How Surfers Are Helping Disabled Surfers To “Catch A Wave” – Welcome To What's Called “Surfability”


Imagine a normal bright early morning at Flat Rock Beach Currumbin on the Gold Coast. The surf is ideal, there's only a light breeze, and tiny cloud cover great conditions for a days surfing. Surfers come to the beach to help fellow surfers with incapacities its called Surfability Already the organizers and their volunteer aides are hard at work in preparation for a “Hands on Day” for Disabled Surfers. The event organisers create three teams of volunteers, out in the surf, supporting participating fellow surfers while carers.

Friends and family members share the contentment. If you can imagine the attractive beach-side and rolling surf background then I will give you an insight into what occurs, and the organization and private participation associated with this praiseworthy event. So here goes! The Gold Coast Branch was set up int 2004 and Branch President Craig Castles was one of the founding members. Craig grew up on the Central Coast and has been a keen surfer all his life. His fellow branch officers namely Secretary Dan, Treasurer Ross and VP Ian are on hand at every event. They are joined by an amazing regular band of volunteer aides, and a welcome inflow of new volunteers joining every year.

There are 6 prepared “Hands on days” each season so why not consider spending a rewarding and most pleasing day sharing the closeness and enjoyment of helping in any way at Flat Rock Beach. You will be made most welcome by everyone at Currumbin. There are fourteen branches of the DSA in five States and one branch in New Zealand currently. Since being founded in 1986 by Gary Blaschke in Sydney it has remained a completely voluntary organisation which relies on support from members and the community. Players and carers at the Surfability events come from all parts of Queensland to be at beach-side. In addition to the Gold Coast they travel from Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, and the Sunshine Coast. The ages of the participators go from the youngest at 3 years old to the more mature!! Dress code applies at Currumbin Flat Rock Beach and all other Surfability Hands on Days in Australia.

The reason for this code is for safety and recognition purposes in the surf and on the beach identifiable Rash Vests “Rashies” are worn. Participators wear Yellow Rashies, Volunteers wear Light Blue Rashies, there can be from six to 30 volunteers to each team. Red Rashies are worn by Team Leaders, there are usually at least two Team Controllers in each Team. Green Rashies are worn by Beach Marshalls.

Usually there are three Beach Marshalls. The Beach Marshalls and Team Bosses are very skilled, and experienced persons and are talented in the use of emergency medical equipment which is definitely in service and available at every Hands on Day at all DSA branches. The Gold Coast Branch of the Disabled Surfers Organisation of Australia continue to superbly progress the DSA mission to “Open up the Beaches for the Disabled.” The “Hands on Days” are providing the chance of an equitable safe surfing experience that can be enjoyed by surfers who otherwise may never have had the experience to do so . Congratulations, further awareness and recognition is due to all those people that continue to dedicate most of their time and share their skills as a part of this most excellent voluntary organisation. As the Beach Boys sang all those years back “Catch a Wave and you are sitting on top of the Planet” Thanks DSA for making it occur. David Bedwell is a manager of Obvius Access Licensed Access Consultants a family business with offices in Australia in Sydney NSW and the Gold Coast Qld.


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