«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.