight into thought-provoking discussions on what is inclusion and how we can strive to become more inclusive to every person who may wish to surf. This led to discussions on Adaptive Surfing, how this operates in a contest format, and categories and classifications of Adaptive Surfers. The training session challenged perspectives on what is possible, and, so achievable when a support network is in place.

Before heading to the beach, we learnt about equipment and mobility aids, transfers and manual handling, and how important it is to ensure the participant is comfortable at all times. Further to this, discussions took place about the importance of contacting the surfer before the session and understanding what facilities they require. This ensures a session can run as smoothly as possible.

Finally, Spike Kane delivered the most motivating talk on his post-accident recovery and how surfing really makes him love life.

Mid-morning and Fistral Beach was basking in sunshine and had a small wave running. A quick suit up and the last 90 minutes were spent putting the newly learnt skills into practice. Everyone took turns to act as the participant, using the beach wheelchairs, getting transferred onto surfboards and wearing goggles that simulated different visual impairments. Plenty of waves were surfed, loads of ideas and knowledge were shared, we were buzzing all day!

A big thanks to all the volunteers who gave up their time to attend this training session, to Surfability UK for running the session and The Wave for enabling us to offer this opportunity.

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