Adaptive Surfing Magazine: Vol. 3 Release

Those who participated or attended the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships got a sneak peak at Adaptive Surfing Magazine: Vol. 3, as we released a limited edition collectors print run at the event. We are now pleased to share the content with everyone in our digital edition and we do have print copies available for order as well. Enjoy the amazing feats of awesomeness featured in Vol. 3.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the US Open Adaptive Surfing Championships

The US Open Adaptive Surfing Championships put an exclamation mark on the rapidly growing adaptive surfing movement. This inaugural event brought surfers from around the world to compete at the Oceanside Pier in San Diego, California and mother nature provided as overhead sets were being served up all weekend long, with a few moments of carnage outweighed by overwhelming stoke. The following are a few of the epic waves and smiling faces from the weekend...

photos by: Brody

U.S. Open Adaptive Surf Championship: October 21-22, 2017

Stoke for Life Foundation is structuring an elite world class adaptive surf competition that will be done annually and will attract the top disabled adaptive surfers from around the world. This open competition will be sanctioned under Surfing America and will be a qualifying event for the Surfing America U.S. National Adaptive Surfing Championships. This means it will draw the best adaptive surfers from all over the world. Stoke for Life would like this competition to focus more on the ability of the surfer through elite competition rather than focus on the disability. First and foremost this is an ADAPTIVE surf competition, and how each disabled athlete has adapted to his/her surfing will not be altered in this competition. We envision this contest to be like any other professional contest with cash and or prizes for the athletes that finish on the podium. Stoke for Life Foundation cannot do this alone it will take the help of sponsors, vendors, and volunteers alike to put on a world class event.

More information is available at www.stokeforlife.org

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Mike Coots Gallery: For the Love of the Sea

From Adaptive Surfing Magazine: Vol. 2

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Shark attack survivor turned shark advocate, Mike Coots, has an affinity for the sea and all that surrounds it. His iconic selfies from deep within the tube are widely admired, but many people are not aware that Coots loves to point the camera the other direction as well, and he is quite the accomplished photographer. Some of his clients include Four Seasons, Under Armour, Canon and the NFL and his work has been featured in prestigious outlets such as, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Forbes. In addition, the beautiful cover shot of Bethany Hamilton on Volume Two of Adaptive Surfing Magazine was captured by Coots, as well as the following selection of nautical imagery. Enjoy.

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Remembering Sam Day - "Surfing & the Human Spirit" by Lorna Day

One year ago the global surf community lost a very special member, Sam Day. Sam battled with cancer while falling in love with surfing. The stoke he felt riding waves and the support from the surf community had unparalleled value for Sam. He was the inspiration for the Jr. Seau Foundation Adaptive Surfing Program presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation and his legacy lives on each day through adaptive surfers from across the world that are inspired by his stoke, courage, and tenacity.

Lorna Day, Sam's mother, puts it best below by poetically describing Sam's relationship with surfing and the power that surfing has on the human spirit in the article she wrote for Adaptive Surfing Magazine: Vol. 2, "Surfing & the Human Spirit". Please take a few minutes to read Lorna's heartfelt words and help us celebrate Sam...

 photo: Rich Cruse/CAF

photo: Rich Cruse/CAF

I remember so clearly, recognizing that my son’s battle with cancer was more than just a risk to his life, it was also a threat to his spirit.

Sam was a spirited kid, to say the least. He thrived on big ideas, competition and adventure. He loved to laugh and his quick wit engaged his teachers even more than his peers. “Spirited” practically defined him, and sometimes it got him into trouble. I liked that about him.

He was nine years old when we found the tumor in his left fibula. Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare and relentless bone cancer. The nine-month chemotherapy protocol was brutal. His only break was for surgery. He wasn’t supposed to lose his leg, but the initial surgery did not go well and we had to decide between radiation or amputation, just below the knee. When Sam finished treatment in May 2011, he was skinny, bald, and missing a leg.

A couple of weeks into that dark and agonizing journey, I remember feeling confident that we would get to keep Sam, but worried we would lose his spirit. So, we began seeking life-giving opportunities to pull that sparkle out of him whenever possible. Our family made a commitment to living well, to the best of our ability. We had two battles on our hands, the fight against the cancer, and the fight to live well.

A year after completing his treatment, Sam relapsed with a tumor in his other foot and the surgeon took his two biggest toes and their corresponding foot bones, leaving him with three little toes and a fragile right foot. He was still getting chemotherapy when he was introduced to surfing.

 photo: Rich Cruse/CAF

photo: Rich Cruse/CAF

The Challenged Athletes Foundation invited us to La Jolla for a weekend of sport among other athletes with all kinds of disabilities and surfing was the first clinic of the weekend. Once we arrived, volunteers helped Sam navigate a wetsuit for the first time and introduced him to some other young athletes. He’d never seen so many amputees before. They were kids just like him, but different too. Across the beach we saw kids in bright yellow and green CAF rash guards. Some of them missing one leg, some two, some were impaired from the waist down and some seemed to be disabled all over. My eyes were constantly scanning people to see what was missing. But it didn’t matter what was missing. These kids wanted to go surfing and the energy around this community was contagious.

The kids gathered for a brief introduction on the beach, where they learned some basics as well as the most critical move of a surfer....the shaka. Then they hit the waves with their designated surf coaches. There were legs and wheelchairs left behind along the beach, depending on what was just right for each body. Some parents stood at the edge of the water holding their kids’ leg to make sure it didn’t get sand in the grooves and pockets of the essential equipment. Sam had a plastic leg made especially for the water, so he kept it on under his wetsuit and headed out with his designated surf coach.

He was hooked from the very first wave.

My husband and I watched from the shore while he surfed in on his knees on a large foam longboard yelling “THAT WAS AWESOME!!!” Again and again, he rode the waves until he could do it standing up, always checking to make sure I got it on video. He was so stoked you would never believe just three days prior, he had been hooked up to multiple bags of chemotherapy feeling nauseous, tired and lethargic. Those waves were good medicine.

 photo: Rich Cruse/CAF

photo: Rich Cruse/CAF

He came home from San Diego and proclaimed to friends, teachers and family, that surfing was his new favorite sport.

A year later, he went back to San Diego for another chance to surf. He was paired up with Liam Fergusen, who was working with the ISA at the time and volunteering at the CAF kids surf clinic. Meanwhile, cancer had continued its relentless invasion, this time to Sam’s lungs. He was the only bald surfer on the beach. But, despite the intensity of his challenges, something really cool happened to Sam that day.

There is a name for what he experienced. “Flow”.

A behavioral scientist named Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi developed the concept. He had observed at a young age, that people could find happiness through activity, even after the most devastating life circumstances. Flow describes what happens when someone is so blissfully consumed by an activity, they lose track of time and awareness of everything going on around them. They become so immersed in what they are doing, the individual gets lost in pure happiness. It is that moment when everything you are doing comes together so perfectly, you spontaneously think, (or yell) “THIS IS AWESOME!

Sam found his ultimate source of “flow” when he surfed with Liam that day. I found myself watching him wave after wave after wave, his spirit more alive than I had seen it in many months. When the clinic time ended, Sam had no idea. He just kept surfing until someone told him it was time to come in and I am pretty sure he came out of the water with a new identity. He was no longer just the kid who lost his leg to cancer, he was a surfer.

 photo: Val Reynolds/CAF

photo: Val Reynolds/CAF

Of all the kids on the beach that day, Sam was fighting the toughest battle. But somehow, surfing gave him a contagious smile, and the “stoke” became tangible.

Through the years, I have had the privilege of knowing several adaptive surfers. Many of them became injured because they crave the addiction to flow. Their injuries are a result of the pursuit of a deeply satisfying engagement in challenging physical activity. And yet, the spinal cord injury, or amputation, becomes a threat to everything their spirit needed to thrive. If a body does not work properly any more, how can you achieve the pleasure of mastering movement while riding a wave?

The adaptive surfing movement has opened the doors for people who have endured traumatic, life- altering circumstances to find their flow once again. It is an invitation for the human spirit to thrive.

It was not so much the impairment that threatened Sam’s spirit. It was the ongoing battle with the disease and the consuming nature of cancer. He was born with an incredible spirit, but no matter the level of stoke you are born with, the human spirit needs to be nurtured. Achieving a sense of flow through sport can offer a heavy dose of happiness for the grieving human heart.

I lost my remarkable surfer boy on August 27th, 2016. Though the battle had been long, the end came quickly and unexpectedly.

Just six weeks before Sam died, he was surfing. He arrived at the Jr. Seau camp in a bit of pain, his lungs unable to take on the oxygen needed for more aerobic activities, and he was carrying some anger because of the setbacks he was facing with his cancer. I remember handing him off, with humble gratitude, to a community of instructors and peers who exude positivity, compassion and stoke.

He was a bit rusty and timid at first, not the normal “Sam” energy. But the peace of the water out beyond the waves, the positivity of his competent surfer friends, and the sense of mastery he began to grasp once again over the waves of the Del Mar beach brought life back into his spirit.

On the last day of surf camp, the kids had the opportunity to compete. Adaptive surfers Dan and Christiaan sat in beach wheelchairs at the edge of the waves to act as judges while young surfers entered their

first ever surf competition. It was a small event. There were no massive crowds, no impressive sound system with running commentary, no brand name sponsors or massive banners to draw attention to the event. But all Sam needed was an opportunity to compete once again. Having to drop out of sports at the age of nine took a toll on his competitive spirit. So, he lit up at the opportunity.

He took to the waves with methodical determination and I watched his mind and body work in sync with the ocean on a level I had not seen before. He surfed with skill and it showed on his face. He took wave after wave, competing against his good friend and fellow amputee, Kevin, throwing shakas with each ride. I know what stoke looks like because it was written all over Sam’s face. Another transformation had taken place.

When the horn blew, Sam came out of the water, tired from giving it his all but beaming with satisfaction. He said, “Mom, I feel like I surfed perfect!”

After a series of heats, the judges tallied up their scores and announced there was a tie for first place. Sam and his friend Kevin would compete for first with a “surf off.” Both young men were challenged by the final battle for first place and Kevin ended up with the win.

Just weeks before Sam died, he was full of life. To non-surfers, it is hard to imagine why I might suggest the significance of that experience. I had a sick downtrodden son on my hands. He was dying and we didn’t even know it. No matter how strong or how big a person’s spirit is when they are brought into this world, there are times when human spirit needs to be nurtured in heavy doses. We all come alive with different experiences and for some, surfing makes the world go round.

Sam was blessed that week with a rare and remarkable community of surfers, the beauty and healing serenity of the ocean, and the buzz of a healthy competition. He found FLOW by training his battered, weary body to dance with the waves.

In Sam’s words “It’s one of the best things you’ll ever do, it’s one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. When you finally catch that one perfect wave, it just feels so awesome.”

 photo: CAF

photo: CAF

You can learn more about Sam Day and the Jr. Seau Adaptive Surfing Program presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation that he inspired in the following video.

Excitement Mounts for 11th Annual Duke's Oceanfest

The global Adaptive Surfing Community is abuzz as everyone mobilizes to Hawaii for the 11th annual Duke's Oceanfest International Adaptive Surfing Competition presented by AccesSurf. What started as a small, friendly, grassroots competition has spawned into one of the most important events on any adaptive surfer's calendar. There is something about the aloha spirit, the jade water color, and flawless waves of Waikiki that make this gathering so special for adaptive surfers from across the globe.

Congratulations to AccesSurf for hosting such an amazing event year after year!

If you are not already excited, this video from last year's Duke's Oceanfest, beautifully shot and edited by Freedomedia, will push you over the edge.

First Ever English Adaptive Surfing Open set for Sept. 16 in Cornwall

PRESS RELEASE: SURFING ENGLAND

2017 English Adaptive Surfing Open

September 16th 2017 – Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Surfing England, its partners and sponsors are proud to bring you the first ever English Adaptive Surfing Open, an event for surfers with a variety of disabilities to be held at Watergate Bay in Cornwall on Saturday 16th September 2017.

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This inaugural event signifies the development of England’s adaptive surfing programme in line with the global momentum push for Adaptive Surfing and in preparation for the World Adaptive Surfing Games this autumn.

The event will see adaptive surfers united in a common love for surfing, and with the goal of taking the titles, whilst having fun and competing against their peers, in divisions identified by their surfing functional ability; Assisted; Prone; Sitting/Kneeling; Standing & Open.

Surfing England aim to raise the profile and opportunity for adaptive surfing and build off the important work already in place from event partners in Help for Heroes, The Endeavour Fund, Operation Surf, The Waveproject, Surfability UK and The Wave.  Surfing England see Adaptive Surfing as an integral part of the English Surfing community and area that they want to celebrate and grow – as their first Adaptive event they hope to learn and provide a day of inclusivity, rivalry and enjoyment.

The criteria for surfers to participate can be seen here: CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA

If a surfer has any query over eligibility to participate please contact: Nick Rees, event manager – please detail your case for entry and this will be reviewed by the entry committee: Nick@surfingengland.org

To enter please click the event link and purchase ‘tickets’ to your chosen division. All spectators’ welcomed, free entry and no tickets required.

>>>English Adaptive Surfing Open Entry<<<

Entry costs £5 per surfer and closes on Thursday September 14th at 9am. The event call (condition dependent) will be made by 12pm that day via Surfing England. Entry is based on first come first served and is limited in each division. Surfers must be a member of Surfing England or another surfing federation. Not a member? Join from £15 a year here: JOIN Surfing England

Surfers are expected to use the correct equipment (including surfboard and wetsuit), these are to be in line with ISA rules and ISA Adaptive Rules. Wave Skis are permitted in the sitting and assisted divisions only – please notify event organisers if you intend to use a Wave ski. If a surfer is unsure on the eligibility of their equipment please contact the event organisers.

The event judging criteria information is taken from the ISA Adaptive Rulebook which can be seen below.

Surfers wishing to be considered for selection into Team England Adaptive Team for the World Adaptive Surfing Games, California in November should register this register their interest with event organisers. Eligibility policy for England can be view online and please note the detailed participation criteria:

Surfing England English Team Eligibility Policy

ISA Adaptive Rulebook

Thank you to sponsors Caravan & Motorhome Club, Korev Lager, Surfdome, Jeep, GoPro, Pacsafe, Dryrobe and Stance.

Stance Renews its Partnership with the ISA Through 2018 as Title Sponsor of the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship

PRESS RELEASE: INTERNATIONAL SURFING ASSOCIATION (ISA)
August 15, 2017
 

First edition of event under Paralympic recognition to take place November 29 – December 3 in La Jolla, California

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is delighted to announce that Stance has agreed to continue their dedicated support of Adaptive Surfing and continue as Title sponsor of the Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship for two more years, through 2018.

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Stance, an innovative, industry-leading lifestyle brand, first joined the inaugural edition of the event in 2015 as a presenting sponsor. In 2016, Stance stepped up their support to become the event’s first title sponsor and now has committed to continuing as the top supporter of the event through 2018, solidifying their brand’s integral, historic role in the growth and development of Adaptive Surfing world-wide.

“At Stance, we are excited to continue being a part of this amazing event,” said President and Co-Founder of Stance, John Wilson. “Each athlete has an inspiring story of perseverance, courage, and determination that epitomize our core value of human originality.

“We have watched Adaptive Surfing blossom before our eyes at the last two editions of the event. We are looking forward to contributing to this incredible community in a positive way and being part of the sport’s journey towards Paralympic inclusion. We know that with hard work these athletes can make their countries proud and get to the world’s greatest sporting stage.”

The 2017 edition of the World Adaptive Surfing Championship, taking place from November 29 to December 3 at La Jolla Shores beach in La Jolla, California, will notably be the first since the ISA was officially recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as the International Federation for the sport of Para Surfing (Adaptive Surfing) and will mark another step towards the ISA’s ambitions of including Adaptive Surfing in the Paralympic Games.

In 2015, the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship became the first-ever world championship platform for surfers with physical challenges. At the time, 69 athletes from 18 countries around the world gathered to unite through Surfing. The second edition of the event in 2016 exemplified the exceptional growth of the sport, as 77 athletes from 22 countries participated in the event, breaking the record for country and athlete participation, which is expected to be broken again in 2017.

 Brazil’s Davi Teixeira celebrates his Gold Medal performance, leading Team Brazil to the overall Team Gold Medal at the 2016 edition. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Brazil’s Davi Teixeira celebrates his Gold Medal performance, leading Team Brazil to the overall Team Gold Medal at the 2016 edition. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The reverberating effects of Adaptive Surfing’s growth can be felt not only at the world championship, but also at the numerous national championships around the globe that have ridden the wave of momentum created by the ISA. ISA Member Nations such as France, Australia, Chile, Brazil, USA, Hawaii, and South Africa have all held their own National Championships to select teams for the event, with more set to do so before the upcoming World Championship.

Adding to the prestige of the event, renowned Southern California surf artist, Andy Davis, brought his passion and energy to the World Championship and created the official artwork for the third consecutive year.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“The ISA is proud and excited to make Surfing more accessible to those with physical challenges. These world-class athletes deserve a world-class platform to compete, share best practices, and crown world champions.

“The ISA’s commitment to Adaptive Surfing has never been greater, as we are spearheading the movement via working with the International Paralympic Committee, organizing the World Championship, Adaptive Surfing clinics, symposiums, and leading important development initiatives through our National Federations.

“I would like to give a huge thanks to Stance, who has shown their passion and commitment to being a socially responsible brand that makes a positive impact on the world. Stance has been a key partner in growing and developing Adaptive Surfing and we are thrilled to continue to count on their invaluable support.”

The 2017 edition of the event will follow the team competition format that debuted in 2016, which resulted in Team Brazil earning the honor of the first-ever Adaptive Surfing Team World Champion in history.

The full schedule of events for the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship will be announced soon on isasurf.org.

For more information about Adaptive Surfing, click here.

About Stance Inc.
We have turned socks into one of the world’s most exciting accessories in less than five years. Our founders saw a category that had been ignored, taken for granted, looked over, and dismissed. By creating life into something that had been overlooked, we ignited a movement of art and self-expression that has drawn athletes, performers, and iconic cultural influencers to the brand–a group we call the Punks & Poets. By underpinning our creative roots with a relentless focus on technical innovation, we’ve ensured that Stance socks are now found in over 40 countries on the feet of those who dare to be different.

About The International Surfing Association:
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 103 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).