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Adaptive Surf Program Makes A Splash At Hawaiian Resort

Photo Courtesy Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience

The new adaptive surf program at Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii, makes surfing accessible for individuals living with disabilities. The Turtle Bay Resort along the North Shore of Oahu,

Hawaii created the program in partnership with five-time International Surfing Association (ISA) Para Surf World Champion Victoria Feige, making it a part of the resort’s already-existing Jamie O’Brien (JOB) Surf Experience

The new program offers private surf lessons tailored to a student’s individual needs. It is available to resort guests, the general public, children, and adults. According to the JOB Surf Experience website, it’s the first commercially available adaptive surf program in the state of Hawaii.

Photo Courtesy Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience  

According to Statista, nearly 4 million Americans participated in surfing in 2023. However, learning to surf with physical limitations can be overwhelming.

The Turtle Bay program makes learning the art of surfing readily available to all visitors to the island.

“I want to help other people with a disability enjoy the ocean like I do, and I’m proud to offer premier adaptive surf lessons with the world-class team at JOB Surf Experiences,” Feige said on the JOB Surf Experience website. “I’m so excited to take you surfing.”  

“In the warm, tropical waves here in Hawaii, it’s easy, and I feel free, happy, and energized surfing — I want to help other people with disabilities feel that too,” she continued. “Surfing is for everybody.” 

Photo Courtesy Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience  

Feige, who suffered a spinal cord injury at 18 that left her paralyzed from the waist down, holds five ISA Para Surfing World Titles, two Association of Adaptive Surfing Professionals World Titles, and a World Record. She is also North America’s first clinical physiotherapist wheelchair user.

In the Turtle Bay program, students in the adaptive surf lessons will be assigned two instructors each. The private lessons are carefully planned and tailored to each student’s needs and are held on a non-crowded beach. They include golf carts and amphibious beach wheelchairs as needed. Once in the water, the lessons also include specialized equipment that ensures comfort in the water.

Photo Courtesy Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience  

“As a co-founder of the world’s first commercial adaptive surf experiences with a para surfing champion, I’m so excited to offer these specialized lessons,” Feige said on the JOB Surf Experience website. “I became a physiotherapist, adaptive ski instructor, and now adaptive surf instructor because I wanted to pay it forward.” 

“When you see a person surfing independently after a serious accident and teaching other people with a disability to surf, it just hits different,” she continued.

Adaptive surf lessons can be booked through the JOB Surf Experience website

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