« Surfing is a way to be free »

«Surfing is a way to be free. » said Lisa Anderson, former world surfing champion. Surfing is about letting yourself be carried along on a board by a breaking wave. Whatever your level, from the very first glides, the sensations are there: speed and the energy of the wave.


This feeling of freedom is accessible to everyone : if you’re standing or lying on your surfboard.

More and more surf clubs and associations have been set up around the world to help people with disabilities enjoy the pleasures of surfing, because everyone should have access to these sensations. That’s how parasurfing was born – surfing adapted to people with motor or sensory disabilities.

Last year, the French Surfing Federation contacted Vipamat to discuss the accessibility of French clubs. After a number of discussions, and thanks to the partnership set up, the French Surfing Federation and the National Handi Surf Association have enabled almost twenty French surf clubs to equip themselves with a Hippocampe Beach and All-terrain. When these clubs are approved by the National Handi Surf Association, they welcome people with disabilities for introductory sessions with instructors trained in Handi Surf and Para Surf.

But it’s not just in France that the practice is becoming more widespread. With the summer holidays just around the corner, Vipamat wanted to highlight 3 associations and clubs that are working to promote access to water and board sports.


WSA : Surf Club in Guidel – Bretagne - France:

Founded in 1986, the WSA is based in Guidel-Plage in Morbihan. The association is affiliated to the French Surfing Federation and the French Roller and Skateboard Federation.

Its aims ? To promote board sports and parasurfing by teaching surfing and skateboarding to everyone. The WSA also offers support for people with disabilities.

West Surf Association website
Instagram Wild Skate Association
Facebook WSA West Surf Association

Fédération Française de Surf

📸 ©Kiril Dobrev de Pixabay

Surfeando Sonrisas : Surf Club in Neuvo Nayarit (North of Puerto Vallarta) - Mexico :

Based in Nuevo Nayarit, Mexico, Surfeando Sonrisas was founded in 2018 by Daniel Gomez de la Vega. Twelve years ago, Daniel had an accident while riding his motorbike. Apart from surfing, it was one of the things he loved most in life. Unfortunately, the incident left him a paraplegic. In an attempt to get back on his feet, Daniel started surfing again just seven months after his accident. He succeeded, thanks to his strength of character and the unfailing support of his family and friends.

The aim of the association : to improve the quality of life of children and young people with disabilities through surfing.

Surfeando Sonrisas website
Instagram Surfeando Sonrisas
Facebook Surfeando Sonrisas
📸 ©Surfeandosonrisas

Play and Train - Sant Feliu de Guíxols - Catalonia – Spain

Play and Train is a not-for-profit social entity founded in 2008.

Its aims ? To promote access to sport for people of all abilities, genders and ages, through recreational and competitive activities.

Play & Train website
Instagram Play & Train
Facebook Play & Train
📸 ©Play&Train

handicap surfing

« Surfing is a real vector of energy and well-being, sharing our passion has been for everyone from the start, we’re convinced of the benefits of surfing and the ocean! » Loïc. WSA

« Sport and Surf are great bridges to start overcoming your fears and limitations, and is easy to do and fun. Everybody should do sports as a life pilar. » Daniel. Surfeando Sonrisas

« Promoting sports for people with disabilities is essential for fostering inclusivity, improving physical and mental well-being, empowering individuals, and challenging societal perceptions. By creating opportunities for participation and celebrating the achievements of athletes with disabilities, we can build a more equitable and inclusive society. »Mariona. Play and Train

📸 ©Play&Train

Wheelchair for the beach

They also explained why and how they use the Hippocampe Beach and All terrain in their activities:

«We created a handi Surf section in 2016 with the sporting aim of regular sessions. We use the Hippocampe wheelchair to get into the water during our surf sessions.» Loïc. WSA

«Basically, Hippocampe Beach and All terrain provides freedom and joy for our kids with limited movement. It is easy to carry, weightless and works awesome.» Daniel. Surfeando Sonrisas

📸 ©Surfeandosonrisas

« the hippocampe wheelchair for inclusion »

« Since the Hippocampe wheelchair is a specialized wheelchair designed for outdoor activities and aquatic environments to help individuals with mobility impairments the opportunity to engage in various recreational activities, including beach trips, swimming, and other water-related. We use in our permanent accessible facility in Fuerteventura. (canary islands)  to enjoy the sea, the waves and the island. 

It helps our organization in numerous ways going to the beach to surf or practicing another sport :

  1. His accessibility features , such as, low seat height allowing individuals to transfer from other seating positions easily plus a good back support
  2. His Floating ability
  3. His all-terrain wheels, wide wheels with specially designed treads to handle sand and other uneven beach surfaces.
  4. The sand accesibility
  5. Lightweight and Portable
  6. Saltwater and UV Resistant:

The Hippocampe wheelchair promotes inclusivity and accessibility. » Mariona. Play and Train

Power of the ocean

Any lover of the ocean will tell you that spending time by the sea makes you feel better. The water, the air, the iodine, the sound of the waves and the scent of the ocean are an invitation to relax. 

If you’d like to try your hand at the thrill of sliding this summer, get in touch with these 3 enthusiastic associations 😉 !