Surfing has been around for over 100 years and surfing accidents have been around for just as long. Every year many surfers sustain life changing accidents that cause Spinal Cord Injuries. After a Spinal Cord Injury a once standing surfer will not be able to stand and ride a wave again until his or her SCI is treated. This sort of injury may stop or slow down some from getting back on that wave, but for others they adapt and catch that wave again. Special modified surf boards are made to a persons needs so they are able to lay down and control the board using there arms and body motion. There are not many disabled body surfers, but the sport is growing.

There are a couple of organizations that help teach and get people with disabilities in the water and surfing on the waves. One of the best and nicest of these organizations is the Ocean Healing Group. Located in Costa Rica when you stay with OHG you are staying in paradise. OHG is a non-profit 501c3 foundation, dedicated to providing once in a lifetime, adaptive sports adventure to wheelchair bound youngsters and their parents. It's there collective mission to expose kids to a wide variety of sports and activities, things they would never have the opportunity to experience otherwise... including but not limited to surfing, snorkeling, zip-line tours, fishing, quid riding, nature tours, and horseback riding. More information at

Another program called “They Will Surf Again”, is a no-cost program underwritten by Life Rolls On and generous sponsors, is the most popular program of body surfing. Injured athletes from around the country gather together for a day of surfing! Some have not surfed since their injury, some have never surfed, some surf all the time despite their varying mobility. TWSA connects dozens of volunteers, with a handful of injured surfers, together for a day of excitement, joy, and best of all, surf! Safety precautions and experienced watermen (and women), along with lifeguards are present. No prior surfing experience is necessary. More information on this at


Photos taken of Christiaan Otter Bailey  
christiaan Bailey