My first experience with adaptive surfing I was able to collect during my stay in California. In San Clemente, California, the atmosphere shook with sheer passion and ambition, the feeling that “we create this” filled the environment. To observe how people with different handicaps were on their way to ride “the perfect wave” touched me very much. To see how the volunteers, who could hardly wait to provide help, jumped into the water to simply provide the necessary security, shook my worldview completely. When everyone fell in the arms at the end of the event and the tears of joy and gratitude filled the happy eyes, I was only melting away.
A short time later I was a spectator in La Jolla at the World Adaptive Surfing Championship “Stance 2016”. This passion continued there and in me the fire and love for surfing was born. In La Jolla were 77 participants from 22 nations, the only nation I really missed was Germany. The fact that Germany is not on the sea was not an excuse for me, which in the regular competitions Germany is finally also represented. At the event I came into contact with Ismael Guilliorit the founder of “Vagdespoir” from France and also got to know Acces surf from Hawaii.
During my stay I went as often as I could into the water, with my surfer’s friends to gather my first experiences. My friends have impressed me greatly throughout my stay. They were all paralyzed by an accident or illness, partially or completely from the neck, chest, others lacked limbs and others were blind or were born with a limitation. Each of them uses a specially built surfboard to surf. We spent a lot of time together and were able to observe how they mastered their everyday lives independently and with a lot of creativity. They all looked healthy and satisfied despite their limitations. With healthy I mean that despite their strong limitations they have a self-confident and open charisma. “What is not going to be made just fitting” is the guiding principle of my friends, because they live for surfing and an apology does not exist for the wave riders.
My first attempts were on the Wave-ski, and I quickly realized that paddling is not easy. But the fun and ambition grabbed me faster than I could think, suddenly I could trace the fire in the eyes of the surfers! Anyway, I want more!
Back home, I quickly started looking for a surfing school to deepen my already acquired knowledge. With the help of my friend Dani Burt, who surfs for Team America, we open an email dialogue with ISA and DWV arose and so I met Benjamin Hölscher from Germany, he is a passionate surfer and his sickness doesn’t really keep him from surfing, through him I came to the Ecole de Surf Lehena in Hendaye.