Championing surfing for all abilities
We love meeting brands who are as passionate about ‘business for good’ as we are, so it’s no surprise that we have been working with the brilliant team at dryrobe from the very beginning of The Wave. We love the products from this Devon-based business and they have been keeping our team of Wavemakers warm and dry throughout the seasons since 2019. However, more than that, we love the fact we are aligned in our desire to share blue space and the great outdoors with as many people as possible.
Accessibility to surfing for people of all abilities has been a core part of our mission since before we even started pushing waves. Our whole place has been designed to be 100% accessible – from gentle slopes into the water and Changing Places facilities, to adaptive surfing trained coaches and specialist equipment. And of course, no sand which is big bonus for those using wheelchairs or with limited mobility.
Some of the first people to put us through our paces were Team England Adaptive and we have been proud to host the English Adaptive Surfing Open competition for the last 3 years – growing it to a more than 40 contestants from as far afield as California and Argentina in 2022. Watching the para surfing community continue to grow and develop - and being able to support this - is something that really drives us.
“He was so excited to meet Martin Pollock [adaptive surfer]! In a week where some kids at school has told him he was ‘scary’ because he was born with missing limbs.. he met his hero.. he saw him surf and he vowed to be just like Martin when he grows up. It was one of the highlights of my life”.
Mum of child watching the English Adaptive Surfing Open at The Wave
In 2022 dryrobe supported our mission to break down barriers to water and waves for those with differing abilities by purchasing much-needed para-surfing equipment. The additional prone boards meant we could accommodate more surfers with major mobility issues, such as those with spinal cord injuries and paralysis. The equipment has been used throughout the year, but particularly came into its own at the English Adaptive Surfing Open competition – and during the special Adaptive Surf Club we ran the day before the event to introduce more people with differing abilities to surfing and grow the community.
“I adore the Wave so much. Being in the water is the most liberated I have felt. I wish I could come every week. I never thought I'd take to it, but at 41 I've found something I wish I'd been doing all my life and I'm so hungry to surf more and learn more.”
Building on this in 2023 we are looking for increase the number of people in our team of Wavemakers who are able to offer in-water support to para-surfers. Thanks to dryrobe we will be able to provide specialist training for our surf coaches and surf tech teams, allowing us to create a bank of people who we can call on when we have para-surfers booking as individuals or as groups via our impact programmes. This is going to be a game-changer in terms of how quickly we can get people in to surf with us, cutting wait times and allowing us to do even more.
Thank you team dryrobe – it’s great to have you on this mission with us!
“I was blown away by the experience my son had. I felt he was valued and was given the opportunity to get as much from the session as surfers without additional needs. It was fantastic.”
Parent of adaptive surfer