Aquatic Development Group (ADG) the manufacturer of EpicSurf – a true deep-water, stationary surfing wave, is excited to announce their recent collaboration with a team of expert disability advocates to evaluate the wave’s inclusivity, accessibility, and potentially therapeutic benefits for individuals of ALL abilities.
EpicSurf teamed up with Justin Speegle, a Rhode Island surfer and retired Air Force Colonel who sits on the board of directors for non-profit, AMPSurf. AMPSurf’s mission is to share the joy and therapeutic effects of adaptive surfing with veterans, and adults and children living with a range of disabilities. For this event, EpicSurf welcomed adaptive surfing instructors, volunteers, and advisory board members, along with US Veterans Affairs professionals, physical therapists, life coaches, an education specialist, and a team of enthusiastic participants with diverse abilities and an abundance of stoke.
Providing a customized and authentic surfing experience tailored to each and every guest, EpicSurf’s rapid wave adjustability means that you can quickly & easily finetune the wave to match every rider’s skill level and choice of board. From beginners learning to surf, to experts perfecting their tricks and turns, to spectators who simply want to be a part of the action with up-close and interactive participation, EpicSurf provides the ideal platform for creating the ultimate surfing venue.
This experienced collective of ocean surfers, many retired veterans with invisible wounds, assessed the entire EpicSurf experience through the lens of the adaptive surfer, testing every possible wave riding scenario. The experts experimented with a variety of surfboards, body boards, adaptive boards – they role-played wipeouts, analyzed surfaces, construction materials, water conditions and velocity, pool entrances and exits – examining every possible adaptive situation.
“I see a lot of potential for this to be used not only as a recreational tool,” said Randi Woodrow, Physical Therapist, AMPSurf Board Member, “but also as an adjunct to a variety of rehabilitation therapies – and a great day riding the wave for almost anyone!”
Once the accessibility trials were complete, participants from the VA and Lifesong joined the session. Lifesong is an Albany-based, day habilitation program that provides ongoing support to adults with special needs for continued support and success in the community. A beginner surfer commented, “I have cerebral palsy, and I never thought I could do something like this,” she continued “I am so proud of myself and I can’t wait to surf again!”
“The ladies cannot stop talking about it! (Actually, we’re all talking about it quite a bit!) It’s such a fun and powerful opportunity,” said Scott W. Hamilton, Lifesong Inc., Director of Day Services, “The people we support would benefit from opportunities like this. Not only would it be a blast, but for them to be able to say, ‘I’ve tried surfing!” pushes the envelope of what they thought was possible. The growing opportunities are endless.”
More information can be found here.