We’re pleased to report we’ve had a great Adaptive Surfing Summer here at Surf South West with The Wave Project North Devon! Weekly surf sessions continue and Ian Bennett, Adaptive Surfing Lead at The Wave Project, has forged great momentum for the English Adaptive Surfing movement. As well as weekly surf sessions here at the school, there have also been some great events.

Dryrobe English Adaptive Surfing Open at The Wave

July saw many of the Surf South West and The Wave Project team travel to the Dryrobe English Adaptive Surfing Open. For the second year running the event was held at The Wave, Bristol. The guaranteed swell and 100% accessibility, makes it the ideal adaptive surf venue.
It was an amazing day made possible by volunteers like Ian and our very own Jack and Andy.

Thank you guys! We’ll make him blush but we also want to mention that Ian received an award from Nick Hounsfield, The Wave’s founder. The award was given in recognition of all the time, care and effort that Ian puts into adaptive surfing, including events like these. We couldn’t agree more. Well done Ian, and we hope you’ve finished all those beers now!

ian with beers

North Devon Adaptive Surfers

It wasn’t just regional legends like Kernow’s, Pegleg Bennett who attended the open. Many of Surf South West’s adaptive surf stars were also there. This included The Wave Project ND adaptive surfer, Issy Kingdon who is regularly training at Croyde with Surf South West Instructor, Jack Patching. Issy’s story, like many adaptive surfer’s, is an inspirational one.

Twelve years ago she was a fit cyclist and gym enthusiast. Then she began noticing a pain in her leg whilst exercising and eventually a diagnosis of bone cancer was made. After several years of treatment, Issy finally made the decision to have her leg amputated. Her life changed beyond recognition and chronic pain became her constant companion. Issy tried to stay active but as a person with a disability, everything became more difficult.

North Devon Adaptive Surfers The Wave Project comes to the rescue! 

Issy first came across the Wave Project at the Oceanfest surf and musical festival in Croyde. She had her first assisted surf session and loved it. Since then, The Wave Project has continued to provide Issy, and many of her fellow adaptive surfers, with specialised equipment and expertise. Adaptive surfers can now not only gain access to the waves like everyone else but also experience top level surf instruction from top level coaches like Surf South West’s, Jack.

issy in surfing wear

Issy comments, “There is no, “I can’t” when it comes to adaptive surfing with the Surf South West Team. Ian and the coaches have the same attitude as me. Where there is a will there’s a way.” She continues, “Jack is brilliant! His enthusiasm and support gives me that extra push when I’m a little out of my comfort zone, which I definitely was at The Wave.”

The Future Of Adaptive Surfing

After the Dryrobe English Adaptive Surfing Open, Nick Hounsfield commented, “The future of adaptive surfing as a sport is incredibly bright and there is a real groundswell of support behind building our healthy surfing community!” We couldn’t agree more. We’re incredibly proud of all our adaptive surfers, instructors and The Wave Project ND team who have made this a special adaptive surfing summer at Surf South West. Let’s create many more. We’re is always here to support you.

More information about the dryrobe English Adaptive Surf Open