Limb Different Surfers To Trial New Surfing Prosthetic at The Wave
The IAMPOSSIBLE Foundation Teams Up with Soft Prosthetics Company, Koalaa, and The Wave in Bristol to Make Surfing Accessible
This weekend (Sunday 21 November) 8 surfers with an upper body limb difference will head to Bristol and jump on their surfboards to trial an innovative new soft prosthetic – thanks to a collaboration between the IAMPOSSIBLE Foundation, prosthetics company, Koalaa, and inland surfing destination, The Wave. IAMPOSSIBLE Founder, Nicole Brennan, has worked with Koalaa to create a soft surfing prosthetic that is to be put through its paces by the group of adults and children with limb differences.
Nicole was born with a congenital limb difference meaning that her right arm did not fully develop before birth. She comments:
“I have always wanted to try surfing but it has never felt as though it has been a sport that is available to me. To collaborate with Koalaa’s design team to create a prosthetic that will make surfing accessible to those with limb differences is a dream come true!”
The Wave team invited Nicole, along with her Foundation‘s ambassadors and Koalaa’s design team, to trial the new prosthetic at its unique surfing destination. The group of 8 limb different adults and children will enjoy a beginner surf lesson with The Wave’s expert surf coaches and Founder, Nick Hounsfield, who has always been passionate about making surfing accessible to all.
“We built accessibility into The Wave from the very beginning and are always looking at ways to remove barriers to anyone being able to get on a board and share the joy of surfing. We want people to reap the many health benefits of surfing, whatever their age, background or ability. It’s brilliant to be part of the work IAMPOSSIBLE and Koalaa are doing to develop tailored prosthetics for different activities – and I can’t wait to be there whooping everyone on in the waves this weekend!”
During the session Koalaa’s design team will be on standby to fit the surfers with a prosthetic if they would like to try it on the waves.
Nate, Founder of Koalaa, says:
“I have always seen Koalaa as a service that is there to support people to do whatever they want, without limitations. It is great to team up with like-minded organisations like IAMPOSSIBLE and The Wave, who are increasing the equity in activities like surfing for disabled individuals.”
Koalaa will be providing the surfing prosthetics free of charge to surfers under the age of 18 through their fundraising appeal Project Limitless which aims to give every child in the UK who needs one access to a prosthetic arm.
The IAMPOSSIBLE Foundation was founded by Nicole in 2018 and is one of the only disabled-led charities for those with limb differences in the UK and aims to create a world where ability is not defined by an individual’s form or physical appearance.
“So often disabled individuals are met with barriers and limitations when it comes to prosthetics and physical activities but to be able to empower the surfers with the choice to try these prosthetics on the day alongside the support of adaptive surfing coaches is so powerful.”
“We need to change the narrative on what it means to be disabled and to challenge the barriers that stop activities and adaptive aids being accessible to those with disabilities.”