The days are getting longer and the sun has been shining so it is time to get back to the beach. We will be running sessions from Caswell Bay over the Easter holiday. The water is still a little cold but we have warm wetsuits, boots, gloves and heated vests to keep all of our surfers nice and warm!! Get in touch if you would like to come and join in.
The Prince’s Trust has been amazing at supporting Surfability and helped us get up and running. It is great to inspire other young people tofollow their dreams. Cut and paste the link below to find out more.
We are stoked to be the first surf school in the UK to have a seated tandem board. We have developed this to improve the surfing experience for people who need assistance in sitting up. It has been great!! check out the link below for more information.
We had a great time on Saturday 30th May running a tandem surfing contest to raise awareness of our work. There was some amazing teamwork, tricks and fancy dress. Follow this link for pictures and look in our gallery.
Massive thanks to The Beach House Port Eynon, Guts Surfboards, Odeon Cinemas, Angela’s takeaway, Hotdog Surfshop and The SUP Hut for helping and donating prizes.
Spaces left in open sessions for the Winter. Outdoors at Caswell Bay Saturdays 10-11.30am. Indoors at the LC Sundays 10-11am. Please get in touch to book a place.
While some students use part of their loans to enjoy nights on the town or some shopping, Ben Clifford bought a surfboard and never looked back. “I quickly got addicted and made up for lost time,” says 29 year-old Ben who is from Bristol but now lives in Swansea. His passion encouraged him to get others involved, especially those with disabilities. “I have dysphraxia so I’ve had to work on my balance and coordination, and organising things in an ordered way, and I think surfing has really helped me with that, especially with the exercise and escape you get from it. I wanted to include people who would never normally get the opportunity to do it.”
After helping out at some surfing events for youngsters with autism, Ben wanted to get more involved. His coaching expertise and his work in a school for children with special needs bolstered his experience of working with people with disabilities. Ben soon began running surf groups for young people with autism and a year and a half ago he launched Surfability, a not for profit surf school at Caswell Bay in the Gower for people with disabilities.
He gave his first Surfability lesson in September 2013, and with help from organisations such as The Prince’s Trust and volunteers including lifeguards and occupational therapists, he soon had 30 participants a week. “It feels great to see the young people get better, grow in confidence and stand up on their first wave – however they are able to,” says Ben who concentrates on his learners’ abilities and not disabilities.
“I see them as individuals and I try to find a way to make it work for them.” This includes equipment such as tandem surfboards and beach access wheelchairs; specialist aids that Ben wants to add to through fundraising so more people can take part. Ben knows the bay’s tides and currents well, but for extra safety commissioned an in-depth risk assessment by the Royal Life Saving Society. He admits it’s been tough but worthwhile – and that his Coach to Disabled People nomination is a valued compliment on his work.
Ben says his coaching style evolved naturally from his own experience, “It took me quite a long time to learn to surf so that’s given me a lot of patience and empathy. You have to know what it is to learn and to love what you do.”